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Fefilova Wins Women’s VG 9-Ball Day Four And Final Bracket Bye

Round robin play is complete at the Women’s Poison VG 9-Ball Championship, and the players in the final single elimination bracket are now known.

Belarus’ Margaret Fefilova was the winner of the final day of round robin play, with an overall 2-1 record. Fefilova’s one loss was to Japanese champion Chihiro Kawahara, but Kawahara finished with the same 2-1 record after losing to German Pia Filler. Fefilova’s record of fifteen racks ran was enough to earn her the top position in the group.

Filler entered the final match of the day against USA’s Mary Rakin and found herself with her back up against the wall late in the match. Needing to run three of her last five racks against the ghost, Filler was able to navigate two of four to leave a final rack to determine if she would earn one of the two wildcard spots in the final bracket. The pool gods turned their back on Filler in that final rack though, as she had back to back fouls on the break for not getting three balls past the headstring, Those fouls left Filler and Rakin tied and since the final outcome of their match would not play into the roster for the final bracket, both ladies agreed to call it a day.

The final bracket will see Bulgaria’s Kristina Zlateva face wildcard Kelly Fisher and Germany’s Ina Kaplan taking on Turkey’s Eylul Kibaroglu. The winners of those two matches will face Japan’s Yuki Hariguchi and Fefilova respectively.

The single elimination matches will see each lady playing the ghost in a match against an opponent doing the same thing. Those matches will be races to four, best two out of three sets.

Each competitor is guaranteed $300 in prize money for making the final bracket, with first place earning $2000 in prize money.

Play will begin at 10:00 AM EST on Tuesday.  Watch the online coverage at https://www.facebook.com/CueItUpPodcast for all of the details and the streaming coverage of the matches.

Ina Kaplan Over Fisher On Women’s VG 9-Ball Day Three

Day three of round robin play is complete at the Women’s Poison VG 9-Ball Championship, and day three saw another surprise as World Champion Kelly Fisher dropped her match against Germany’s Ina Kaplan 5-3. Kaplan played her best 9-ball when facing Fisher, running 52 balls in eight rounds of play, while Fisher only managed 40 balls total.

Kaplan is now guaranteed a spot in Sunday’s single elimination bracket, joining day one winner Kristina Zlateva and day two winner Yuki Hiraguchi. The top two runner-up finishers from the round robin stages will also make the single elimination bracket and Fisher’s record of fourteen racks ran on day three keeps her in contention for one of those wildcard spots.

Day two’s runner-up Wei Tzu Chien only ran twelve racks in round robin play and she is now eliminated from wildcard contention. Turkey’s Eylul Kibaroglu ran fifteen racks as the runner-up on day one and is now locked into one of the wildcard spots. Fisher will now have to sweat the final day of round robin play, hoping that the day’s runner-up doesn’t run more than fourteen racks.

Day four of this event will feature another all-star field of players with Margaret Fefilova from Belarus, America’s Mary Rakin, Japanese Champion Chihiro Kawahara and Germany’s Pia Filler.

All of the ladies will be competing in 8 racks of 9-ball against the ghost, hoping to run more balls than their opponent. The top finisher in the four player group will earn her place in the final bracket, with two wildcards who don’t win their groups also making the final bracket.

Play begins at 9:00 AM Eastern Time and can be followed online at https://www.facebook.com/CueItUpPodcast

China’s Siming Chen gets by Britain’s Kelly Fisher twice to win 2019 WPBA Masters

Kelly Fisher and Siming Chen (Photo courtesy of WPBA)

In what proved to be her best recorded earnings year, to date (2017), China’s 24-year-old Siming Chen won five major events between March and November, opening with a win at the Amway Cup in Chinese Tapei, followed by victories in the China Open (June), the Dynamic Klagenfurt (part of the Euro Tour in Austria; Oct.)  and a week apart in November, the Women’s World 9-Ball Championships (Nov. 8-11) and the All-Japan Women’s Championship (Nov. 16-26).
 
In the Women’s World 9-Ball Championships that year, there was only one competitor among the top eight finishers who was not from China or Chinese Taipei. That lone competitor, who finished in the four-way tie for 5th place was Britain’s Kelly Fisher. Five months earlier, Fisher had finished in the four-way tie for 5th place at the China Open, sharing the spot with Chihiro Kawahara (Japan), Rubilen Amit (Philippines) and Xiao-Ting Pan (China).
 
And this is just that one year, her best recorded earnings year, to date. Chen’s been winning money on the international pool scene since 2009, when she was 16. All this, by way of an introduction to who she is – the #1-ranked female pool player in the world right now – and why, to no one’s surprise, she went undefeated through a field of 64 entrants to win the 2019 WPBA Masters, held from February 27-March 3 at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, MI. Also to no one’s surprise, Kelly Fisher recovered from an early round loss to Chen and fought back though nine matches on the loss side to face her a second time in the finals.
 
It’s not unusual for fans of the billiard sports to be more keenly attuned to players from their own countries and/or players who compete regularly in their country. We here in the US of A are aware of many female competitors who are not native to this country, but are well-known by virtue of their presence competing (and in some cases, living) here. Allison Fisher (Britain), Karen Corr (Ireland), Kelly Fisher (England), Ga Young Kim (South Korea), and Jasmin Ouschan (Austria), as just a few examples of those who competed at this year’s WPBA Masters. The home-grown female talent on hand was larger and made its presence known, just not for as long, as the visiting competitors flexed their considerable muscle and advanced toward the finals.
 
Jennifer Baretta made it to a winners’ side semifinal (right after defeating Janet Atwell), and made it to the quarterfinals before giving way to Kelly Fisher. Gerda (Hoffstater) Gregerson, a member of the WPBA Hall of Fame, originally from Austria, later from Sweden and currently residing in Charlotte, NC made it to a winners’ side quarterfinal against Siming Chen.
 
Siming Chen’s trip started with the proverbial bang, as she shut out Indiana’s Tonya Wiser and then ran right into Kelly Fisher for the first, though not the last time. Chen gave up only a single rack to Fisher in their first meeting and then defeated Billie Billing 9-1 to arrive at her winners’ side quarterfinal match against Gregerson. A 9-3 victory over Gregerson gave Chen a 36-5 game winning record moving into her winners’ side semifinal match against Jennifer Baretta.
 
Chinese Tapei’s Tzu Chien Wei, in the meantime, who’d cashed in three of the four events won by Siming Chen back in 2017, worked her way through a slightly more resistant field of competitors, downing Caroline Pao 9-2 in her opening match, and Jessica Barnes 9-3 in her second. She then survived a double hill battle against 20-year-old Russian Kristina Tkach to sport a 27-13 game record, going into her winners’ side semifinal match against Allison Fisher.
 
Chen advanced to the hot seat match with a 9-2 win over Baretta, as Wei defeated Fisher 9-5 to join her. Chen claimed the hot seat 9-7 over Wei and waited for what turned out to be the return of Kelly Fisher.
 
Fisher, over on the loss side, was working on a nine-match winning streak that would carry her all the way back to a finals rematch against Chen. She started that trip with three victories in which she gave up only a single rack each to Ewa Mataya Laurance, Caroline Pao and Kaylin Wykoff. Jenna Bishoff put up a bit of a fight in the following round, chalking up more racks against Fisher (5) than her first three loss-side opponents combined. Fisher returned to form with a 9-1 victory over Janet Atwell and then gave up three to Kristina Tkach. This put Kelly Fisher into a match against Allison Fisher, fresh from the winners’ side semifinal.
 
Jennifer Baretta drew Jasmin Ouschan, who’d been defeated by Allison Fisher 9-7 in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Helena Thornfeldt 9-4 and Line Kjorsvik 9-7 to face Baretta.
 
Everybody got caught up in a double hill fight for advancement to the quarterfinals. Baretta eventually defeated Ouschan, and Fisher eliminated Fisher (that’s Kelly over Allison). Kelly Fisher ended Jennifer Baretta’s run 9-5 in those  quarterfinals and then got wrapped up in another double hill fight, which she won, against Tzu Chie Wen in the semifinals.
 
As she’d describe it later from an airport in Detroit, awaiting a flight to Newark, and eventually, home to England, three matches in a row on that last Sunday just about did Kelly Fisher in, and “the wheels sort of came off.” Siming Chen completed her undefeated run at the 2019 WPBA Masters with an 11-2 victory over Kelly in the finals.
 
WPBA representatives thanked the Soaring Eagle Resort & Casino for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Outsville AccuRack, Aramith, PoolActionTV, Simonis Cloth and Diamond Billiard Products.

Chinese Pool World Championship Day One Complete

Darren Appleton

Day one of the 2017 Yaqi Group Cup Chinese Pool World Championship is complete, and half of the players advancing into the single elimination stages are now known. 
 
Last year’s third place finisher, Darren Appleton, has qualified for the final stage, but it wasn’t easy. Appleton was taken to the hill by Iran’s Mohammad Pordeliri, and then taken to the hill again by AzBilliards 2016 Player of the Year Jayson Shaw. Shaw was running out the final rack and scratched in the side to gift an open table (and a trip to the single elimination stage) to Appleton. Shaw will face England’s Jack Whelan on day two to determine who goes to the final stage and who goes home. 
 
