Souquet eliminates Melling in a thriller

Ralf Souquet thinking about his next shot

With a close call by tournament director David Morris, Ralf Souquet (GER) ended all hopes of Chris Melling (GBR) with 9:7.

Since both contestants know each other for quite some time now, they knew that this match would not be a walk in the park for any of them. Melling and Souquet have both proven in the past to be brilliant cue artists. They have totally different styles. Whereas Souquet tends to play a bit slower, Melling is known to play aggressively. So no wonder that the outcome of the match was determined by a margin.

The first missed shot was played by Souquet when he missed a 3-ball in rack six. Until then, he had played perfect pool. While Melling had committed a foul already, Souquet's record was shiny white. However, the match was a high class clash and not much errors occurred anyways. One of the highlights of the match happened in rack 12. The score was 6.5 in favor of Souquet. "The Kaiser" broke the balls but none went in. Melling played a push-out by laying the cue ball close to another object ball, leaving a tough shot all over the table on the 1-ball with the 2-ball on the other side of the table. Souquet obviously passed that shot back to Melling. The Brit then jacked up his cue and fired the 1-ball in, drawing the cue ball back into perfect position for the 2-ball. The audience went wild and even Souquet had to applaud for that shot. Melling then ran the rack and tied the match at 6:6.

As the match went on, the score was tied at 7:7. Melling had a good break shot and got an open table for him to get to the hill first. But he missed an easy combination shot on the 7 and left the table for Souquet. The Hall of Famer accepted the gift and cleared the playing field, getting on the hill first with 8:7.

Then happened a drama as normally only Hollywood director's would be able to come up with. Souquet broke the rack, had a ball down but no shot on the 1-ball. He played a weak safety shot. Melling gave a better safety back to Souquet who could hit the ball but left a shot for Melling. Chris Melling then pocketed the 1-ball but did not really get a good lay on the 2-ball. He played another good safety shot. Souquet examined the table and called a referee to judge the next shot since he knew it would be a close one. The tournament director David Morris took position behind Souquet in order to watch the shot. That was very preventive by Souquet. He played into the rail and hit the 2-ball and the 9-ball simultaneously. The shot was called correct by Morris and the 9-ball fell into the side pocket. 

After the match, the shot was reviewed on camera and it turned out that Morris had taken the right decision. "This match was very close", stated Souquet afterwards, "and it could have easily gone the other ways around". "Chris was played as good as I was and I did not mean to pocket the 9-ball with that last shot" admitted Souquet, being the sportsman that we all know he is. His judgement of the match was right. They had both made the same amount of mistakes with Souquet having a better percentage on his break shots.

Souquet will now in the quarter-finals have to deal with Serge Das (BEL) who defeated Niels Feijen (NED) with 9:7. Melling has to settle for 9th in this tournament. The quarter finals will commence at 12:00 PM CET.

All results from the round of the last 16 players:
Huidji See NED v Ruslan Chinakhov RUS 6 : 9
Tomasz Kaplan POL v Tony Drago MLT 9 : 4
Roman Hybler CZE v Daryl Peach GBR 9 : 6
Serge Das BEL v Niels Feijen NED 9 : 7
Chris Melling GBR v Ralf Souquet GER 7 : 9

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 , follow us on twitter @EPBF_News or contact our press office.