Pehlivanovic Triumphs at Zagreb Open 2017

Sanjin Pehlivanovic

With a convincing performance, Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH) took down Ioan Ladanyi (ROM) in the final match of the 2017 edition of the Zagreb Open with 8:5.


Several big names were in attendance in Zagreb this year. Probably the longest journey was undertaken by Earl Strickland (USA) who flew in for this event especially from the USA. But also current World Champion Albin Ouschan (AUT) alongside with fellow countryman Mario He (AUT) as well as senior European Champion Sandor Tot (HUN) were in Zagreb for a shot at the title. Mario He was entering the event as the defending Champion from last year. The rest of the total of 142 players were mainly from Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Romania, Switzerland, Hungary and Slovenia.


The Zagreb Open have been held for the 5th consecutive time this year. Each year, the game played there changes between 9-ball and 10-ball. This year it was 10-ball time. The tournament is held and organised by Billiard Club 8-Ball Sesvete.


Pehlivanovic seemed to be on a roll. In the round of the last 16 players, he bested Zoran Svilar (SRB) 8:6. The next round, the young Bosnian encountered the defining Champion Mario He from Austria. That match turned out to be a fiercely fought over encounter with Pehlivanovic standing tall with 8:5 in the end, finishing Mario He who had to settle for 5th place this year. In the semi-final, Pehlivanovic met Roberto Bartol (CRO) who is  currently 4-times Croatian Champion. However, the Croatian’s break did not work for him in the semis and Pehlivanovic turned the match into a start-to-finish victory without any doubts at 8:2. That brought Pehlivanovic in the final match of the 2017 Zagreb Open.


His opponent there was Ioan Landanyi from Romania. Ladanyi had also some remarkable names on the list of the players who he had eliminated. In the round of the last 8 players, Ladanyi encountered Earl Strickland who was definitely the favourite player in that match. But Ladanyi seemed not to be too impressed at all, wiping the floor with the American and eliminating him clearly with 8:4 from the event. In the semi-final match, Ladanyi was up against World 9-Ball Champion Albin Ouschan. The match started well for Ladanyi. He managed to get a 4:0 and 5:1 lead over Ouschan. But the World Champion did not want to leave the event year. Being last year’s runner-up, Ouschan struck back and won several racks which turned the match into a hill-hill battle at 7:7. There, Ladanyi had the break shot since he won the lag in the beginning of the match. He found himself with a difficult layout in front of him but he rose to the occasion and cleared the tables, winning the rack and the match with 8:7 over Ouschan.


The final match once more was a clear affair in favour of Pehlivanovic. Although both players had tough opponents to clear in order to make it to the final match, Pehlivanovic appeared to be a bit more fresh and energetic and finally took down Ladanyi with 8:5 to gain the title and win the 2017 Zagreb Open.


Top 8 Finishers:
1. Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH)
2. Ioan Ladanyi (ROM)
3. Roberto Bartol (CRO)
Albin Ouschan (AUT)
5. Mario He (AUT)
Sandor Tot (HUN)
Mitja Gradisnik (SLO)
Earl Strickland (USA)