World Nineball Tour No.1 and home favourite Francisco Sanchez Ruiz safely progressed to the Winners Qualification stage at the inaugural Spanish Open Pool Championship being held at Pazo de Feiras e Congresos de Lugo, Spain live on DAZN in Spain, the USA, Italy, and Brazil, Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics and Poland as well as live on Sky Sports from Saturday and Sunday.
Sanchez Ruiz headed into the tournament as a red-hot favourite with the bookies at 13/2 and the Spaniard lived up to that early pricing in front of an expectant home crowd with victories over Enrique Rodriguez Lema and Nikolaos Malai ensuring a safe passage to the next stage of the tournament as he hunts for his fifth Matchroom title within 12 months.
The current US Open and World Champion was proud to get underway in such fashion with the home crowd behind him: “For me, it is amazing to play in my country and for me and for everyone it is a pleasure to have one of the biggest tournaments, I am really excited. I know almost everyone here, I really want to do an excellent job for everyone here and my country. I feel really good. I feel comfortable.”
Recent UK Open champion Eklent Kaçi continued from where he left off in London to bulldoze his was into being one away from the Last 64 with wins over Heriberto Aybar Santana and Jaume Tapies only dropping three racks in the process and he will be joined by younger brother Kledio who put on one of the performances of the first round to beat World Pool Championship finalist Mohammad Soufi 9-5 and then recent World Pool Masters competitor Zheng Xiao Huai 9-5 on his World Nineball Tour debut.
Joshua Filler’s campaign for another signature Matchroom multi-table title got off to the best of starts with wins over Sascha Lobert and Adrian Trillo Barca to set up a tantalising clash with Johann Chua tomorrow. Chua’s compatriot James Aranas lost his cue in transit so had to play his opening match against World Snooker Tour top 16 player Gary Wilson with his World Cup of Partner’s cues. Aranas led for the whole contest against Wilson until the very last ball when an erroneous bank on the nine left Wilson in to snatch it for one of his biggest scalps in Nineball. For Aranas, the Filipino bounced back against Arseny Sevastyanov to reach Losers Round 3 and avoid an early exit.
Skyler Woodward reached the semi-finals at the UK Open last month having come from the losers side and he will have to do it again suffering defeat to Dang Jin Hu of China 9-7 whilst Soufi’s journey was ended by Wang Can who continued his journey on the losers side.
Tomorrow begins from 10 am tomorrow with Losers Round 3. For those who have won twice with no losses, the Winners Qualification stage doesn’t begin until late mornign. Satch odds can be found online through various online gaming websites.
Outright Odds – Selected
- Joshua Filler – 7/1
- Shane Van Boening 9/1
- Eklent Kaçi 9/1
- Albin Ouschan 12/1
- Ko Pin Yi 14/1
- Jayson Shaw 16/1
- Fedor Gorst 16/1
- Wu Jia Qing 18/1
- David Alcaide 22/1
Live rack-by-rack scoring will be available throughout the event at www.matchroompool.com thanks to our partners PRP.
Wherever you are in the world, you will be able to sweat the action with broadcasters globally and live on the Matchroom Pool and Multi Sport YouTube channels in selected territories and on Matchroom.Live. UK and Ireland based fans can see the final two days on Sky Sports with the opening four on Matchroom.Live and the Matchroom YouTube. Fans in the USA will be able to watch all six days live on DAZN whilst those in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Poland, and Netherlands can watch live on Viaplay. Fans in the Philippines meanwhile will be able to sweat the action on TAP Go and those in Vietnam on VietContent channels.
The Spanish Open Pool Championship is one of five 256-player field tournaments promoted by Matchroom on the World Nineball Tour in partnership with The Asociación Gallega de Billar Pool (AGP), with players set to fight through a seeded double elimination stage led by the top 128 on the World Nineball Tour Rankings before only 64 make it to the single elimination rounds.