Zaja takes down Kazakis on Euro-Tour

Left to right: Alexander Kazakis, Edmond Zaja and Joshua Filler
In winner’s round 2 of the Dynamic Billard Sankt Johann im Pongau Open 2018 Euro-Tour, underdog player Edmond Zaja (ALB) took down favoured Alexander Kazakis (GRE) with 9:6.
The late match between Zaja and Kazakis started just before midnight. Due to the large amount of participants, this late round was necessary. In the beginning, Kazakis was in complete control of the match. But Zaja stood tall and gave Kazakis a hard time. After six racks, the scoreboard displayed 3:3. In rack 7, Zaja even got in control of the match and got a 4:3 advantage over favoured Kazakis. From that time onwards, the match emerged into a close combat between the two contestants. They both took their racks in turns and kept the score tight. It was Edmond Zaja who managed to break that rhythm when he won the 14th rack in order to get an 8:6 lead over Kazakis, being on the hill. He had his own break shot coming up. The break was good and he sailed smoothly through the rack, winning the match with 9:6 over Kazakis.
Earlier today, Joshua Filler (GER) stormed over Daryl Peach (GBR) with 9:1. Filler played very fast but also had several mistakes. However, Peach did not benefit from them at all. Instead, he played very negligent and it looked like he did not want to win that match at all. Maybe Filler’s performance had destroyed him in the early stage of the match already. When Filler committed some positional errors in the first racks, he still cleared the rack using rails and jump shots in order to finish the table to his liking. That was too much for Peach. Trailing 1:8, he even missed an easy 9-ball which was lying close to the corner pocket.
If a trophy for the best sportsmanship would be awarded at the Euro-Tour, today Jan Kjetil Nordrum (NOR) would definitely have achieved it. In his winner’s round 1 match against Friedrich Rassi (AUT) the score was 8:8 when Rassi was at the table after the break shot. The table was completely open. Rassi was aiming at the 2-ball, ready to fire it in. In that moment, Nordrum informed him before the shot that the 1-ball was still on the table. Rassi thanked him and ran the table so that Nordrum lost that match with 8:9. However, he has won a lot of respect from everybody who could witness that action of true sportsmanship.
Tomorrow, the event will continue at 09:00 CET with matches from winner’s round 2.
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