Great Britain will face Chinese Taipei and Germany will take on Philippines in an all-star line-up for the semi-finals of the Predator World Teams Championship in Klagenfurt, Austria.
Friday’s quarter-finals saw Great Britain beat Japan 3-0, Chinese Taipei knock out hosts Austria 3-1, Germany overcome Spain 3-1, and Philippines defeat Poland, also by 3 sets to 1.
It means Sunday’s semi-final line-up is littered with World Champions, and three more will be crowned by the end of the weekend, as well as another in the Predator World Women’s 10-Ball Championship.
Austria took center stage on the main feature table with a home crowd behind them. However, they lost the first set as ’Rita’ Chieh-Yu Chou won 4-3 over Jasmin Ouschan; both players had earlier in the day qualified for the semi-finals of the Predator World Women’s 10-Ball Championship, which take place on Saturday.
Mario He levelled for his country with a 4-1 singles win against Wu Kun Lin, but siblings Jasmin and Albin Ouschan then suffered a 4-0 reversal to Chou and Chang Jung-Lin, before Chang completed the win with another 4-0, this time against He.
“In the women’s singles I didn’t play very well but in the doubles Chang Jung-Lin gave me a lot of power, he made me feel very comfortable,” said Chou.
Chang added: “I played well today but so did Rita. We have to support each othjer, trust each other and enjoy the match. On Sunday we hope to play better.”
Great Britian’s progression to the semi-finals, where they will meet Chinese Taipei, was completed in straight sets. Kelly Fisher won a hill-hill women’s singles tie against Yuki Hiraguchi 4-3, and Jayson Shaw dispatched Masato Yoshioka 4-1 in the men’s singles match. Victory was completed with a 4-2 mixed doubles win for Fisher and Darren Appleton over Hiraguchi and Toru Kuribayashi.
For Fisher, she believes the experience of playing alongside two elite-level team-mates, who also happen to be close friends, is helping elevate her individual game too.
“We have known each other for years and we all get on so well,” said Fisher, who plays in the semi-finals of the Predator World Women’s 10-Ball Championship on Saturday.
“They have so much testosterone between them, it’s no wonder they are champions. I think they might be helping me because they are gearing me up, they are really supportive and some of the shot selection, how men think compared to women, it is really amazing when you spend that time with them.
“I love teams, I wish we had more team events. We are here to win, and with the testosterone and ego you can see that, but win or lose we get on great and whatever happens we will give it 110%”
Sunday’s second semi-final will see Germany face Philippines after both teams registered 3-1 semi-final wins. Pia Filler got things started for Germany with a 4-2 win over Amalia Matas and Thorsten Hohmann continued the momentum by beating Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, also 4-2. Matas and David Alcaide kept Spain in it with an emphatic 4-0 success over husband and wife pairing Joshua and Pia Filler, but Joshua put that behind him and turned the scoreline around on Sanchez-Ruiz to avoid the shootout and send Spain to the last four.
Philippines are also guaranteed a medal after they defeated Poland 3-1. Rubilen Amit scored a 4-1 success over Oliwia Zalewska in the women’s singles set, but men’s World 10-Ball Champion Wojciech Szewczyk beat Carlo Biado 4-2 to level for Poland.
Szewczyk’s racks were the last won by Poland, however, as first Zaleska and Tomasz Kaplan and then Szewczyk suffered 4-0 defeats, to Amit and Johann Chua in doubles and Chua in singles.
“We are very happy that we are into the semi finals now,” said Amit. “I am glad that the boys played very well and we didn’t have to go through another shootout, because my heart couldn’t bare another shootout.”
Chua added: “Tomorrow we will practice, rest well and on Sunday we will come for you guys!”
The semi-finals and final all take place on Sunday, beginning at 9am local time. Matches will be streamed live and free on the World Billiard TV YouTube Channel, watchbilliard.tv and on Kozoom.com.
The draw and brackets for the Predator World Women’s 10-Ball Championship can be seen here: https://probilliardseries.com/event/1677/.
The draw and brackets for the Predator World Teams Championship is at https://probilliardseries.com/event/1678/.