Quarter Final Line-Ups Set In Treviso

Wiktor Zielinski

AFTER THREE DAYS of play, we’re down to the last eight at the Dynamic Billard Italian Open, taking place at the Best Western Premium BHR Treviso Hotel. Starting out at 9.00 on Sunday morning, there have been seven rounds of matches today, the majority on the one-loss side of the draw, concluding with two rounds of single elimination.

The lowest ranked player into the last eight is Iker Echeverria at No.56 and his terrific efforts this week have kept the Spanish flag flying in the absence of Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and David Alcaide. All the other quarter-finalists are either previous Euro Tour winners or have gone deep in previous events.

Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski, currently ranked No.2 on the tour, stayed on track to steal the top spot from Sanchez Ruiz as he eased his way into the last eight with a 9-4 victory over Michael Schneider (Switzerland). The in-form Pole has yet to be extended this week in Treviso and can look forward to Iker Echeverria tomorrow.

Commented Wiktor, “I’ve been playing quite good and I think with the jet lag and being tired, I’m playing quite well.  I can make some stupid mistakes but overall, I’m breaking really well and so far, I haven’t had a really tough match – the worst I’ve lost by is 9-4 with Tomasz Kaplan and then Michael just now so hopefully I will continue like this tomorrow.

“I’m sleeping well but not deep sleep so I think I need two or three more days to adjust to the European time zone. All my results have been good so I’m confident and hopefully I can continue like this tomorrow,” he added.

Alex Kazakis

Another big gun who will be fighting it out in the quarter-finals is Alex Kazakis who enjoyed wins this evening over Marco Cordova (Italy) and Switzerland’s Dimitri Jungo, 9-2 and 9-7, respectively. He now faces Pole Mieszko Fortunski who won a thrilling hill-hill match over Roam Hybler that saw multiple attempts on the 9-ball in the deciding rack.

Kazakis, like many players in the Italian Open, has just returned from the World 8-Ball in the Caribbean and is grappling with the effects of jetlag.

“I’m pretty happy when you consider that most of the players came her from Puerto Rico and we have jet lag, me included. Today I slept only three hours but I was playing good. I made some easy mistakes but overall, I’m happy and I’ll keep fighting and this is what matters,” said Kazakis.

“I hope I can sleep five or six hours tonight and then I’m going to be happy. It’s only three more wins but there are a lot of good players and you can lose in any round but it can go the same with me; I can win any round and I can win the tournament so it would be nice to win here in Treviso.”

Mario He

Mario He also advanced to the final day, courtesy of a brace of 9-8 wins in the single elimination stage. Firstly, he overcame impressive World Junior Champion Szymon Kural of Poland in the last 32 and then Sanjin Pehlivanovic in the next round. The Bosnian looked set for victory but missed a 7-ball to clear a path for a He victory.

Commented Mario, “When you win 9-8, it’s always a good feeling and when you lose 9-8, it’s a bad feeling. I was down 8-6 in both matches and I don’t know how I turned them around, especially against Sanjin because he had me. It was a very tricky situation and I didn’t think that he’d miss the 7-ball so I guess I got lucky to get through but I feel I’m playing really good.

“I’m not really thinking about winning the tournament and right now I have some time off so I’ll try -to refocus tomorrow on my next match. I hope I can sleep tonight but I’ll just try to grind tomorrow but it’s been going well up till now,” he added.

Play continues tomorrow (Monday) with the four quarter-finals taking place at 10am and then the semi-finals at 16.00 and 17.30. The final breaks off at 19.00.

As well as the prize money, there are Tour ranking points on offer as well as world ranking points, so there is everything to play for. All Euro Tour tournaments are 9-ball and players compete in a double-elimination format, playing down to the last 32 competitors, and then single elimination until the finish. All matches are races to 9 racks with alternate break.

All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com as well as selected matches on Facebook Live on the EPBF page. In addition, the semi-finals and final will be live or highlights on the following television stations across Europe;

SportKlub HD – Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia,
Bosnia Herzegovina, Greece
Eyecons – Netherlands)
SportKlub – Poland
ORF – Austria
B1B Box – Bulgaria

Results, live scoring and draw are available at www.epbf.com

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