Predator Women’s Laško Open presented by HOTEL THERMANA PARK LAŠKO
AMALIA MATAS of Spain is the 2022 Predator Women’s Lasko Open champion as she out-paced Poland’s Oliwia Zalewska by 7-3 to claim her first ever win on the Tour. The match was never a classic but the Spanish lady remained focused throughout and got the job done in impressive style.
Cheered on by a bank of Spanish players, Matas could barely contain her delight after she pocketed the winning 9-ball.
“It was a difficult match being the final but I started well and just tried to stay focused on every ball. You can never look too far ahead in any match and she started to come back at me a little. I knew I would get a chance though and thankfully I was able to take it,” said Matas after the game.
From 38 starters these were the last two ladies standing. Matas, ranked No.15, had earlier defeated Hannan Memic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) 7-1 in a comfortable semi-final match, while Zalewska had prevailed in a hard-fought contest against Norway’s Line Kjorsvik.
Matas took the opener and added to her lead with some careful potting in the second rack. There was more confident play from the Spanish girl as she closed out the third to take a very useful 3.0 lead. She got back to the table in the next following a dry break from Zalewska and did well to clear to increase her lead.
With no balls on the break from Matas, Zalewska had a great opportunity to stop the rot but missed the 1 ball, The rack then became scrappy as both players missed a succession of balls and when Matas scratched playing a safety, it gave Zalewska the chance to get on the scoreboard and calm herself at 4.1.
The Spaniard took the next as Zalewska’s nerves began to show as she struggled to settle at the table. With a 5-1 lead in the race-to-7 match, it looked as if Matas had done all the hard work. Both ladies had multiple visits in the next but Matas gained ball in hand when Zalewska failed to extract herself from a snooker. From there, Matas ran out to put herself on the hill at 6-1.
Zalewska delivered her best break of the match in the next as she spread the balls out and left an easy pot on the 1 ball. She then ran out to reduce the arrears and give herself a massive confidence boost.
Breaking for the match, Matas fell foul of the three-point rule to hand the table back to the Polish girl. Needing to win every rack now, Zalewska looked much more comfortable as she ran out to get to 6-3. Unfortunately, she scratched off the break in the next to give Matas the table and a chance to run out for the win. Looking at her maiden Euro Tour title, she grabbed the opportunity to crown a 7-3 victory.
“To win my first ever Predator Euro Tour event is something fantastic for me. I practice hard and come to the tournaments but this win makes all the difference. Hopefully, it will give me more confidence so I can compete at the same level for the rest of the year,” added Matas.
The Predator Women’s Euro Tour was the first in a series of six events over 2022, with the remaining five tournaments taking place in Treviso, Italy (April), St. Johann im Pongau, Austria (June), Petrich, Bulgaria (August), venue to be announced (October), and Treviso, Italy in November.
Matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com
Results, live scoring and draw are available at www.epbf.com