Joshua Filler Secures Second WPA China Open 9-Ball Title with Victory over Anton Raga
Joshua Filler clinched the coveted title of WPA China Open 9-Ball Champion in a thrilling final match, defeating his opponent, Anton Raga, with a commanding score of 11-5. This remarkable achievement marks Filler’s second triumph at the prestigious China Open 9-Ball tournament.
The return of the WPA China Open 9-Ball after a four-year hiatus brought together a field of exceptional players from around the world. In the semi-finals, Poland’s Wojciech Szewczyk faced off against Josh Filler, ultimately yielding an impressive 7-11 victory to Filler, who secured his second consecutive spot in the China Open finals. Earlier in the tournament, Joshua engaged in a closely contested match with Maximillian Lechner, emerging victorious with a nail-biting score of 11-10. In the opposite corner, Anton Raga, the renowned Philippine player known as “The Dragon,” secured his place in the final after a decisive 11-6 win against Wu Kun Lin from Chinese Taipei, marking his second successive appearance in the championship showdown.
The final showdown between Filler and Raga was a riveting contest, characterized by alternating break formats. However, despite Raga’s promising performance, he struggled to establish a significant lead, never managing more than a two-frame streak. In contrast, Filler’s wealth of experience came to the fore as he surged ahead, leading 3-1 and eventually extending his dominance to 8-3, with Raga managing to claim only a few racks. Anton Raga’s exceptional skills and ongoing fine form suggest a bright future in the world of professional pool.
Photo courtesy of Alison Chang