WOMENS WORLD 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP, DAY 1
Format for the event is two stages, first stage the 64 players are divided into 8 groups of 8. Each group plays a double elimination which means a player must win two matches to qualify. Two losses and you’re out. The second stage features 32 players which is single elimination or knock-out.
Defending champion and world number one, Liu Shasha got away to a shaky start today when she lost her opening match 5/7 against a very good Chinese player Zhou Doudou putting her straight across to the loser’s side of the draw. Another loss and she will be out of the tournament. Liu did redeem herself in her second match when she defeated Kristina Tkach of Russia 7/4. Her victor, Doudou showed her win was no fluke with a 7/1 win over Korean Hyun Ji Won to put her into the final stage.
Another scare for the organisers came about when superstar Pan Xiaoting lost her opening match to Wang Wanling 5/7. Pan also redeemed herself in her next match against Japanese Miyuki Kuribayashi 7/1. Convincing score but did not really play at her best, however was aided by a good run of the balls and a lucky shot with the 9 ball to win the fourth rack to lead 3/1 instead of 2/2. Pan did manage to lift her game towards the end of the match and was back in good form by the end of the match.
Most other matches went to plan, Korean Kim Gayoung looked very good winning 7/2 against Kristina Grim of Germany, and then qualified for the final stage by defeating Japan’s Keiko Yukawa 7/3. Chen Siming started well, winning her two matches, 7/2 against Miyuki Kuribayashi and 7/5 against Wang Wanling. The Fishers got away to a good start also, Kelly winning 7/4 against Korean Lin Run Mi and Allison beating former world champion Liu Shin-Mei 7/2. They will play their second match tomorrow. Former Irish and now American, Karen Corr also started with a rush beating Japan’s Akimi Kajatani 7/1.
But surely the story of the day is Jia-Hua Chen of Chinese Taipei when she started off defeating South African Nicola Rossouw 7/5, then in her next match she defeated former world champion and world number three Han Yu 7/5. Chen won the juniors world championship in Shanghai just a few weeks ago earning herself a spot in the world’s most prestigious event for women. She is now through to the knock-out stage, and anyone will be pleased to dodge her name when the draw is done.
Play resumes tomorrow at 1.00 pm local Chinese time where we will see the first stage completed, the draw done and the first round of the knock-out stage completed as well.