American Corey Deuel turned in two match wins on day one to earn his place in the single elimination final stage. He and Appleton will be joined by such notables as Wu Jia Qing, Pin Yi Ko, Lee Van Corteza.
 
Players who need one more win on day two to advance include Alex Pagulayan, Michael Hill, Carlo Biado, Ching-Shun Yang, Brandon Shuff and Antonio Lining
 
The ladies division sees a veritable who’s who of ladies pool on the one loss side, fighting for a spot in stage two. Karen Corr will face AzB Ladies Player of the Year Han Yu, Filipino sensation Chezka Centeno will take on Chihiro Kawahara, Kelly Fisher will face Rubelin Amit and Ga-Young Kim will play Claudia Djajalie on day two. Bai Ge, Sha Sha Liu, Siming Chen and Yuan-Chun Lin have already qualified to join eight Chinese women in stage two. 
 
After the first matches of the day finish here in Yu Shan China, the remaining players will be redrawn into a single elimination bracket that will be used to determine the eventual World Champion. 
 
AzBilliards is live streaming from the event at http://azbilliards.com/chinastream.html?channel_id=9896587163685199960&app_id=1251971334, and fans can follow along with online brackets for each division at…
 
International Men – http://news.top147.com/2017/03/00029054.shtml
Chinese Men – http://news.top147.com/2017/03/00029053.shtml
International Women – http://news.top147.com/2017/03/00029056.shtml
Chinese Women – http://news.top147.com/2017/03/00029055.shtml
 

Amway Cup Day 2 – Surprising Whitewash on TV Table

Kelly Fisher (Photo courtesy of Samuel Lai)

The Amway eSpring International Women 9-Ball Championship 2017 continued its action today (Mar 3 local time) at the Taipei Gymnasium.  All matches in the round robin stage were completed, with the leader of the respective group advancing directly into the last 16, while the players in second and third place will have to play in the last 24.
 
FURY sponsored Kelly Fisher (GBR) won the last match on the TV table against WEI Tzu-Chien (TPE) to gain a direct entry to the last 16 of the tournament.  Kelly was one of the players that had 4 wins in her respective group after the initial round robin stage.  Wei and Veronika Ivanovskaia (GER) came in as 2nd and 3rd place respectively in Group H, hence advancing to play in the round of last 24.
 
Sandy LIU ShaSha (CHN) and Angeline Ticoalu (INA), the other two FURY sponsored players, were drawn into the same group.  They finished off 2nd and 3rd respectively in Group B, thus advancing into the last 24.  Even though Sandy was leading most of the time throughout the stage, Allison Fisher (GBR) took her down on TV table to equal their scores in games and had a better rack-difference to snatch the first place and advanced directly into the last 16.
 
In Group D, PAN XiaoTing (CHN) was another player that had 4 wins after whitewashing the three times Amway Cup champion and the local favourite Rita CHOU Chieh-Yu, giving as much pleasure as well as shock to the audience both at the stadium and on TV.  During an interview earlier on, Pan reviewed that this was a match long expected, while the result was a pleasant surprise as she expressed in the post-interview.  Oliwia Czuprynska (POL) came in as third and will follow Rita into the next round.
 
In the other groups, despite the fact that Jasmine Ouschan (AUT) lost to the defending champion Chezka Centeno (PHI) yesterday, Jasmine had more wins in the end and therefore became first place in Group A.  Chezka finished second after making a couple of critical errors to lose two hill-hill matches against Kristina Tkach (RUS) and WU Hsiso-Wen (TPE).  Wu successfully made it into the last 24 after qualifying from stage 1.
 
Japanese leading lady Chihiro Kawahara had a rough ride in Group C, with only one win against Claudia Von Rohr (SUI), the new face in the tour.  All of the other three players had the same result of 3 wins, but in the end it was Karen Corr (IRL) that secured a seat in the last 16 with a 2-rack difference.  FAN Yu-Hsuan (TPE), who had made her appearance in stage 2 through qualifiers, fell short marginally by one rack against her local senior CHEN Ho-Yun.
 
Current world #1 Han Yu (CHN) gave no chance to HSIEH Yu-Wen(TPE) on the TV table yesterday, then went on to win all the matches in Group E.  HSIEH, who came through from the Taiwanese qualifier, and LEE Woo-Jin, the rising star from South Korea that made her way through stage 1, were on the same page before their last encounter with each other.  In the end, it was HSIEH that had a better day, turning an hill-hill excitement into an entry ticket to the last 24 for herself, leaving her opponent out of the tour.  Two times world champion Rubilen Amit (PHI) finished second in the group.
 
