Kaci wins tournament in New York

Eklent Kaci – Picture © by WPS/JP Parmentier

Young Eklent Kaci from Albania has just taken the crown at the second edition of the WPS tournaments in New York, USA. The 18-year-old defeated Jayson Shaw (GBR) in the semi-finals with 2:0 in sets and then went ahead and took down Carlo Biado (PHI) with the same result.

This is probably the biggest victory in the young career of Kaci. The field in New York was packed with many players from all over the World, including some European players such as Ralf Souquet (GER), Alexander Kazakis (GRE), Mark Gray (GBR), Ruslan Chinakhov (RUS) and many others from the European top rankings.

Kaci’s start into the event was not so promising at all. He clears Jennifer Baretta (USA) with 9:4 in his first match but then fell to Alexander Kazakis (GRE) 2:9. That already took him to the loser’s side of the event. He made his way to the loser’s qualification match against Imran Majid (GBR) with victories over Ron Mason (USA) 9:1, Jimmy Rivera (PRI) by forfeit, Skyler Woodward (USA) 9:5 and Tomoo Takano (JPN) 9:2. Then he engaged Majid and the match turned into a fierce battle and went hill-hill at 8:8. Then, according to the tournament’s rules, a shootout took place. Kaci demonstrated nerves of steel when he won the shootout 4:2, pocketing all of the 4 shots that were put in front of him on the slate. That victory took Kaci to the single elimination field of the remaining 16 players. There, the format changed to a set format. The winner needed two out of three sets, race to 6. The list of Kaci’s opponents reads quite impressive. First he took down Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (ESP) 2:1. Then he eliminated Jeffrey De Luna (PHI) 2:0. He marched on and ousted Jayson Shaw (GBR) 2:0 in the semi-final and took the event with a clear 2:0 triumph over Carlo Biado.

„I am feeling wonderful with my performance in New York“, stated Kaci in an ITV after the event. „After my loss against Alexander Kazakis in round two, I started playing perfect and after making it into the singlelimination of the last 16 players, I had the feeling that I can do this“, Kaci added. This victory brings wind underneath the sails of the young Albanian and his next goal is the Dynamic Billard Austrian Open, coming in May 2017.