Predator Women’s St Johann Open – Ivanovskaia Defends Her Austrian Crown

Veronika Ivanovskaia

VERONIKA IVANOVSKAIA SUCCESSFULLY defended her PREDATOR Women’s St Pongau Open title as she got the better of Pia Filler by 7-4 in an all-German final. Ivanovskaia moved into an early 3-0 lead and never relinquished her superiority even as the match got booged down a little in the middle stages. It was Ivanovskaia’s second win on Tour and she will be looking to move on and look to add to that tally in 2024. She went undefeated through the event

Commented Veronika, “Pia is a very good player and in the overall Tour rankings both of us are #1 and #2 so it’s always a tough battle. I don’t know why but I feel very comfortable in Austria and enjoy the landscape and the air so I think it’s just a good combination of everything. I felt very good the whole time here.”

Having won the lag, Ivanovskaia came with an illegal break despite downing two balls. Filler had the first open look at table but fell down on the 3 ball as her long pot stayed in the jaws. Ivanovskaia attempted the jump shot and, trying to catch the 3 on the thin side, completely missed. The runout wasn’t quite available as they exchanged safeties. A scratch from Filler gave ball-in-hand to her opponent and she cleared to steal the opening rack.

In the second, Ivanovskaia ducked a 4/9 opportunity in favour of safety and it paid off as Filler missed the table-length one-rail escape and with ball-in-hand, the German cleared the table to extend her lead.

A good break from Ivanovskaia saw her stay at the table but she hooked herself going from 2 to 3. She kicked out of trouble and left the 3 safe for her opponent. Ivanovskaia broke the safety deadlock with a well-executed bank to down the 3-ball and from there she ran out for an ominous 3-0 lead.

Filler needed a good break in the fourth game and certainly delivered as two balls dropped, leaving her an opportunity on the 1-ball. She took that and went on to complete the first break and run of the match and give herself a real confidence boost.

An illegal break from Ivanovskaia saw Filler put her back in and she determined to push-out. They went back-and-forth on the 1-ball for some time before Filler left it available. Ivanovskaia pocketed it and worked her way through the table to restore her three-rack advantage at 4-1.

A dry and illegal break from Filler left an impossible table and a lengthy bout of safety play ensued. With the 3-ball locked on the rail in a cluster, the rack was the longest of the match by some distance but it was Filler who prevailed after miss on the 8-ball from Ivanovskaia.

A good break from Ivanovskaia gave her a chance to extend her lead. The 7-ball was tied up with the 9, though and she played a perfect safety which Filler escaped from to leave her opponent snookered. Ivanovskaia escaped but left the 7-ball on into the centre pocket but Filler fell down as she caught the jaw. From there, Ivanovskaia completed a difficult clearance for a 5-2 lead.

Filler though, ran out from the break to reduce the lead to two-racks. Ivanovskaia came with a good break in the next, though, leaving herself a nice open table. She struggled a little down the closing stretch but some solid potting saw her over the line and onto the hill at 6-3.

An illegal break from Filler was not what she wanted and both had visits before Filler had the clear opportunity and to her credit, she ran out a hard table to get to 6-4. Ivanovskaia had every chance in the next rack following a successful break. She left herself a horrible 9-ball though but she cued it well to lift her second Euro Tour title.

Ivanovskaia added, “I have my same practice routine as always, doing my hours day-by-day and just trying to get ready mentally because it’s always a marathon here, especially on the last day. I’ve worked on my fitness a lot so that’s definitely beneficial.

“I felt very good throughout the day, although I was almost out in the quarters against my team mate Tina (Vogelmann). It was hill-hill and a very tough battle but in the end, I was the fortunate one.

“I’m leaving tomorrow to go to China to play heyball because I’m also playing that now beside 9-ball and 10-ball and general American pool. After that it’s onto Slovenia for the European Championships and the next Euro Tour.”

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