KIM Ga-Young (KOR) stood out in Group F with 4 straight wins, thus advancing to the last 16.  For the remaining players, it was a close call amongst Natalia Seroshtan (RUS), CHEN Chia-Hua and qualifier Bean HUNG Meng-Hsia, with all three of them winning 2 games and losing 2.  Natalia was the lowest one after rack counts and therefore the two Taiwanese girls went through to the last 24.
 
It was not exactly a joyride but CHEN SiMing (CHN) still surfed through Group G by winning all of her matches.  Twice Amway Cup winner LIN Yuan-Chun had a close one, lost in the decider against Chen, but still managed to win all of her other matches to go through to the next stage.  Kristina Grim of Germany, who took down qualifier KUO Szu-Ting (TPE) on the first TV match yesterday, came third in the group.
 
Upon the completion of the last match on the day, all players gathered at the TV table to draw for the positions tomorrow in the last 16 to 24 stage.
 
Round-robin stage Results & Draw for last 16 to 24 stage: click here

Amway Cup Day 1 – Han Yu, ShaSha going strong

Chieh-Yu Chau (Photo courtesy of Samuel Lai)

The Amway eSpring International Women 9-Ball Championship 2017 started its official matches of stage 2 at 10:00 this morning (Mar 2 local time) back at the good old Taipei Gymnasium again this year, with the first 6 matches featuring players from 8 different countries and regions.
 
      FURY, the official cues of the tournament, immediately felt the excitement as two of their sponsored players, former world #1 Sandy Liu (ShaSha) of China and South-East Asian gold medalist Angelina Ticoalu of Indonesia, also being a semi-finalist in 2015 after taking down Sandy two years ago, faced each other again this year in one of the opening matches in Group B.
 
     Angelina managed to snatch the first point on the scoreboard but her opponent soon settled down and took over to lead the match all the way.  In the end, Sandy was the better one in the FURY derby and took her “revenge” with the final score standing at 7-4.  Later on during the day, Angelina recovered her lost ground by beating the Japanese Triple-Crown winner Joana Wu (Zhi-Ting) of Chinese Taipei, as well as the all-time multiple world champion “Duchess of Doom” Allison Fisher, who is also a 5-times winner of the Amway Cup, in a hill-hill thriller on TV table.  Sandy then extended her lead overnight in the group by beating Joana Wu 7-4 in the evening session.
 
      The 2013 Amway Cup winner as well as multiple world champions Kelly Fisher of England, came back from behind to beat LIM Yun-Mi of South Korea 7-5.  Kelly, also sponsored by FURY, is coming back in good form after her surgery and is looking to stay strong against her other opponents in Group H.  These shall include Longasy Tips sponsored WEI Tzu-Chien as well as her Taiwanese comrade HO Hsin-Ju who came through from the qualifiers.
 
      In the other groups, even though Kristina Tkach of Russia had a bad opening after scratching on her first 8-ball and eventually losing the match to the 2004 Amway Cup champion LIU Sin-Mei of Chinese Taipei, she was able to re-strengthen her position in Group A with two hill-hill wins over qualifier WU Hsiao-Wen (Chinese Taipei) and the 2016 Amway Cup winner Chezka Centeno of the Philippines respectively.  Earlier on, the defending champion had a relatively comfortable win over European Jasmine Ouschan of Austria.
 
      Multiple world champions Karen Corr of Northern Ireland had wins over Japanese #1 Chihiro Kawahara and qualifier FAN Yu-Hsuan (Chinese Taipei) to lead in Group C.  Karen will be facing the 2015 Videoland Year-End Champion CHEN He-Yun, who had lost to her Taiwanese comrade Fan in another match.  Claudia Von Rohr of Switzerland made her debut in the Amway Cup this year, but lost both of her matches against Chen and Fan.
 
      Three times Amway Cup Champion Rita CHOU (Chieh-Yu) made both of her wins on TV table by taking down Oliwia Czuprynska of Poland and Molrudee Kasemchaiyanan of New Zealand.  The great PAN XiaoTing of China, who won the Amway Cup exactly ten years back, missed her action last year but now returning to the scene brighter than ever, beat Molrudee and qualifier MU Shu-Fong of Chinese Taipei to equal Rita in Group D overnight.
 
     Han Yu of China, the recently selected AZB player of the Year, current world #1 as well as a semi-finalist last year, marked the first absolute win of the day by whitewashing the Taiwanese qualifier HSIEH Yu-Wen on TV table, then moved on to beat Pia Plaeser of Germany in Group E.  Two times world champion Rubilen Amit copied Han and gave a lesson to the young South Korean rising star Woo-Jin LEE, being the only non-Taiwanese that came through from stage one.  Lee lost in an hill-hill encounter with Hsieh but was able to win over Pia that saved a last hope for her against Han in the afternoon session tomorrow.
 
      Ga-Young Kim, the two times Amway Cup winner from South Korea, stands out in Group F by beating Jennifer McCulla of Australia and qualifier Bean Hung (Meng-Hsia), who is coincidentally working in Australia.  The 17-years old Taiwanese Amber Chen (Chia-Hua), being the youngest player on board, enjoys her first direct-entry to stage 2 this year, had 1 win and 1 lost on the day, and will be facing Kim on TV table tomorrow.
 
     LIN Yuan-Chun of Chinese Taipei, also a two times Amway Cup winner, won her first match 7-4 in Group G against Kristina Grim of Germany.  Kristina, who almost broke down to tears after having a good lead but still lost to Kelly Fisher on TV table last year, celebrated her victory over a deciding rack on TV this year against qualifier KUO Szu-Ting of Chinese Taipei.  She will be playing again on TV tomorrow at 4pm against the almighty CHEN SiMing of China.
 
     Action continues tomorrow at the Taipei Gymnasium (#10, Section 4, Nanjing East Road, Songshan District, near Taipei Arena) to decide the last 24 players in the knockout stage.
 
     All Results (Group Stage) : click here
 

Han Yu Wins WPA Women’s World 9-Ball Championship

Han Yu

After getting away to a good strong start and leading 3/0, Chihiro missed an easy 1- 9 combination shot which allowed Han to the table for her first real chance in the match, and she ran the balls to make it 1/3. In rack five with the chance to run the rack, Chihiro had left herself a really difficult shot, and after losing the previous rack, it seemed as though this shot on the 7 ball would be expecting too much, but as clean as anything into the pocket it went and now she led 4/1. Han broke off in the next, played a push, was sent back in and fouled, Chihiro cleared to now lead 5/1. In rack eight, Han broke the balls and was left without an easy safety. Instead, from the wrong side of the table, she cut the 3 ball onto the 9 to make a fantastic combination to win the rack, now 3/5. Chihiro replied with a nice break and run to lead 6/3. Not to be phased, Han replied with her own break and run to trail 4/6. Rack eleven, Han missed a shot at the 2 ball and Chihiro ran the remaining balls to lead 7/4. It appeared that the writing was on the wall; Chihiro was playing very well, great control of the cue ball with her positional shots, her only blemish really was the missed 1 – 9 combination in the fourth rack. Han won the twelfth rack, and in the thirteenth Chihiro scratched on the break and Han ran out, now the gap had closed to just one, 6/7. Inn rack fourteen, Han broke and made three balls, and played another great 2 – 9 combination to level the scores at 7/7. In each fifteen, Chihiro made three balls on the break, but no shot at the 3 ball, played safe. Han faltered and gave Chihiro a great chance to get back to the lead. In clearing up, she got herself a little out of ideal position for the 7 ball and tried to force the shot, with the ball refusing to go into the pocket. Han was left with a bank shot, which she made and for the first time in the match Han moved into the lead. In the final rack, Han broke the balls and ran out to win and become the 2016 world champion. Her last few shots were relatively easy if one were playing socially down at the club, but for the world title she was starting to feel the nerves set in. Many a deep breath was taken before and after each shot. Both players should be very proud of their performance, there was very little between them. Chihiro was very gracious in her defeat, which must have been hard to do as she must have thought she had the title in her keeping at one stage. This is the second time that Han Yu has won the world championship, and she was a very popular winner here tonight. She is a great ambassador for the game.
 
Winner – Han Yu (CHN)
Runner-up – Chihiro Kawahara (JPN)
Third place – Gao Meng (CHN)

China Open kicks off in new venue

The 2016 World 9-Ball China Open will be held on August 21th-28th in Shanghai, China. As the qualifying tournament gets underway tomorrow with qualifiers from the 21st to 23rd, there are over 70 players in the Men's division and about 50 in the Women's division, competing for 8 qualifiers in each division to the main tournament.
 
The main tournament starts August 25th and concludes on August 28th. 64 men and 48 women will compete in groups of eight in a double elimination format, with 32 men and 16 women advancing to the single elimination phase of the evnet. The single elimination phase will see the format change to race to 11 for the men and race to 9 for the women, with alternating breaks.
 
This will be the 8th China Open, which has been supported by Peoples’ Government of Tangzhen Pudong New Area throughout the years. It is the first year the tournament will be held in Pudong Tangzhen Culture & Sports Center after 7 years in Shanghai Pudong Yuanshen Stadium.
 
