POLAND’S WIKTOR ZIELINSKI took the honours in the final Dynamic Billiard Euro Tour of the year as he defeated Mats Schjetne of Norway 9-4 in the championship match at the BHR Treviso Hotel in the northern Italian city. It was the 20 year-old’s second Euro Tour title, his first coming in the same venue in 2017 when Zielinski became the youngest ever player to win an ET title.
“Treviso is a really nice place for me; I’ve won two Euro Tours here now, I met my girlfriend here, so yes, I really like this place!’ commented a delighted Zielinski.
“My girlfriend really helped me a lot here as I was playing five matches a day for two days in a row and I didn’t have time to eat so she bought me some pizza so I’m really thankful to her.
“I lost my first match of the tournament and was on the losers’ side so I had to win five matches yesterday so I was exhausted but I felt better today though. I felt I could have been out of the event yesterday so this morning I thought, ‘let’s see what happens’”, he added.
Seemingly from a never-ending production line of top-drawer Polish players, Zielinski always had too much for his opponent in the final. Ironically, Zielinski lost his opening match of the tournament to local player Filippo Cataldi, but from there he put his foot down.
A win 9-5 win over Ralf Souquet put him into the single elimination last 32 where he beat Fedor Gorst 9-8. The winning shot, a 3/9 combination into the centre pocket saw the 9-ball wobble in the jaws before rolling across the table and falling into the bag opposite.
A comfortable win over countryman Daniel Maciol put him into the last eight before successive 9-8 victories against Alexander Kazakis and Francisco Sanchez Ruiz advanced him to the final. In fact, he derailed Sanchez Ruiz’s ambition of winning three consecutive Euro Tour titles, squeaking through by the narrowest of margins.
Schjetne enjoyed some high-quality wins en route to the final defeating the likes of Mariusz Skoneczny before going down to Dennis Grabe in the winners’ qualification round. A do-or-die 9-8 win over the highly commendable teenager Bojana Sarac saw him through to the last 32.
Wins over Nikos Ekonomopoulos, Francesco Candela and Sergey Lutsker put him into the semi-final where he also defeated a Spaniard in the last four; this time David Alcaide by a 9-6 margin.
The final was finely poised at 4-3 to Zielinski with Schjetne breaking, but the Norwegian failed to make contact with the object ball kicking off the side rail and Zielinski ran out to go 5-3. The Pole capitalised on it as he ran the next to put three racks between him and his opponent.
A dry break from Schjetne cost him dearly in the tenth game as Zielinski cleared the table to continue his sprint to the line at 7-3. The next rack was make or break for Schjetne and both players executed some high-quality safeties but it was the Pole who prevailed to reach the hill.
Schjetne showed some great heart to run out the next but it was too big a gap to bridge as the young Polish star composed himself after a solid break shot to take his second Euro Tour title.
For Mats Schjetne, it was his best ever finish in a Euro Tour event following three previous semi-final appearances; “Right now it feels a little bad but tomorrow it will feel awesome I hope so! Wiktor played almost perfect in the final and there wasn’t much I could do. I’ve had a lot of support though, and it’s been an amazing ride this week.”
Play continues tomorrow, Sunday, in the third and final event of the Predator Ladies Euro Tour. Play will commence at 9.00 local time with the losers’ qualification round, followed by the last 16 and plays to a conclusion on Sundayevening.
The matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com
Results, live scoring and draw are available at www.epbf.com