Van den Berg moves to top of Euro Mosconi rankings

Nick Van Den Berg

NICK van den Berg has moved to the top of the European Mosconi Cup rankings after reaching the final of the Paris Open.

Dutchman van den Berg was a member of the winning 2010 European Mosconi Cup side and he is well-placed to be picked in 2011 as he is first after three events.

At the weekend in the latest event on the Euro Tour, van den Berg defeated Guilherme Sousa (Portugal), Ruslan Chinakhov (Russia), Joakim Haugen and Vegar Kristianssen (both Norway), Jayson Shaw (Scotland), Konstantin Stepanov (Russia) and Kristoffer Mindreboe (Norway) to reach the final.

However, he could not claim his sixth Euro tour title as he lost a thrilling final 8-9 against Mosconi Cup veteran Ralf Souquet.

The Kaiser lost his opening match in Paris against Serbia's Sandor Tot and then had to battle through four matches on the one-loss side before Souquet gained revenge against Tot with a 9-3 win in the last qualifying round.

Victories against Thomas Engert (Germany), David Alcaide (Spain), Mattey Ullah (Norway), Niels Feijen (Holland) and van den Berg gave Souquet his 17th Euro Tour title and lifted him up to equal third in the Mosconi Cup rankings.

England's Chris Melling, a winner at the Portugal Open in October, is in second in the rankings, while countyman Darren Appleton, the Most Valuable Player at the 2010 Mosconi Cup, is level with Souquet in tied third.

For the first time a European ranking list will include performances at major world events as well as those on the Euro Tour. The top three players after the 2011 US Open will qualify for the 2011 Mosconi Cup, while Matchroom Sport will pick the remaining two players through wild cards.

The European Mosconi Cup Ranking will consist of 13 events - seven Euro Tour events and six 'World' events. The 'World' events will carry approximately 50 per cent more points due to the international strength of the field.

Only players finishing in the last 32 of each event will be allocated points and at the conclusion, after the 2011 US Open, the top three players will automatically gain entry to the Mosconi Cup side.

The Events
Euro Tour Events
Portugal Open, 28-30 October
Spanish Open, 2-4 December
French Open, 10-12 February
Italian Open, 14-16 April
TBA Open, 26-28 May
Austrian Open, 7-9 July
German Open, 25-27 August

World Events
World 8 Ball Championship, 19-26 February
World Pool Masters, 1-5 June
China Open, 6 -12 June
World 9 Ball Championship, 25 June - 2 July
Beijing Open, 15-28 August
US Open 9 Ball Championship, 17-22 October