Dynamic Billard Laško Open presented by HOTEL THERMANA PARK LAŠKO
WIKTOR ZIELINSKI is the 2022 Dynamic Billard Lasko Open champion after downing Joshua Filler 9-7 in a pulsating final in Slovenia. It was the 21 year-old Poles second Euro Tour win in as many starts and he can look forward to a rewarding 2022 if this type of form continues. Filler can have no complaints as he gave it his all, losing a terrific contest which was decided by the smallest of margins.
It was an emotional win for Zielinski who earlier had revealed that his Ukrainian girlfriend, Daria Siranchuk, herself a regular on the women’s Euro Tour, was travelling across her home country, desperately trying to seek refuge in Poland. Zielinski admitted that the uncertainty badly affected him and was overjoyed to discover that she had made it across the border.
“In the end there was no pressure as my head was somewhere else, in Ukraine. They’re killing innocent people and I was afraid something would happen with her. I was just happy yesterday that she told me she had managed to cross the Polish border and from that point I started to play well.
“I got stronger and stronger and with each match I was gaining more and more confidence. So it was nice to win again on the Euro Tour after losing my first match and then winning something like ten in a row. It was a tough marathon and I had no time to rest,” said an emotional Zielinski.
Both players were in tip top form entering the final. In the first semi-final, Zielinski had defeated countryman Wojciech Szewczyk 9-7 in an excellent match that had seen him run out six times. In the other, a rampant Filler had too much for Eklent Kaci, finishing up a 9-5 winner.
The Polish player took the opening rack as well as the second, when Filler, who was going nicely, overran the cue ball with just the 7 and 9 on the table. His safety wasn’t tight enough and Zielinski took the last two balls.
A push out was required from Wiktor in the third game and he left a jump shot on the 2 ball on. He made an excellent attempt but was not rewarded with the position. A good safety saw Filler make contact but he left the pink 4 ball on and from there Zielinski advanced to 3-0.
Filler took the next as his push out to a jump shot paid dividends when his opponent left the 2 ball on and he cleared for 3-1. The Polish star restored his three-rack lead in the next, moving around the table with confidence.
A fast-paced break and run from Filler was just what he needed as he pegged the deficit back to two racks. Zielinski returned the favour in the next as he too ran out from the break to take his lead to 5-2. It was high-quality stuff from both players as Filler ran the next from the break. Trailing by two, he needed Zielinski to slip up somehow.
Filler got his chance in the next as Zielinski scratched on the break and with ball in hand, he ran out for 5-4 and really opened up the match. Sensing his opportunity, Joshua broke and ran the next to level the game. The pressure was back on Zielinski but he had the break in his favour in the race to 9 match.
With no clear pot on the 2 ball in the next, Zielinski played a nice snooker but Filler came with an almighty jump shot to cut the 2 into the centre pocket and set up the run out as he took the lead at 6-5. A missed 2/8 combination from Filler in the next got Zielinski back into the fray and his superior safety play prevailed as he restored parity at 6-6.
Zielinski came with another break and run and there was a feeling that winning the lag may be a telling factor in the destination of the trophy. There was no hanging around in the next as Joshua swiftly worked his way around the table to level at 7-7.
Another sledgehammer break from Zielinski set up a run out and Filler found himself breaking to stave off defeat. Having to play safe, Filler initially thought he’d got it but there was a gap between the 5 and 9 balls that allowed Zielinski to pocket the red 3. From there, he made no mistakes as he went through the balls to claim a superb win.
It was Zielinski’s second consecutive Dynamic Billard Euro Tour win – an amazing achievement that has only been accomplished twice before in 11 years. He can now look forward to Treviso, Italy in April and a chance to go one better.
“It’s a really special achievement to win two in a row. It’s a really tough tournament with all the strongest players in Europe. Maybe there will be three in a row? I have really good memories of Treviso – I won there last November and it’s also where I met Daria!”
The Dynamic Billard Lasko Open was the first of six events in the 2022 Dynamic Billard Euro Tour series and players battle for Tour ranking points, as well as world ranking points for the newly implemented system operated by Matchroom Sport.
The next event is the Dynamic Billard Treviso Open Presented by Best Western BHR Hotel & 5M Pool & Games which runs from 30th April to 2nd May.
All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com
Results, live scoring and draw are available at www.epbf.com