EKONOMOPOULOS POWERS HIS WAY THROUGH
By Ted Lerner/WPA Press Officer
(Shanghai, China)–Greece’s Nick Ekonomopoulos certainly has a name that is not easy to say, but surely not easy to forget either. And if the Athens native continues to play like he has this week in Shanghai, his five syllable moniker will be soon rolling off the tongues of even native Chinese speakers.
The 30 year old bludgeoned one of Taiwan’s pre-tournament favorites, Ko Pin Yi, 9-2, to advance into the single elimination knockout round of 32 here at the 2012 China Open, which begins tomorrow. The win over Ko was Ekonomopoulos’ second straight drubbing of a player from Taiwan. On Thursday he easily beat last year’s runner up Hsu Kai Lin, 9-4.
“This is only my second tournament abroad outside Europe,” Ekonomopoulos said after beating Ko. “I’m just trying to relax. But I’m playing good. I’ve been playing good for a while now.”
Indeed he has. He won the Austrian Open on the Euro Tour back in June. A few weeks later he found his way to Qatar for the World 9-ball and won a tough qualifier. In the main event in Doha Ekonomopoulos showed serious bottle as he took eventual champion Darren Appleton to the limit in the round of 16. He combines some serious talent with a quiet and confident swagger on the table that when combined is clearly intimidating to opponents.
“He’s got an agressive game,” said the Netherlands Nick Van Den Berg. “He’s been hanging around for a long time and now he’s starting to make his mark.”
There’ll be many hoops for the talented Greek to jump through before he can think about lifting the cup on Sunday. But he’s already starting to make a big name for his big name and he’s sure to make some noise before it’s all over.
The first two sessions on Judgement Day at the China Open proved daunting for quite a few players as the fields in both the men’s and women’s events began to take shape for the knockout stages. Easily the biggest surprise in the first two sessions of Friday’s play was the ouster of World Number 1, and World 9-ball champion Darren Appleton. Appleton had lost a last rack decider the previous night to Hong Kong’s Kenny Kwok. Today on the losers’ side of the bracket, the Englishman drew a very difficult opponent in 2009 China Open champion Chang Yu Lung of Chinese Taipei.
Chang burst out to an early lead and never looked back as he consistently found himself with open shots, while Appleton was continually on the defensive. Chang won going away 9-2 to advance while Appleton had to pack up his cues and hit the road.
Appleton’s countryman and defending champion Chris Melling finally had an easy day as he blew past Canada’s John Morra, 9-3 to advance.
“I played perfect,” Melling said afterward. “Whenever I win a tournament I always lose a match along the way, so I’ve already lost one and I’m hoping that’ll be the same this time.”
The Philippines Lee Van Corteza continued to impress. He easily defeated Japan’s Naoyuki Oi in a winner’s side match, 9-3, to qualify for the round of 32. Fellow Filipinos Dennis Orcullo and Carlo Biado were on the edge playing from the loser side in this double elimination event but both won–with Orcollo beating the Netherlands Nick van den Berg 9-7,– and both will be back in the evening session to try and qualify.
Easily the most roughed up player of the week is China’s Dai Yong. On Thursday, Dai took Melling to the limit but lost right at the wire, 9-8. Today, Dai had Germany’s Ralf Souquet on the ropes only to see the German great claw his way back to tie things up at 8-8. Souquet broke and ran the last rack to advance while Dai could only rue what might have been.
In other matches China’s Dang Jinhu easily beat Canada’s Alex Pagulayan 9-5 in a winners side match. Taiwan veteran Yang Ching Shun advanced with a 9 – 5 win over Sweden’s Andreas Gerwen. Last year’s runner up Hsu Kai Lun of Taiwan rebounded and ousted the USA’s Mike Dechaine. The only American left, Oscar Dominguez lost his winner’s side match by a thread to China’s Han Haoxiang, 9-8.
In the women’s event, all the matches in the early session were on the losers’ side of the bracket. The superstar of women’s pool will be back in the evening session on the winner’s side as they trim the field down from 48 to 16.
Note: The WPA has been experiencing technical difficulties with its live scoring platform. Until we fix these issues please visit the sites of our Chinese partners for complete updated information and live scoring.
Live scoring: http://cms.top147.com/index/wl.php?cid=20
Women’s Brackets: http://www.top147.com/news/2012shpool/draw_woman.php
Men’s Brackets: http://www.top147.com/news/2012shpool/draw_man.php
*The World Pool and Billiard Association(WPA) is the governing body of the sport of pocket billiards.The 2012 China Open is being sponsored by Star Tables, Andy Cloth, Fury, Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong.
