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Europeans on a flow

Ekelt Kaci (left) and Konrad Juszczyszyn

The European players at the 42nd US Open in Norfolk, VA, USA, are doing quite well so far. in general. Outstanding performances however were delivered especially by Eklent Kaci (ALB) and Konrad Juszczyszyn (POL).

Konrad Juszczyszyn came out quite strong to Norfolk. Having won a very prestigious straight pool tournament last week in Richmond, VA, the young Polish kind of let his status as underdog but definitely benefitted from newly gained self confidence. His performance matched that assessment. In the US Open, Juszczyszyn started with a convincing 11:3 over Finland’s Juha Mallinen. Then, he met Joshua Filler who is one of pool’s powerhouses in Europe. The German turned out to be too strong for Juszczyszyn that day and handed him an 11:9 defeat. But Juszczyszyn did not think about giving in. He grew even stronger and destroyed China’s Xiang Han Hao in loser’s round 4 with 11:3. His next victim was Ruslan Chinakhov RUS. The Polish came like a thunderstorm over the Russian and eliminated him with 11:2 from the event. Juszczyszyn is now up against Rodney Morris (USA) in the next loser’s round.

Another remarkable match took place between Eklent Kaci and Darren Appleton (GBR). The Albanian who has taken an enourmous development over the last year met the experienced World Games Gold Medallist 2013 and former World Champion Darren Appleton. The match was experience against youth. Kaci managed to take a high lead over Appleton but the Brit never surrendered and started an amazing comeback. Kaci however, kept his nerves together and also had Lady Luck on his side at times. In the final stage of the match, Kaci had some better safety play than Appleton which made the difference. „I am very happy with my performance so far“, stated the Albanian after the match. It was a great effort from both players and I’m looking forward to my next match now. After I won the World Series tournament in New York earlier this year, I know I can play with the best.“ Probably an estimation that many people would subscribe. After the match, Appleton stated the following on his Facebook page: „Lost a long tough match against Klenti Kaci 11-8 on TV Table Missed a chance 2nd game and that was a 6 game swing as didn’t get a look in until 6-0 down ,then 7-1 down I come back really well to 9-8 then was a little unlucky after the break shot but that’s pool, he played a good match also.. felt good out there and enjoyed playing again just wasn’t my day… go over to losers bracket guaranteed 17th play tmrw 6.30pm“ This statement comes from a well known world class player and should serve as an example to many other players out there as to how to handle a defeat!

Still remaining on the winner’s side from Europe, joining Eklent Kaci are Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (ESP), Thorsten Hohmann (GER) and Jayson Shaw (GBR). They are all among the remaining final 8 on the winner’s side and are guaranteed 9th place in this prestigious event if worse comes to worst. Sanchez will play Naoyuki Oi (JPN), Kaci will deal with Corey Deuel (USA), Hohmann will face Ko Ping.-Chung (TPE) and Shaw will be up against Billy Thorpe (USA).

Yesterday’s results from European players:

Loser’s round 4

M Vidal Claramunt ESP v K Corr 11:2

J Mallinen FIN v W Can CHN 11:9

I Majid GBR v N Lim PHI 11:3

R Chinakhov RUS v J Moody USA 11:2

K Juszczyszyn POL v XH Hao CHN 11:3

N vd Berg NED v KL Wu TPE 11:10

P Makkonen FIN v A Hopkins USA 11:3

B. Buckley GBR v D. Orcollo PHI 4:11

D Alcaide ESP v JQ Wu CHN 10:11

M Verkic SRB v B Shearer USA 11:8

M Immonen FIN v B Stottlemyer USA 11:3

N Malai GRE v A Borukhovich USA 11:3

C Matikainen FIN v R Souquet GER 11:8

D Grabe EST v K Cheng TPE 5:11

C Salim GER v CY Lung TPE 8:11

G Weissenberger GER v S Woodward USA 2:11

Loser’s round 5

J Mallinen FINM Vidal Claramunt ESP 11:10

I Majid GBR v J Pinegar USA 10:11

K Juszczyszyn POL v R Chinakhov RUS 11:2

N vd Berg NED v O Dominguez USA 11:8

P Makkonen FIN v T Takano JPN 11:5

M Immonen FIN v M Verkic SRB 11:6

N Malai GRE v J Jones USA 8:11

C Matikainen FIN v J Bergman USA 8:11

Loser’s round 6

M He AUT v J Mallinen FIN 11:10

J Filler GER v J Pinegar USA 11:7

M Immonen FIN v J Archer USA 11:7

R Babica POL v J Jones USA 11:8

Winner’s round 4

F Sanchez-Ruiz ESP v LL Wen TPE 11:9

K Kaci ALB v D Appleton GBR 11:8

A Ouschan AUT v C Deuel USA 6:11

T Hohmann GER v J Morra CAN 11:7

J Shaw SCO v Y Akagaiyama JPN 11:3

As a mid term evaluation it can be said that the Europeans are doing quite well here in Norfolk. Out of 8 remaining players on the winner’s side, 4 are Europeans. On the loser’s side, 11 Europeans are still keeping a foot in the door.

The EPBF will follow the path of the European players and keep you updated on the EPBF Facebook page with results, statements, interviews, pictures and more. Check out our page if you want to be part of the action. For watching the event LIVE on the internet, you can get pay-per-view access at http://www.accu-stats.com/liveppv.html