GERMANY’S PIA FILLER is the 2022 Predator Slovenian Open champion following a 7-5 victory over fellow countrywoman Ina Kaplan in Lasko, Slovenia. Filler had come close before, losing the final last time out in Bulgaria but today was her day as she showed resolve and determination to close out a match that could have gone either way.
“It just feels incredible!” she said.
“It’s the best feeling to win a tournament. It’s my first Euro Tour title and I’ve been working so hard and it’s always nice when you see that the work that you put in pays off.
“I got close last year and played a good season this year so I always knew that I was at the point where I was capable of winning the tournament but I’d just never done it.”
Earlier, Filler had revenged her final defeat in Petrich to Eyllul Kibaroglu, beating her 7-2 in their semi-final match while Kaplan beat countrywoman Melanie Sussenguth by 7-5 to make the final.
There was a lot of back-and-forth in the opening rack which ultimately went to Kaplan but Filler took the second to level things before a tidy out from Kaplan restored her lead.
A dry break from Filler in the fourth game yielded no balls but it was also illegal so Kaplan, with the 1 ball blocked, handed the table back to her opponent. A safety from Kaplan forced Filler to jump and but with the table looking nice and open, Kaplan overran going from 4 to 5 and her safety attempt left the 5-ball on. Filler did well to clear the remaining five balls to level once again.
Filler edged the next to take the lead for the first time. Despite a good break in the next, she couldn't get it going and the opportunity fell to Kaplan. She composed herself well to run out and draw level at 3-3. Filler though, restored her lead in the next.
That soon became 5-3 as Filler, sensing that her time had come, stepped up for a focused run out. Kaplan wasn’t done though as she picked up the pace in the next with a fine break and run. A tight snooker from Filler in the next put Kaplan in a heap of trouble and she scratched with her escape attempt. Further snookers with ball-in-hand won Filler the rack on the three-foul rule and open up a two-rack lead and put her on the hill.
The pair exchanged safeties as the blue 2 seemed to have a mind of its own. Kaplan finally potted it and held herself together to clear the table and keep the match alive. A great break from Filler, her best of the match, saw two balls drop and the 1-ball available. With the winning line in sight, Filler held herself together superbly to run out and claim her first ever Predator Ladies Euro Tour title.
Filler added, “The first one is always the toughest and this time I felt great; I won all my matches quite clearly so I felt confident and that today was going to be my day.
“I want to win every possible tournament I play in but instead of looking at my results, I’m more looking at my development of my game and my improvement as that’s much more important because if I keep on working hard the results will come.”
Kaplan commented, “We both made some mistakes and it was back-and-forth for both of us. The break didn’t work out at all for both of us. But in the end, Pia got good breaks and she played really good so it’s OK to lose, kind of!”
All Predator Euro Tour Women tournaments are 9-ball and the field contest a double-elimination format, playing down to the last 16 competitors, and then single elimination until the finish. All matches are a race to 7 racks with alternate break.
All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com
Results, live scoring and draw are available at www.epbf.com