This event is joined by players from over 30 countries , including the world's top 16 male players and top 8 female players. The new world 9 ball champion Albin Ouschan, the youngest winner of the Amway Cup Chezka Centeno, along with top players such as Darren Appleton, Mika Immonen, Thorsten Hohmann, Ralf Souquet, Noyuki Oi, Liu Haitao, Dennis Orcollo, Pin-Yi Ko, Chen Siming, Liu Sha Sha, Kim Ga-Young, Kelly Fisher, Jasmin Ouschan, Rubilen Amit, Chihiro Kawahara and Chou Chieh-Yu will compete for total prize money of $373,600 USD. The Men's division has $208,000 USD on offer with $40,000 USD going to the eventual champion. The women's first prize increases this year $32,000 USD to $36,000 USD for this year's winner. (Before Tax)
 
(This article orginally appeared at alison-chang.com and is used with permission.)

Title Defended: Liu ShaSha Crowned World Champion

Sha Sha Liu (Photo Courtesy of Alison Chang)

Liu ShaSha of China successfully defended her title and proved to the world that she is the best in women’s pool by snatching the World 9-Ball Championship title for a third time. A tight tug-of-war would be expected between the defending champion and the current Euro Tour champion Jasmine Ouschan (Austria), but the final resulted with a rather surprising and preposterous score of 9-4.
 
In the playoff, Chieh-Yu Chou of Chinese Taipei took the 2nd runner-up place by beating Chihiro Kawahara 9-7.
 
When the battle reached the semi-finals, Liu was then the only player from China left in the field. If she goes out at that stage, record would be made for the first time ever that no Chinese players were in the final since the tournament had moved to China in 2009. Immense pressure then on Liu’s shoulders.
 
Nervousness also came from other sources, such as being in the final again, the burden of defending the title, the desire to lift the trophy up for the third time, the possibility of winning the most world titles amongst team China players,… all these contributed to Liu’s tension and it was shown on her face during the final match.
 
“All along I was playing from behind throughout the whole tournament. I did not perform well. The thought of defending the title had been haunting me. Too much nerves and pressure. My coach was trying to adjust my thoughts by asking me to focus on one ball at a time; but with him being on the bench not much could be changed anything while I was out there at the table…” said the champion after the match.
 
The night before the final, Liu was telling us about her desire to defend the title in Guilin. “70% of the performance will depend on psychological, if I could clear my mind then I could play well. Judging on the regular training, being in the top 4 is already satisfactory. The final tomorrow will be mere expectation. Whether win or lose I’ll just play my game.”
 
In the double-elimination stage, Liu beat Bai Ge and Han Fang to move into the next round. After that, she knocked out Akimi Kajitani of Japan (9-0), Wei Zih-Chian of Chinese Taipei (9-5), her Chinese colleague Gao Meng (9-2), and then the 3-times Amway Cup champion Chieh-Yu Chou in the semi to reach the final against Ouschan.
 
In the group round, Jasmin Ouschan won over Jennifer Barretta and Kelly Fisher with 7:5 and 7:3 qualified for the single-knockout stage. After that, Ouschan defeated Park Eun-Ji (KOR) 9:4、Chezka Centeno (PHI) 9:8、Pan Xiaoting (CHN) 9:6 and Chihiro Kawahara (JPN) 9:8 to booked her seat in the final.
 
Having successfully defended her title, Shasha had already won the World Women 9-Ball Championship three times, passing Kim Ga-Young of Korea (2), and fell short with just one from the all time legend the “Duchess of Doom” Allison Fisher of England.

Round of 32 Begins in a Wild Ride

Xiao Fang Fu

With the knockout stages underway at the Women's World 9-ball Championship in Guilin, China, the pressure is already proving too much to bear for some players.

 
If you like your pool to resemble a roller coaster ride with plenty of hair raising twists and turns, then the next two days here at the Women’s World 9-ball Championship in Guilin in southern China will surely be everything you could have ever wanted.
 
This prediction is based on the drama that transpired today inside the Guilin gym, where Judgement Day jitters affected not only the wannabes, but even the sport’s biggest stars. Even straight in 9-balls normally made a thousand out of thousand times in practice were bobbling in the jaws under the intense pressure.
 
The first order of play today was to trim the field down to 32 where the players would switch to a single elimination knockout, race to 9. (If anyone had any doubts that Asia is the dominant region in pool, they were erased when eyeing who made it through to the Final 32: all but 5 players were from Asia.)
 
After the draw and a break for dinner, the first 8 matches in the last 32 commenced. As could be expected things didn’t get any easier as the surprises and missteps continued like a domino effect throughout the arena.  
 
Korea’s Ga Young Kim, certainly one of the top five favorites to win here this week, escaped out of her group with narrow 7-6 win over former world champion Shin Mei Lu of Taiwan. In the single elimination round of 32, Kim came up against young and talented Chinese player Wang Xiao Tong. The multi-awarded Kim was a clear favorite, but this event is no ordinary tournament. When Kim found herself in her chair down 8-7 in the race to 9, and Wang shooting a very makeable 9-ball for the win, the Korean star must have known it was curtains. Incredibly Wang missed the easy 9-ball as the crowd gasped in horror. Kim won the rack and then won the decider to stumble into the last 16.
 
