DOWN TO FINAL FOUR AT WORLD POOL CHAMPIONSHIP
Albin Ouschan will meet David Alcaide before Omar Al Shaheen faces Oliver Szolnoki in the semi-finals of the World Pool Championship after all four won their quarter-finals on Wednesday evening at Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes.
Ouschan came from 5-3 down to defeat Skyler Woodward 11-5 in the evening’s second televised quarter-final, after Alcaide had beaten Max Lechner 11-4 in his quarter-final. The two met in the Predator Championship League Pool final earlier this year, when Ouschan took home the title.
Woodward was 3-1 and then 5-3 up before a 2-ball rattled in the jaws to allow Ouschan a chance, and it was a chance he took. The Austrian settled at the table and made some great shots along the way; a great jumped 8 helped get Ouschan level and an incredible 1/9 carom took him 9-5 up before he closed out the match without Woodward scoring another rack.
“I didn’t feel that well at the beginning, I was maybe a bit stiff and cold and had to get used to the TV table again because it is a little bit different to the outside table,” said Ouschan. “After the match, I can think that the 8-ball jump shot gave me a great confidence boost.
“I played well in the end but it could have gone the other way that he runs away with the score, but I am glad he didn’t and I am happy to be in the semis. I am playing David, he played a great tournament, so I hope it will be a good match and I will expect that and try my best. I saw his match against Max Lechner and he played a great match, so I will have to try my best.”
Alcaide was 5-0 before Lechner got on the board in their semi final. It was a strong tactical game from the Spaniard, who is into his fourth World semi-final having previously made the last four in the World 8-Ball and twice at the World 10-Ball.
The two-time World Pool Masters champion reached the hill in fortunate circumstances, taking a 10-3 lead after Lechner dropped his chalk onto the 3 ball. The Austrian pulled another rack back but at 10-4 Alcaide returned to the table to wrap up a victory which sees him into the semis.
The second semi-final will see Szolnoki take on Al Shaheen. Szolnoki, the 24-year-old from Hungary, had to sweat out a strong fightback from Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz as the Spaniard recovered from 9-3 down to cut the deficit to 10-9 before the Hungarian finally sealed his place in the last four.
Al Shaheen and Tomasz Kaplan shared the first four racks of their match before the Kuwaiti pulled ahead to 4-2. Kaplan took the next two to return the scores level but Al Shaheen then built up a head of steam to lead at 6-4 and 7-5. Kaplan cut the deficit to one at 7-6 but didn’t win another rack as Shaheen confidently closed the match 11-6.
The semi-finals begin at 12pm on Thursday, before the race-to-13 final from 6pm, which will see the 2021 World Champion crowned in front of returning fans at Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes.