Germany’s Ralf Souquet and Alfa Las Vegas Open champion Wiktor Zielinski both enjoyed straight-sets progression on the opening day of the Predator Germany Open, the first 2022 European leg of the Pro Billiard Series, being staged at ATLANTIC Hotel Galopprenbahn, Bremen.
Poland’s Zielinski is in red-hot form right now with two EuroTour titles and March’s US Pro Billiard Series victory in just the last nine months.
Zielinski’s final day in Vegas was a rollercoaster as back-to-back shootout wins took him to the final, where he defeated Aloysius Yapp with a bit of fortune in the first set. None of that was required on the opening day in Bremen.
The EuroTour No.2 ranked player had a bye to the winners’ side of the brackets and moved forward in the tournament with a 4-0, 4-1 win over Germany’s Fitim Haradinaj, whose inexperience on the TV table showed with a shot-clock foul in the first set.
“I was playing quite confidently, I played almost a perfect match,” said Zielinski. “In the beginning, Fitim Haradinaj forgot to call the extension and the referee called foul. He lost his confidence and made a couple of mistakes, I took advantage of it.
“Winning in Las Vegas boosted my confidence quite a lot but I am trying not to think about it and just focus on my current matches.”
Straight sets also took Souquet into the second round on the winners’ side. The BCA Hall of Fame member, playing in his home country, had a bye through the opening round and then defeated Andre Wansner to bank a day off on Tuesday.
Like Souquet, Oliver Ortmann is a bona-fide pool legend. With three WPA World titles and a multitude of German national titles to his name, the BCA Hall of Famer has been a major player in pool since the 1990s.
On Monday evening he was facing Mario He of Austria. He knows what it takes to win these events; the 28-year-old took home the title at the FargoRate Ohio Open last fall. The Austrian showed he was unfazed by the resume and home-country advantage of his opponent with a 4-2, 4-1 win.
Earlier in the day, Jose Alberto Delgado of Spain sent his friend and former student Jonas Souto to the losers’ side. Souto had scored a surprise win over Shane van Boening on the first day of the Alfa Las Vegas Open but will now have to fight through the wrong side of the brackets after losing 4-3, 4-1 to Delgado.
“It was the first time I played on the TV table in the Pro Billiard Series. It was a bit weird because I have known Jonas since he was 12 years old, I was kind of his coach at the beginning. Outside of the table we are friends but at the table I have to do my best.”
The €45,400 added Women’s Division of the Predator Germany Open begins on Tuesday with Brit Kelly Fisher, Austria’s Jasmin Ouschan and Alfa Las Vegas Open runner-up Brittany Bryant of Canada in the draw. Matches from the Women’s Division will be included on the Table 1 streaming schedule each day.
Each of this year’s Pro Billiard Series events are WPA Category 3 sanctioned events, allowing players to earn more WPA ranking points from each event. The Predator Germany Open is also sanctioned by the EPBF and DBU.
The Predator Germany Open is partnered by Reelive. Teleo Logistics, Hansestadt Bremen Innovations and Hansestadt Bremen Immobilien are official event partners of the Predator Germany Open. The events use Predator Apex Pro tables covered with Predator Arcadia Reserve Performance Cloth, with Predator Arcos II balls, and under the Predator Arena billiard lights. CSI, Kamui and Alfa Coin are global Pro Billiard Series Partners.
The Predator Pro Billiard Series is a series of open, professional events held around the world to provide more opportunities for professional and aspiring pool players to compete in high-quality events, earn more income, sharpen their skills.
The winner of each 2022 Pro Billiard Series event will receive a guaranteed spot in the 2023 Predator Cues World 10-Ball Championship, which will be held February 27 through March 3 in Las Vegas. The winner of the Women’s Division will receive a guaranteed spot in the 2022 Predator World Women’s 10-Ball Championship, which will be held in Klagenfurt, Austria, September 6-10.
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