2012 champion Kelly Fisher had a day she won’t soon forget, although she’d probably prefer to get a case of amnesia about now. Up 6-4 in a race to 7 in the last match of her group, Fisher missed a 9-ball to qualify, then watched opponent Wu Jing of China storm back. With the match in hand, Wu missed a near straight in 9-ball for the win. Fisher escaped into the final 32.
 
There she met up with arch rival and 2010 World 9-ball Champion, Fu Xiao Fang. This match screamed “Marquee!” and was rightfully played on the TV table, and shown on China state television channel, CCTV, to an audience numbering in the millions.
 
With several miracle escapes behind her, Fisher freewheeled it and put on a brilliant show, holding a commanding 8-5 lead in the race to 9 match. Fu, however, clawed back to tie to force a pressure packed one rack decider. The Brit’s wild ride of a tournament finally came to an end as Fu grabbed the last rack and advanced as Fisher was sent packing.
 
Taiwan’s Kuo Azu Tinh is relatively new the scene but had the Philippines’ Rubilen Amit down 8-5 in their round of 32 match. But with one rack to go, Kuo looked like she was caught in one of those bad nightmares where the prize keeps getting further and further away. Up 8-7, Kuo had a straight in 9-ball for the win but, like others before her, the 9 bobbled in the jaws. Showing her mettle, however, Kuo broke and ran the final rack and advanced to the final 16.
 
It wasn’t all drama, tension and tragic near misses today.  Defending champion Han Yu continued to show why she is still the favorite to win with two scorching performances.  Han first beat fellow Chinese Gao Meng 7-1 to win her group. In the round of 32 , Han  toyed with Singapore’s Hoe Sur Wah, winning 9-1.
 
Han, the world’s number one ranked player, doesn’t exude quite the amount of glamour that the more famous Chinese stars such as Pan Xiao ting and Fu Xiao Fang exhibit. But that seems to suit the low key red head just fine. Her play on the tables is downright clinical. After advancing to the round of 16 Han said that while she feels the pressure of the fans, she just sticks to what she knows best; practice, practice and more practice.
 
“There’s a lot of pressure on me but I just try and use the pressure to make me more active, to keep moving forward,” the 22 year old from Heibei province said through an interpreter.  “I’m not really playing perfect at the moment and I can know I can play better.
 
“After the World 9-ball last year I didn’t play well for a few months but the national team coach, Mr. Chen, taught me how to keep my emotions under control and to try to be more stable and try to control myself. I don’t like to think too much. I just try to stay focused.
 
“The only time I go out in public is when we are doing things for the national team or for my sponsors. The rest of the time I mostly hide somewhere private so I can practice more. I haven’t really gotten used to this life, to being in the spotlight. I’m a very low key person. “
 
China seems to produce an endless stream of pool talent these days and one youngster has really made her mark this year. 14 year old Jiang Teng—yes that’s right, 14 years old– won two straight matches in her group to qualify. She then came out in the round of 32 and took down former world 9-ball champion Liu Shin Mei, 9-5.
 
2009 champion Liu Shasha also advanced to the round of 16, as did Japan’s Akimi Kajatani and Indonesia’s Angeline Magdalena Ticaolu.
 
The second set of 8 matches in the round of 32 will begin on Friday at 1pm(GMT +8.) The TV table match is sure to draw tens of millions of fans from around China as the Chinese sporting legend Pan Xiaoting takes on the USA’s Jeanette Lee.
 
After Friday’s play, the field will be down to the Final Four. The semis and final will be played on Saturday.
 
The winner of the 2014 Women’s World 9-ball Champion will received $40,000. The total prize fund is $300,000.
 
*The 2014 Women’s World 9-ball will be held in Guilin, China from October 13-18, and is sanctioned by the World Pool & Billiard Association(WPA), the world governing body of pool.  64 women players from across the globe will compete for the biggest prize in Women’s Pool.  
 
The WPA  will be on hand in Guilin throughout the week bringing you all the drama from the 2014 Women’s World 9-ball Championship. WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner will be reporting with daily articles containing insight and analysis, as well as photos. Ted will also be manning the WPA Facebook page and Twitter feed and responding to fans queries and comments. Fans can also follow all matches via the WPA live scoring platform.   
 
