Fedor Gorst won a dramatic shootout against Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz to reach the semi-finals of the FargoRate Ohio Open and will take on Denis Grabe for a place in the final, where either Eklent Kaci or Roberto Gomez will await.
Gorst beat Sanchez-Ruiz 9-8 on shootout, with the Spaniard’s miss in the ninth innings the only failed spot shot from either player. Estonia’s Grabe defeated defending champion Mario He to reach the last four, while Kaci advanced with a win over Mika Immonen and Gomez knocked out Dutchman Jan van Lierop.
Both semi-finals and the final take place on Saturday at the Roberts Center in Wilmington, Ohio, which is also staging the CSI Ohio State Championships. The FargoRate Ohio Open champion will win $25,000 and a guaranteed invite to the 2023 Predator World 10-Ball Championship, taking place in February in Las Vegas.
Spain’s Sanchez-Ruiz is enjoying what is now the best year of his career by some distance and hadn’t lost a set until he came up against Gorst in the last eight in Ohio.
After losing the first set 4-1, Sanchez-Ruiz was quick to build a 3-0 lead in the second. However, Gorst fought back all the way to hill-hill and looked set to complete the turnaround, and the match, until he lost position on the 7 and ended with the object tied to the cue. Sanchez-Ruiz got the next opportunity at an open ball and cleared what was left to force the shootout.
However it was Gorst, winner of the Apex Wisconsin Open in January, who came out on top in the shootout. Neither player had so much as rattled a jaw until Sanchez-Ruiz missed after nine shots each.
Grabe lies in wait for Gorst in the first semi-final of Saturday’s play after sending home defending champ – and travel partner – He with a 4-3, 4-1 victory. “It is always tough to play against a friend,” said Grabe. “Mario is a great player, it was a crazy match, back and forth, back and forth, but I managed to win the first set and that cooled me down a little bit, and from there on I played my game and that is a good win for me.”
Having won shootouts against Wojciech Szewczyk and Wu Kun Lin earlier in the day, Kaci made easier work for himself in his quarter-final against Immonen. The Albanian won 4-2, 4-1 for his fourth victory of the day. “It feels pretty good to be in the semi-finals of the FargoRate Ohio Open,” he said. “It was a long day and I had a few shootouts, but here we are.”
Standing between Kaci and the final is ‘Superman’ Roberto Gomez. The Filipino started the day by beating young Finnish sensation Riku Rompannen in a shootout to qualify for the last 16. He then crushed Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn 4-0, 4-1 to set up a quarter-final against the Netherland’s Jan van Lierop.
Van Lierop reached the last eight via an incredible shootout against America’s last-man-standing, Justin Martin. Martin had won the first set 4-1, but van Lierop forced the spot shots with a 4-2 second set. What followed was a masterclass in shootout pool. Neither player missed a shot until the 13th innings, at which point both then failed in succession. However, at 14-14 Martin missed – again from the left side – and van Lierop didn’t give up his second chance to win the match.
Given the length of the shootout, Van Lierop had little time to prepare for his quarter final and was soon 2-0 down to Gomez. The Dutchman pulled it back to 2-1 before eventually losing the set 4-2, and despite winning the first rack of the second set, went down 4-1 as Gomez advanced to the final day.
Brackets and scores can be found at https://probilliardseries.com/2022-fargorate-ohio-open/
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The Predator U.S. Pro Billiard Series by CSI feature six open professional events during the calendar year. Created by league operator CueSports International together with the Predator Group, these tournaments will run in tandem alongside of CSI league events being held throughout the country. The winner of each competition receives a guaranteed spot in the following year Predator World 10-Ball Championship, which will be held during the annual CueSports International Expo in Las Vegas at the Rio Hotel and Casino.
These events are played on Predator Apex professional tables covered with Predator Arcadia Reserve Performance Cloth, with Predator Arcos II balls, and under the Predator Arena billiard lights.
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