Yu-Hsuan Cheng Becomes First Chinese Taipei US Open Winner

Yu-Hsuan Cheng
When the final day began at the U.S. Open, there were only four men left in action. The first to fall away was Ralf Souguet who lost 11-6 to Haitao Liu.  The hot seat match was not much of a contest. Yu-Hsuan Cheng dominated the  match and Karl Boyes only rarely rose from his chair. The final result was 11-3 and Karl could do nothing but await his opportunity against Haitao Liu.
Boyes got a better start in this match and soon led 3-1.  But in the next rack Boyes scratched while shooting the one ball and Liu took that gift home to narrow the score to 3-2. Boyes fouled again in the 6th rack and again Liu capitalized to tie the score at three apiece. Liu scratched on the next break and Boyes ran the rack to lead 4-3 in the race to 11 games. From there, Liu grabbed the momentum and continued claiming racks until he led 9-4. Boyes won the next one to bring us to 9-5 and called for a 5-minute break. When play resumed Boyes appeared energized and committed. He broke and ran the next rack and then in game 18 he played a safe that caused Liu to make a bad hit and then he made a heroic bank on the 5-ball to claim the rack. The heightened aggression was paying off. 9-7 with Boyes breaking.  Boyes broke dry and left a wide-open table.
Liu was hearing the footsteps. He began to hesitate at the table, blew his position on the 4 ball, and that caused him to be so out of line on the 5 that he fouled the shot. When the 9 ball fell Boyes had pulled within a single game at 9-8. Boyes cleared the next table like it was routine and now stood tied with Liu at 9.
Here is where we need to tell you that in the semi-final and final of the U.S. Open you must win by two games, though there is a cap at 13 games (15 in the finals as it is a race to 13) so Boyes or Liu could win from the hill if the game were to become tied at 12.
Boyes broke and ran the next rack to get to the initial hill. He broke dry and everything had a pocket but some balls were close to others so shape would be crucial for Liu to claim this rack. Liu had a long opening shot and missed it. The footsteps in his ear were now ahead of him. Boyes approached the table like he owned it. He made the tough run look routine and won the match 11-9. This was a truly remarkable performance. The man had been down 9-4 and then denied his opponent another rack. He won 7 racks in a row. I see a Mosconi Cup in his near future.
Yu-Hsuan Cheng opened our final with a break and run but then broke dry in the second rack. Boyes took full advantage and we were tied at 1 in this race to thirteen (with the aforementioned win-by-two stipulation). Then the Cheng train began to roll. Racks began to fall for him and soon he led 4-1 before committing an illegal break where three balls failed to pass the side pocket. It mattered little. Cheng regained control of the table late in the rack and ran it out to lead 6-1. 
Then Cheng again hit an illegal break shot in rack 8. Boyes took that one to trail 6-2 and took a timeout. Boyes broke and ran the next rack and then the next went his way as well to bring us to 6-4. When he broke the next rack, the cueball nearly scratched but hung up in the corner leaving Cheng shooting deep out of the corner on a long 1 ball that he missed. Boyes made a nice run and had things in hand when he took an easy 8 ball for granted and hung it in the corner. Cheng increased his lead to 7-4. 
Boyes took the next rack (7-5) but then fouled on the 1 ball in the next rack and let Cheng out to 8-5. Boyes took one back in the next rack but then Cheng took the next and our score stood at 9-6. He then took the next two racks with just solid pool playing and led 11-6. Things had turned very dark for Karl Boyes. It would get no brighter. Cheng commanded the table from there and ran away with the games to win the 40th Annual U.S. Open 13-6.