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PTT-EGAT Snooker World Cup
 Posted on Tuesday, July 12 2011 @ 00:39:29 UTCby admin
Snooker PTT-EGAT Snooker World Cup
Bangkok Convention Centre
Centara Grand at Central World
Bangkok
Thailand
www.eurosport.com
www.worldsnooker.com
www.pttegatsnookerworldcup.com - micro-site
www.fromsportcom.com - unofficial live stream (caution: pop-ups)

11-17 July 2011


Gerard Greene - Northern Ireland

CARTER HOPING TO LAND KNOCKOUT BLOW

Ali Carter is hoping to land the knockout blow on his rivals at the PTT-EGAT Snooker World Cup.

Carter and team-mate Mark Selby became the second team to qualify for the quarter-finals and Carter has enjoyed his downtime with a night out watching Thai boxing.

He went to the legendary Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok and was among a crowd of 5,000 packed into the arena for a chaotic evening of action.

"It was really good fun," said Carter. "I saw some really good knockouts and it was a real eye-opener but it was good to get to see into that culture.

"Mark and I are here to win it and are trying our hardest to do so but it's important to have your downtime and relax a bit."

Carter, who lost both of his singles matches yesterday against Belgium , won both of them today as England defeated India 4-1 to join Northern Ireland in the last eight.

The two qualifiers will now meet on Friday to see who tops the group and avoid the winners of Group D, potentially the Scottish pairing of John Higgins and Stephen Maguire.

"At the start of the tournament our aim was to get out of the group and it looked tough on paper but we've done it quite easily," added Selby.

"It wasn't pretty to watch but it's the result that counts. We wanted at least 4-1 and got 4-1.

"I would be more than happy if we don't play to a great standard if we win the tournament. It's not about playing pretty snooker and in a one-frame tournament you have to be solid throughout."



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Scotland (Stephen Maguire and John Higgins) need one frame from their game against Hong Kong tomorrow to join England in the quarter-finals after they scraped a 3-2 success over Thailand 2.

"Stephen played great in the match and I was lucky to win my frame," admitted Higgins. "Thepchaiya (Un-Nooh) missed a pink and if he hadn't done that I would've lost. To get to 3-2 we've got out of jail again.

"You can't run away with a group and tomorrow is going to be very exciting as in most groups there are still two or three teams fighting for the positions but we only need one frame against Hong Kong to qualify.

Maguire was happy with the result. He said: "A win is a win and we're in a strong position to qualify. After tomorrow the tournament has finished for a lot of teams and only eight go through so in a way you're lucky to still be part of the tournament.

"We would've jumped to have been in this position and we've managed to scrape our way through."

Ireland need a good result against Wales to advance, but their fate is still in their own hands after a nervous 3-2 win over Germany.

"It's a massive victory and it keeps us in the hunt and at least we will know what we have to do when we play our last match," said Ireland ’s Ken Doherty.

"It's going to be very tough against Wales . They're the favourites and two great players. It's going to be difficult but we're still in with a shout and still have a chance."

Elsewhere, China beat Australia 3-2 but both could still qualify for the knock-out phase.


NORTHERN IRELAND FIRST TEAM TO REACH QUARTER-FINALS


Gerard Greene - Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland became the first team to book their spots in the quarter-finals of the 2011 PTT-EGAT Snooker World Cup.

The Northern Irish side of Gerard Greene and Mark Allen were first through after a 3-2 victory over Belgium for their third win in three games.

“We got what we needed and that was what we set out at the start of the competition to do,” said Allen.

“We still have to play England and that’s going to be another tough match but we have to beat them and win the group to avoid the likes of Scotland .”

Team-mate Gerard Greene added: “Three wins from three matches sounds good. It wasn’t very pretty today but it’s the result that counts.”

Allen lost his last singles match against 16-year-old Luca Brecel, who hit a break of 100, and Allen tipped the young Belgian for a bright future.

“Stephen Hendry did a few exhibitions with him and he talked highly of him,” said Allen. “If Hendry talks highly about someone of that young age then you know he’s doing something right.”

