Nick van den Berg wins Eurotour Italian Open

Nick van den Berg in his moment of glory
Nick Van Den Berg just won the Dynamic Billard Italian open in Treviso, Italy, with a 9:5 victory over Karol Skowerski.
The final match between started with a dominant phase from van den Berg. He ran out the first two racks and the capitalized from a mistake from Skowerski, turning the scoreboard to 3:0 after only 13 minutes. Then van den Berg scratched on his own break and allowed Skowerski to open up his account with 3:1. The next racks were equally shared and after 8 racks the score was 5:3 for van den Berg with Skowerski’s break shot coming up. At that point in time, van den Berg seemed to lose his domination in the match a bit. Skowerski broke the 9-ball and came within one point to van den Berg. The tide seemed to turn in the match. But van den Berg took his time-out and tried to remain cool. After 11 racks, the score was only 6:5 in favor of the Dutch. Rack 12 turned out to be the main rack in the match. Van den Berg snookered Skowerski with a good safety shot and forced him to commit a foul. Then van den Berg ran the rack to gain a two-point lead at 7:5. Rack 13 and 14 were again dominated by safety play from both side with van den Berg having the better outcome on his end. Finally, the result was 9:5 in favor of van den Berg who took the second Euro-Tour title in a row. He also won the final Euro-Tour in 2013 which also took place in Treviso, Italy. „I think it must be the food or the air here“, said van den Berg with a big smile on his face after the awards ceremony. „I really feel well here even though I struggled with a bad jet lag“, van den Berg added, „but my coaches Sjaak and Johnny helped me a lot to improve my game ad the mental aspects of it“. According to the statistics, van den Berg had a break ratio (break shots with balls down) of 100% and a break efficiency (shot on the lowest numbered ball after the break) of 43%. Skowerski had 86% ratio and 33% efficiency.
Karol Skowerski had to deal with Mark Gray (GBR) in the semi-final. The match was totally leveled and both players competed at equal strength. It were the little things that made the difference in the match. Skowerski was a bit more consistent in his re-safes and his position play regarding safety shots. In the end, this created the advantage he needed to win the semi-final with 9:7.
In the other semi-final, Nick van den Berg dominated his opponent and fellow countryman Niels Feijen (NED). Surprisingly, the match was only open in the early stage. After six racks, the score was tied at 3:3. Then both players seemed to be a bit out of focus and allowed some mistakes to interfere with their strong performance. Van den Berg was the first one to get back on track and collected rack after rack. Feijen seemed to be left in the dark. He could not find the answer to his opponent and finally had to accept that van den Berg was the better player today, winning clearly with 9:4.
The quarter-final matches all finished with the same result today. 9:6 was good for van den Berg over Tomasz Kaplan (POL). Feijen ended Mateusz Sniegocki (POL), Skowerski won over Nikos Ekonomopoulos (GRE) and Gray allowed Chris Melling (GBR) to go home early.
In the round of the last 16 players, Marco Dorenburg’s (GER) quest ended here in Treviso. The German junior player who had ousted some top players yesterday including former World 9-Ball Champion Daryl Peach (GBR) lost relatively clear to Tomasz Kaplan from Poland with 3:9. Nick van den Berg and Niels Feijen both won their matches clearly with 9:5 and 9:4 over Radoslaw Babica (POL) and Karl Boyes (GBR). Mateusz Sniegocki eliminated #2 ranked player Konstantin Stepanov (RUS) with 9:4. Albin Ouschan (AUT) committed a fatal error at 7:7 in his match with Karol Skowerski. Instead of getting on the hill, he dogged the 9-ball and allowed Skowerski to get to 8 racks first. That mistake obviously broke his neck in the match and Skowerski won with 9:7. Nikos Ekonomopoulos ousted the final remaining Italian player of the Italian Open. He defeated Pietro Caperna (ITA) quite clearly with 9:2. Chris Melling powered over Serge Das (BEL) with 9:6. In the all-British clash between Mark Gray and Richard Jones (GBR), Gray remained the upper hand and took care of Jones with 9:6.