Joshua Filler, Anton Raga, Shane Van Boening, and David Alcaide will contest the semi-finals of the 2023 European Open Pool Championship at Hotel Esperanto, Fulda, Germany, live on Sky Sports in the UK, Sport1 in Germany, DAZN in the USA, Tap Go in the Philippines and networks worldwide tomorrow.
Joshua Filler sees Fedor Gorst miss nine for win to seal victory
Anton Raga makes maiden Matchroom major semi-final
Shane Van Boening keeps in hunt for rewriting wrongs of 12 months ago
David Alcaide survives almighty scare from being 8-1 up on Francisco Sanchez Ruiz to 9-8 down
Filler headed into what was billed as a clash for the ages with Fedor Gorst, a highly-anticipated contest that nobody would be able to predict how it would swing. Nerves didn't seem an issue for Filler in front of a strong sold-out home crowd in Fulda but it was Gorst who seized the early momentum for a 4-1 advantage.
Gorst was composed as he looked for a maiden semi-final at a Matchroom signature multi-table open event whilst Filler was looking to put down the demons of 12 months ago on home soil where he suffered late defeat to Shane Van Boening.
Filler looked primed for what was proved to be one of the matches as the tournament as he turned the contest on its head with six racks on the bounce for a 7-4 advantage.
In the 12th rack, Filler looked to have Gorst in a world of trouble but the latter nailed a long jump shot on the three ball to get back in for 7-5. Filler got back in the following rack to be two away from victory and leave Gorst needing a miracle for the tie to turn once again in his favour. Gorst's lifeline came at 8-5 down as he turned the tie on a dime for a gripping finish as he went into a 9-8 advantage, on the hill and one away from victory.
Gorst played what looked to be a brilliant break and run only to play a poor position off the eight leaving an awkward lie for the potentially winning nine and with the nine soon missed and left in the jaw, Filler drilled it in for hill hill. Filler broke dry in the final rack but a costly miss on the one from Gorst allowed the Killer to pounce and deliver a routine run out for victory.
Wojciech Szewczyk stood in the way of Raga and a semi-final spot with the Pole tasked with keeping the Dragon tamed but it proved he was slayed. Nothing could separate the pair early doors as they traded blows for 3-3, 5-5, and 7-7. The pair were playing at a supreme level with a strong Polish and Filipino contingent willing the pair on through battle.
Despite the best efforts of Szewczyk, it wasn't enough as Raga pounced for a maiden World Nineball Tour semi-final in the most dramatic of fashions. For Szewczyk, the wait for a first Matchroom semi-final will go on but can look positively on a deep run that sees the PRP Nineball Open winner provisionally move into the World Nineball Tour top 20.
He and Van Boening both suffered heartbreak at the hands of eventual winner Albin Ouschan 12 months ago but this time one of them would be ending their counterpart's hopes before the final day. After five racks, He had established a 4-1 lead but Van Boening got to the table to turn things around after a scratch from the break in the sixth. A golden break followed and soon they were level at four apiece. The pair traded blows to 5-5 before He strung up a lead once again for 8-5 to be two away from victory.
Knowing a run to the final day was a bare minimum for Van Boening to keep automatic Mosconi Cup hopes alive for this tournament, the South Dakota Kid was not lying down that easily as he got it to 8-8 and then 9-8 to be at the hill first despite being behind for large parts of the contest. He did get it level for hill hill and went airborne from a tricky lie allowing Van Boening in to clinch a 10-9 win and set up a tie with Alcaide next.
In the battle of the evening for a whole host of reasons, the best of friends in Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and David Alcaide met for a spot in the semi-finals with the pair having to cross wires with each other just 12 months on from winning the World Cup of Pool together. Alcaide got off to the better start for a 3-1 lead after the commercials and he pressed home from there for a 7-1 lead. With recently announced Mosconi Cup European captain Ralph Eckert watching on, Alcaide looked to roll back the years to his 2019 World Pool Masters win.
Sanchez Ruiz came back in for four racks in a row to apply pressure onto Alcaide. The deficit was still three, but Alcaide was starting to feel the heat. Sanchez Ruiz on the other hand was having the run of the table. Alciade made a brilliant shot on the three and then a kick on the six but the Spaniard failed to find a rail when tucking up behind the nine to leave the seven up table. Sanchez Ruiz breathed a sigh of relief, and the gap was two for the first time since 3-1. The momentum for Sanchez Ruiz continued, and he flipped the contest on its head to lead for the first time on the hill at 9-8.
The break from Sanchez Ruiz in the final rack wasn't great but the current World Champion made a brilliant shot on the one only to be hooked on the eight and let Alcaide in to make it hill hill. In the final rack, Sanchez Ruiz fouled when going airborne on the two, he left the nine over the pocket and Alcaide stepped up for a 2-9 combo. Van Boening awaits next.
Semi-Final 1 - Joshua Filler (GER) vs Anton Raga (PHI) Semi-Final 2 - Shane Van Boening (USA) vs David Alcaide (ESP)
13 August – 12 pm – 4:30 pm / 6 pm – 9 pm
Outright betting markets priced up Joshua Filler as the odds-on favourite at 8/1 alongside Van Boening with Sanchez Ruiz at 10/1. Full odds are available on various online gaming websites.
Live rack-by-rack scoring is available throughout the event at www.matchroompool.com, thanks to our partners PRP.
UK and Ireland-based fans can see the final two days on Sky Sports with the opening four on Matchroom.Live and the Matchroom YouTube. Fans in the USA will be able to watch all six days live on DAZN whilst those in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Poland, and Netherlands can watch live on Viaplay.
Fans in the Philippines meanwhile will be able to sweat the action on TAP Go and those in Vietnam on VietContent channels. Those in Germany can see the final two days on Sport1.
See where to watch in your country here. Matt Lynch Matchroom Multi Sport