Muratovic outplays Huttunen

Alen Muratovic (BIH)

Sarajevo, Bosnia & Hercegovina: With a close 100:90 victory in the first straight pool round, Alen Muratovic (BIH) outplayed his opponent Jesse Waltteri Huttunen (FIN).

The match between the two juniors started quite leveled. Huttunen cleared the first rack, then missed the break shot and gave the table to Muratovic. The local hero also cleared a rack and then got Huttunen into a safety battle. Both players played some safety shots. It was Huttunen who got a shot first. He went ahead with 23:16 before he allowed Muratovic back to the table. The safety exchange seemed to have taken the accuracy from both players a bit away. Or maybe they just showed some nerves... However, the tension rose and the two contestants argued about the score instead of keeping focussed on their performance. That did not necessarily help either of them. Consequently, no player could manage to gain any substantial advantage over his opponent and the match remained very tight. It was again Huttunen to reach out for the finish line first by gaining an 81:57 over Muratovic. That really put some pressure on the young Bosnian. He took a time-out and tried to regain some focus. It seemed to have worked since he fired a break ball in, opening up the cluster, ready for the fight to win this match. He had several chances but missed shots during important phases. Huttunen was not able though to benefit from that. Instead, he also missed shots and returned the favors he got from Muratovic instead of punishing him. At 85:69 for Huttunen, Muratovic missed an easy shot and left an open table for Huttunen. The Finish youngster could again not capitalize from it and straight away returned the table to Muratovic. At this stage of the match, it turned out that probably the player with the better nerves would leave the table as the winner. At 89:89, Huttunen scratched and left Muratovic an open table with ball in hand. That was everything Alen Muratovic needed... one would have thought. But at 95:89, Muratovic missed and allowed Huttunen back in the match. But one single ball was everything Huttunen was able to come up with. His resistance was broken. Muratovic finished the remaining balls and deservedly won the match with 100:90.
The defending Champions were not in action yet. Finn Eschment (GER), last year's junior's straight pool Champion, reached the age limit and cannot defend his title this year. Raphael Wahl (GER), defending straight pool Champion in the pupil's division, will join the action after this current round at 13:00 CET. The juniors play race to 100 points, the pupils race to 75 points in their matches.
Other notable results from the early rounds include last year's 9th ranked player Andrey Seroshtan (RUS) sending his teammate Stanislav Sokolow to the loser's side with 100:59. In the next round, Daniel Schneider (SUI) finished Seroshtan with 100:20 in four innings. 
The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website or contact our press office.