Fedor Gorst survived a huge scare in the opening match of his World Pool Championship defence as he fought back from 5-1 and 6-2 down to defeat Estonia’s Mark Magi 9-7 at Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes.
Jayson Shaw found himself 6-0 down against World Under-17 champion Moritz Neuhausen of Germany. But the former US Open champion and current Mosconi Cup MVP, being watched by European captain Alex Lely, wasn’t going to lie down and began a confident fightback, winning eight racks without reply. The German youngster cut the deficit to 8-7 with Shaw on the hill but the Scot wrapped up the match 9-7.
There were also opening session wins for Predator Championship League Pool winner Albin Ouschan, who beat Fabio Petroni 9-5, and Finland’s Mika Immonen who beat Kristina Tkach 9-4 having been 3-1 down early on.
The World Pool Championship opens with a double elimination group stage, so those who have already won one match are one away from reaching the last 64. Those who lost their opening fixtures play again on Monday, against another player who has suffered defeat and the loser will be eliminated.
Former World Champion Thorsten Hohmann came through a hill-hill finish against German compatriot Tobias Bongers, and World Under-19 Champion Jonas Souto Comino of Spain inflicted a 9-3 defeat on Karol Skowerski.
Alex Kazakis, who was recently crowned World Pool Masters champion, was up against his mixed-doubles partner Kelly Fisher, the Women’s World Champion, and the Greek star was a 9-1 winner.
Gorst had twice been four racks down on the TV table at the start of the session, but took five in succession to lead Magi 7-6. The defending champion missed a 9 to reach the hill, but having levelled at 7-7 Magi didn’t take another rack and Gorst won 9-7. He’ll face Mark Gray for a place in the last 64.
The World Pool Championship continues at 6pm (UK) time on Sunday, June 6 and is broadcast live on Sky Sports, DAZN and Matchroom.Live. Live scoring as well as complete tournament results and match schedule can be found at www.matchroompool.com.