Results Men’s Day 2 First session
Group E Winners Side. Winner qualifies for final 32, loser gets one more chance
Nick Ekonomopoulos(GRE) 9 – 3 Ko Pin Yi(TPE)
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 5 Alex Pagulayan(CAN)
Group E Losers Side(Winner needs one more win to qualify. Loser is out.)
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 1 Alok Kumar(IND)
Hsu Kai Lun(TPE) 9 – 5 Mike Dechaine(USA)
Group F Winners Side. Winner qualifies for final 32, loser gets one more chance
Yang Ching Shun(TPE) 9 – 5 Andreas Gerwen(SWE)
Jason Klatt(CAN) 9 – 6 Wang Ming(CAN)
Group F Losers Side(Winner needs one more win to qualify. Loser is out.)
Dennis Orcollo(PHL) 9 – 7 Nick Van Den Berg(NED)
Li Hewen(CHN) 9 – 7 Vaic Zbynek(RSA)
Group G Winners Side. Winner qualifies for final 32, loser gets one more chance
Lee Vann Corteza(PHL) 9 – 3 Naoyuki Oi(JPN)
Liu Cheng Chieh(TPE) 9 – 8 Fu Che Wei(TPE)
Group G Losers Side(Winner needs one more win to qualify. Loser is out.)
Chen Ying Chieh(TPE) 9 – 7 Do Hoang Quan(CHN)
Marcus Chamat(SWE) 9 – 5 Albin Ouschan(AUT)
Men’s 2nd Session(Winner qualifies for final 32. Loser is Out)
Group A, Losers Bracket
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 9 – 3 Darren Appleton(GBR)
Jimmy Jusman(INA) 9 – 6 Waleed Majid(QAT)
Group B Losers Bracket
Daryl Peach(GBR)9 – 6 Liu Haitao(CHN)
Nguyen Anh Tuan(VIE) 9- 8 Sharik Aslam(SIN)
Group C, Losers Bracket
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 8 Dai Yong(CHN)
Chris Melling(GBR) 9 – 3 John Morra(CAN)
Group D Losers Bracket
Lee Wan Su(KOR) 9 – 8 Oliver Ortmann(GER)
Nikolaos Malaj(ALB) 9 – 7 Lo Li Wen(TPE)
Group H Winner’s Side
Han Haoxiang(CHN) 9 – 8 Oscar Dominguez(USA)
Zhou Long(CHN) 9 – 6 Abdulatif Al Fawal(QAT)
Group H Losers Side
Karl Boyes(GBR) 9 – 2 Zhu Xihe(CHN)
Huidji See(NED) 9 – 7 Aloysius Yapp(SIN)
Results Women’s Day 2, 1st Session
Group A Losers Bracket
WuTzi-Ting(CHN) 7 – 3 Nicola Rossouw(RSA)
Rubelin Amit(PHL) 7 – 2 Wei Tau-Chien(TPE)
Group B Losers Bracket
Bai Ge(CHN) 7 – 6 Tsai Pei Chen(TPE)
Liu Yuchen(CHN) 7 – 5 Huyen Thi Hgoc(VIE)
Group C Losers Bracket
Wu Jing(CHN) 7 – 3 Li ia(CHN)
Wang Xiaotong(CHN) 7 -3 Keiko Yukawa(JPN)
Group D Losers Bracket
Chan Ya Ting(TPe) 7- 1 Duong Thuy Vi(VIE)
Park Eun Ji(KOR) 7 – 0Tsuchiya Junko(JPN)
Women’s Day 2, 2nd Session
Cong Jing(CHN) 7 – 5 Jing Jia(CHN)
Han Fang(CHN) 7 – 2 Luo Qiuhong(CHN)
Liu Shin Mei(TPE) 7 – 6 Akimi Kajatani(JPN)
Lai Hui Shan(TPE) 7 – 1 Ren Qiuyue(CHN)
Chichiro Kawahara(JPN) 7 – 5 Zheng Xiaochun(CHN)
Zhou Doudou(CHN) 7 – 4 Ho Xin Ru(CHN)
Chai Zeet Huey(SIN) 7 – 4 Iris Ranola(PHL)
Caroline Roos(SWE) 7 – 4 Jian Teng(CHN)