Super Melling in Mosconi Cup Driving Seat

CHRIS MELLING, the latest in a long-line of English 9 ball talent, blasted his way to the top of the 2011 Mosconi Cup European Rankings, following a string of world-class performances to win the China Open in Shanghai last week.

Melling now finds himself a whopping 22 points ahead of his nearest rival Nick Van den Berg, with a 35 point safety net between himself and fourth spot. With the top three players on the list at the conclusion of the 13 event series guaranteed a Mosconi berth, Melling looks a prime candidate for Las Vegas.

"The Mosconi Cup was my aim this year as I watched my pals Darren Appleton and Karl Boyes play last December," said Melling.

"I thought 'I want that'; it's the best team event in the world and obviously it's every boys dream to represent USA or Europe. I think I would bring massive amounts of entertainment to the viewers and show how the game can be played."

In addition, Melling holds No.2 spot on the EPBF Euro Tour Rankings and is presently No.5 on the WPA World Rankings. After years pursuing a career in English 8 Ball, in recent times the 32 year-old Yorkshireman has switched full-time to the American pool.

However, he has some pedigree in 9 ball – as long ago as 2001 he reached the last 16 of the World Pool Championship in Cardiff where he beat the likes of Ramil Gallego, Sandor Tot and Steve Davis along the way.

"It would be an honour to represent Europe and play in the Mosconi Cup, as pool players know Matchroom Sport produce the best events on TV and not just in pool.

"I've got a good lead at the minute but I'm taking nothing for granted - this is just the beginning; I want to stamp my authority on the pool world!" added Melling.

There are now five events left on the European Mosconi Cup ranking, with two 'World' events with 50% more points awarded, and three Euro Tour events. The field is starting to separate with the top seven players beginning to move away from the pack.

World 9 Ball Championship 25 June – 2 July
Austrian Open 7-9 July
German Open 25-27 August
Hungarian Open 29 September to 1 October
US Open 9 Ball Championship 17-22 October