Kelly Fisher defeated Chieh-Yu Chou in 2 sets to claim her second consecutive Michigan Open victory, earning a $18,000 first prize.
The final day in Battle Creek, Michigan couldn’t have been more exciting. Women’s Final 4 showcased an amazing level of play.
The opening semifinal featured a showdown between Chinese Taipei stars Chieh-Yu Chou and Tzu-Chien Wei. Reigning world 9-Ball and 10-Ball champion Chou took the opening set 4-2. Wei Wei, last year’s Michigan Open runner-up, played flawlessly in the beginning of the second set, but made a couple of unforced errors to go on the hill. Chou capitalized on Wei’s miss on the 9 ball to steal the second set 4-3 and advance to the final.
Remarkable performance from Chihiro Kawahara, the tournament’s underdog, who reached the semifinals without dropping a match. She faced off against defending champion Kelly Fisher. Kawahara, who was 3-2 up in the first set, assisted to a carom masterclass by Fisher making 2 unbelievable early 10-balls that turn around the score. Fisher ended up winning the pivotal first set 4-3. The second set was full of safeties from Fisher and stunning escapes from Kawahara. One of them, an incredible 2-rail kick shot, could easily be the shot of the tournament. Kawahara tied the match winning the second set 4-2. The Japanese couldn’t hold Fisher in the third set (4-2).
The final started shaky for both players. Chou took advantage and clinched the first set 4-1. Despite Fisher’s struggles at the beginning of the match, she found another gear in the second set and started flying towards her back to back victory. 4-1 in both second and third sets for Fisher, who couldn’t believe it: “I’m absolutely delighted to have won that tournament. Who would have known? Coming in, I didn’t really have any expectations. I just came in and was going to play my best. I’ve been in China a lot, playing Chinese pool and not as much 10-Ball, so I’m absolutely thrilled. Honestly, I really can’t believe it. So happy to have won it two years in a row.”
The Michigan Women’s Open presented by Samsung TV Plus had a tough field of 48 players and a total prize fund of $60,000. Champion Kelly Fisher took $18,000 first prize, while Chou earned $10,500 as runner-up. This victory means that Kelly Fisher not only becomes the two-times defending champion but also holds the record for the most Pro Billiard Series titles with a total of 5. Fisher won the Austria Open in 2021, Las Vegas Open and Germany Open in 2022, and two back-to-back titles in Michigan.
The Michigan Open was the third stop of the year for the Predator Pro Billiard Series. The Series will host three WPA World Championship events in Austria in October: The Predator WPA World 8-Ball Men’s Championship, Predator WPA World 10-Ball Women’s Championship, and Predator WPA World 10-Ball Junior Championships. The year ends in San Juan, Puerto Rico with the Medalla Light Puerto Rico Men’s and Women’s Opens and the WPA World Teams Championship