Germany 6-7 Estonia
Japan 4-7 Hong Kong, China
Chinese Taipei 7–2 Romania
Germany and Japan were dumped out of the BetVictor World Cup of Pool on Wednesday afternoon as Estonia and Hong Kong, China upset the odds at the Morningside Arena, Leicester, live on Sky Sports, DAZN and networks worldwide.
There were no such problems for Chinese Taipei, however, as brothers Ko Pin Yi and Ko Ping Chung defeated Romania 7-2.
The first match of the day saw one of the pre-tournament favourites, Germany, take on Estonia, made up of Denis Grabe and Mark Magi. The German team comprised former World Cup winner Ralf Souquet and reigning World Champion Joshua Filler and were fancied by many to go all the way this year.
The teams exchanged the first eight racks, although at 1-1 Grabe snatched at the 9 to leave Souquet a cut which the former World Cup winner missed, giving Estonia a let off.
At 4-3 down and breaking, Magi made the tournament’s first golden break to bring the match level, and from there Estonia opened up a 4-6 lead. Germany pulled one back on their break, but at 6-5 Estonia looked to have a roadmap to the second round. However, Magi scratched to the middle pocket and the German’s took it to hill-hill.
At that stage Souquet and Filler took a toilet break, keeping Estonia in their chair to dwell on the mistake. When they returned, Souquet was breaking but they lost position on the 5 and it was Estonia who got the better of the safety, and eventually the rack, for a 7-6 win.
“We are delighted with the win,” said Grabe. “We beat one of the top seeds, Germany. We know Joshua Filler is the World Champion so it was a tough match but we played well and we are happy with the win.
“We know we are capable of playing really, really well. Last year we only lost 7-6 to the winners, China, so we know we can play against these guys.”
The second match saw a second unseeded team advance as the young duo of Lo Ho Sum and Yip Kin Ling took Hong Kong, China into the second round. They dumped Japan – Naoyuki Oi and Toru Kuribayashi – out 7-4.
The Japanese favourites stormed to a 3-0 lead but Hong Kong, China fought back to level the all-Asian affair. The 19-year-old Yip then executed a brilliant jump to bank the 3 as his side moved ahead for the first time. Japan hit back but from there it was all Hong Kong and the young pairing saw out the victory to advance to the second round.
Among the pre-tournament favourites were Chinese Taipei, and the Ko brothers Pin Yi and Ping Chung showed none of the issues suffered by some of the seeded teams as they dispatched Romania 7-2.
Having fallen behind in rack one, the Romanian duo Babken Melkonian and Ioan Ladanyi levelled after breaking in the second. Chinese Taipei, though, were on the hill before Romania could get their second rack and the comeback was over before it started, a mistake on the 8 gifting Chinese Taipei the rack, and the match.
The BetVictor World Cup of Pool continues with three more first round matches, including hosts Great Britain A against Tony Drago’s Malta.
The BetVictor World Cup of Pool is sponsored by Rasson Billiards, who supply the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Predator are the Official Cue of the event and Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip.