Tony Drago wins Eurotour French Open

Tony Drago

After three second place finishes on the Eurotour circuit in his short career as a poolplayer, Tony Drago has won the French Open. He played against a red-hot Reimering, but came out a very happy winner, 10-6.

On Saturday the last 32 players started play at 10:00 in the morning. Seven Germans and six Britons outnumbered the other Europeans. The Britons, with all their former snookerplayer-firepower are really making their mark on the European and global scene. Peach, Majid, Appleton and Boyes are names that nowadays sound as intimidating as do Souquet, Engert and Ortmann. Christian Reimering can definitely be added to the German shortlist. He has won two Eurotour titles in the past two years, as well as the prestigious Weert Open, only a month ago.

Amongst the singletons from other countries were still plenty of fierce competitors, hungry and very able to win this French Open: Niels Feijen, Nick Van Den Berg, Marcus Chamat, David Alcaide, Tony Drago.

For this Eurotour a change was applied to the format. Due to the soft-break discussion that has really started during and after the last World Championships in Manila, the IBP/EPBF has decided to rack the (tapped) balls with the 9-ball on the spot. This is to diminish the equalizing element of the tapped rack and thereby giving back the elite-players some of their advantage.

Marcus Chamat - Christian Reimering
Marco Tschudi - Niels Feijen
Oliver Ortmann - Markus Juva
Thomas Engert - Tony Drago

Drago showed why his nickname has been The Tornado for more than twenty years. Where other matches had only seen the trading of four or five racks, Engert was already in his car, heading eastwards. Marco Tschudi from Switzerland and Niels Feijen played an awesome match. Tschudi, clearly the underdog in this match, was up 7 to 1 at one point in the match. Somewhat later, the score being 9 to 3, everyone accepted Niels' loss for a fact. Not Niels though, he fought back tot hill-hill, mounting the pressure on Tschudi with every 9-ball deposited. But alas, Niels' comeback proved to be one rack short of victory. Tschudi escaped narrowly from an otherwise surely traumatizing defeat and this nailbiter might just be that little bit extra, needed for a first major win.

Christian Reimering - Marco Tschudi
Markus Juva - Tony Drago

This assumption was proven wrong by Reimering. He and Drago dispatched themselves comfortably from Tschudi, and Markus Juva respectively. Reimering versus Drago was the determined final. Drago has made his presence on the Eurotour very much felt the past two years, but is still to win his first Eurotour. He was in the final three times! Reimering on the other hand, knows probably better than any other European, how to close the deal in a Eurotour final. Only he and Imran Majid have won two titles in the past two and a half years.

In the final of the Eurotour French Open he was up for his third title against Drago. But a hungry, sharp, crisp and phenomenal Tony seized the opportunity…totally in Drago-style. He is now World Pool Masters winner, Mosconi Cup winner, Eurotour Winner…what's next to come?

File photo courtesy of Rick Schmitz