They are almost certainly going to be joined in the last eight by the Welsh pairing of Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens as they maintained their unbeaten record with a success over Pakistan .

However, the Welsh side still need one more frame from their last game to guarantee qualification, although other results could yet see them qualify before they play their last match.

“It’s another win but the way you get through is by the number of frames you’ve won and match wins sort of don’t count,” added Williams. “We were 3-0 up and could’ve nicked one of the last ones and guaranteed it.

“A few things could happen but we won’t know until tomorrow what we have to do and we might not have to do anything.

“We could play Ireland tomorrow and win 4-1 but we could also lose 4-1. If it was the best of nine we would thrash them.”

“If we can’t get a couple frames in the last match then we don’t deserve to qualify,” added Stevens.

Afghanistan recorded their first ever Snooker World Cup victory, 4-1 over Poland .

“For Afghanistan I was so proud to represent my country and I’m so happy for my country,” said Afghanistan ’s Mohammad Saleh. “We’re very proud to play here and so happy to do well.

“In Afghanistan snooker is a new game but we have a lot of talent. Our association supports us and we have a lot of young players playing from 10 in the morning to 8 in the evening with more than 100 clubs in Kabul .”

In the other game Malta defeated UAE 5-0 to give themselves a chance of qualifying.

“I’ve been a professional for 26 years and we’re so proud of what we’ve achieved here – whatever happens,” said Malta ’s Tony Drago. “I’m very emotional with the way we played and I can’t tell you how proud I am.”

The event, which is being broadcast live in the UK and Europe on Eurosport, features 20 teams from 19 nations. The final will be held on Sunday and the winning pair will collect $200,000 out of a total prize fund of $700,000.


ENGLAND AND WALES CLOSE IN ON QUARTER-FINALS


England moved a step closer to the quarter-finals as they recorded a 3-2 win over Belgium on day three of the PTT-EGAT Snooker World Cup.

Mark Selby held the team together with two individual singles victories, while England also won the doubles, but Ali Carter, who was suffering with health problems, lost twice in singles action.

Belgium’s Luca Brecel and Bjorn Haneveer have now lost three matches 3-2, but, with each frame equalling one point, still have a chance of advancing.

“I didn’t perform well at all, but I didn’t get a chance in my first match,” admitted Carter.

“But all credit to Mark he played really well. Hopefully if he doesn’t have a good match then I will step up myself.

“I haven’t felt that well all day and my guts have been bad and my Crohn’s Disease has me feeling lethargic.

“I’ve played lots of matches feeling lethargic and still playing well.

“It’s frustrating and it’s been bad for three or four days with my stomach just feeling bloated and it’s uncomfortable bending over the table.

“Today I wasn’t in my best form and I scored about eight but one positive is I can’t get any worse.”

Selby refused to take the personal credit for the victory insisting it was a team game.

With two victories out of two, England are aiming to qualify for the last eight with a big win in their next match.

“At the end of the day we won and that’s the important thing,” said Selby. “It could’ve been a better score but the important thing is to get the win.

“It’s a team game and I played ok myself and there will be another time when I don’t play well and Ali will do.

“We’ve played two and won two. If we win one more game with a big scoreline we will be in the quarter-finals with a game to spare.”

Wales also gained their second victory as Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens sealed a 3-2 success over Germany ’s Lasse Munstermann and Patrick Einsle.

“It’s another win and that’s all we need,” said Williams. “I’ve been told ten frames gets us into the next round and this is another three and we’re now on eight.”

Stevens added: “We would’ve taken three at the start of the game and I think Mark is the only unbeaten player in the tournament.”

In other matches, China recovered from a poor start to beat United Arab Emirates 3-2, while Hong Kong beat the Thailand second team by 4-1.

There are 20 two-man teams from 19 different nations taking part playing in four groups of five with the top two in each advancing to the quarter-finals.

The play continues at the Bangkok Convention Centre in Thailand tomorrow with the fourth round of group matches with the final taking place on Sunday where $200,000 will go to the winning pair.


VICTORIES FOR SCOTLAND AND BOTH IRISH SIDES ON DAY THREE


Scotland claimed their second victory at the PTT-EGAT Snooker World Cup but admit they had under-estimated the abilities of opponents Afghanistan.