Please visit the WPA Facebook page for the 2014 Women’s World 9-ball Championship here; http://www.facebook.com/pages/2013-WPA-Womens-World-9-ball-Championship/360470447416060?ref=hl 
 
Follow the WPA on Twitter:  @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com
 
FINAL 32 
Single Elimination
Race to 9, Alternate Break
 
Thursday,  October 16, 2014, 8pm(GMT +8)
 
Akimi Kajatani(JPN) 9 – 7  Yu Ram Cha(KOR)
Ga Young Kim(KOR) 9 – 8 Wang Xiao Tong(CHN)  
Han Yu(CHN) 9 – 1 Hoe Sur Wah(SIN)
Fu Xiao Fang(CHN) 9 – 8 Kelly Fisher(GBR)
Jiang Teng(CHN) 9 – 5 Liu Shin Mei(TPE)
Liu Shasha(CHN) 9- 7 Gao Meng(CHN)   
Angeline Magdalena Ticaolu(INA) 9 – 7 Chihiro Kawahara(JPN)   
Kuo Azu Tinh(TPE) 9 – 8 Rubilen Amit(PHL)  
 
Friday, October 17, 1pm
 
Chen Siming(CHN) vs. Jasmin Michel(GER)
Chou Chieh-yu(TPE) vs. Charlene Chai Zeet Huey(SIN)
Pan Xiaoting(CHN) vs. Jeanette Lee(USA)
Tsai Pei Chen(TPE) vs. Wei Tzu Chien(TPE)
Tan Ho Yun(TPE) vs. Masami Nouchi(JPN)
Wu Zhi Ting(TPE) vs. Allison Fisher(GBR)
Zhou Doudou(CHN) vs. Caroline Roos(SWE)
Karren Corr(GBR)  vs. Chen Xue(CHN)
 
 
 
Results, Day 2 Winners Side Matches
 
Group A
Han Yu(CHN) 7 – 1  Gao Meng(CHN) 
Fu Xiaofang(CHN)  7 – 4 Yang Fan(CHN)  
 
Group B
Allison Fisher(GBR) 7 – 5  Jung Bo Ra(KOR)
Chou Chieh Yu(TPE) 7 – 5 Charlene Chai Zeet Huey(SIN)
 
Group C
Liu Shasha(CHN) 7 – 5 Ana Mazhirina(RUS) 
Karen Corr(GBR) 7 – 0 Joanne Ashton(CAN)
 
Group D
Tan Ho Yun(TPE)  7 – 4 Caroline Roos(SWE)
 
Group E
Rubilen Amit(PHL) 7 – 1 Hoe Shu Wan(SIN)
Akimi Kajatani(JPN) 7 – 1 Masami Nouchi(JPN)
 
Group F
Pan Xiaoting(CHN)  7 – 3 Angeline Magdalena Ticaolu(INA)
Kim Ga Young(KOR) 7 – 6 Liu Shin Mei(TPE)
 
Group G
Tsai Pei Chen(TPE) 7 – 3  Jasmin Michel(GER) 
Zhou Doudou(CHN  7 – 6  Wei Tzu-Chien(TPE)  
 
Group H
 Jiang Teng(CHN) 7 – 3 Wu Jing(CHN) 
Chichiro Kawahara(JPN)  7 – 2 Jeanette Lee(USA)     
 
 
 
RESULTS LOSERS SIDE MATCHES
Winner goes through. Loser is out.
 
Group A
Chen Xue(CHN) 7 – 6 Yang Fan(CHN)
Gao Meng(CHN) 7 – 6 Chezka Centeno(PHL) 
 
 
 
Group B
Charlene Chai Zeet Huey(SIN) 7 – 3 Jennifer Barretta(USA)  
Wang Xiao Tong(CHN)  7 – 4 Jung Bo Ra(KOR)
 
Group C
Kuo Azu Tinh(TPE)   7 – 4 Joanne Ashton(CAN)
Cha Yu Ram(KOR) 7 – 2 Ana Mazhirina(RUS)
 
Group D
Wu Zhi Ting(TPE) 7 – 1 Ine Helvik(NOR)  
Caroline Roos(SWE) 7 – 5  Ina Kaplan(GER)
 
Group E
Masami Nouchi(JPN) 7 – 4 Line Kjorsvik(NOR)
Hoe Shu Wan(SIN) 7 – 3 Daria Sirotina(RUS)
 
Group F
Liu Shin Mei(TPE) 7 – 5 Li Pei Rong(TPE) 
Angeline Magdalena Ticaolu(INA) 7 – 6  Kamila Khodjiaeva(BEL)    
 
Group G
Wei Tzu-Chien(TPE) 7 – 0 Brittany Bryant(CAN)
Jasmin Michel(GER) 7 – 5 Monica Webb(USA)
 
Group H
Kelly Fisher(GBR) 7 – 6 Wu Jing(CHN)  
Jeanette Lee(USA) 7 – 5 Denise Wilkinson(NZL)