The Scottish pair of Stephen Maguire and John Higgins beat the Afghanistan duo of Mohammad Saleh and Mohammad Rais 4-1 at the Bangkok Convention Centre in Thailand .

Maguire won both his singles victories, Scotland triumphed in the doubles and Higgins won one and lost one of his singles matches, with the defeat coming against Saleh.

“We didn’t play great and they were actually better than we had prepared for,” admitted Maguire.

“When I heard we were playing Afghanistan I didn’t know they had any tables there but they certainly knew their way around the snooker table – you could see that straight away.”

Higgins laughed off his defeat against Saleh saying it was only a one-frame match and added: “We’re delighted to win 4-1 and at one point we were 3-0 in front, I was in the balls and we could’ve had a 5-0 win.

“Stephen made a great clearance in the last to steal that frame (on the black) and we would’ve been really disappointed if it had finished 3-2.

“Our aim was to qualify first of all and we’re one match away from doing that.”

Northern Ireland recorded their second successive 4-1 victory with a win over Brazil .

“We're one of the dark horses coming through,” said Northern Ireland ’s Mark Allen. “We're here to win the tournament and not make up the numbers.

“We struggled a bit and were fortunate the Brazilians didn't play as well as they had in their earlier matches. But you can only beat what's in front of you but we're disappointed we didn't make it 5-0.”

Republic of Ireland kept their hopes alive with a marathon victory against Egypt in a match that took nearly three and a half hours.

Ireland needed a win to stay in the tournament and the duo of Ken Doherty and Fergal O'Brien battled hard for a 4-1 success.

"I started off clean shaven and I now have a beard," joked Doherty.

"I'm really sorry and want to apologise for that match. We should give the people their money back for having to sit through it.

On paper it says 4-1 and it doesn't matter how you got the four - we needed to win by that scoreline to get us back into contention.”

Malta beat Thailand 1 3-2 but the result left both sides fearing for their future in the competition.

“It was a 3-2 victory but I’m disappointed it wasn’t at least 4-1 but I lost two frames I never should’ve done,” said Malta ’s Tony Drago.

“We probably have a one or two per cent chance of qualifying now,” added Thailand ’s Wattana.

For more information and full reports from the PTT-EGAT Snooker World Cup, visit www.worldsnooker.com.


FEARLESS FILIPIAK, 15, SHINES AGAINST SCOTLAND


Scotland had to work hard to win their opening PTT-EGAT World Cup match but Poland 's 15-year-old Kacper Filipiak stole the show.

Filipiak, the current Under-21 European Champion, claimed singles victories over both four-time World Champion John Higgins and world number eight Stephen Maguire.
Scotland took the doubles and the other singles matches to win 3-2, but everyone was talking about the teenager's performance, including Ronnie O'Sullivan who tipped him as a future World Champion.

"Against John there was no pressure on me," said Filipiak. "If I had lost nothing would've happened as I was expected to lose so I was really relaxed - it was just a normal frame.

"I was a bit lucky as I've never seen John make three big mistakes after the break. I have now won three singles matches - against Stephen Maguire, John Higgins and Marco Fu but this is only my second big tournament.”

Three-time World Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan was watching the event on television and was impressed with what he saw.

"Tip for you all, just seen this 15-year-old from Poland . He will be World Champion. Nice player," tweeted O'Sullivan.

Higgins, the current World Champion, was another player to be impressed with his young opponent.

"He looks very serious and probably reminds you of a young Stephen Hendry,” said Higgins.

"He's improving and doing so very quickly - he's probably the best player of the tournament so far. He didn't look like missing.

"There's a lot of pressure on us as people expect us to go and win everything. We're feeling under pressure to qualify."

"Looking at him and to see him knock in a break like that in one frame against John says a lot about his character, his bottle and that he's not letting the nerves get to him," added Maguire.

Wales recorded the first whitewash of the competition as they beat Egypt 5-0 at the Bangkok Convention Centre in Thailand .

The Welsh pairing of Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens were too good for Egypt 's Yaser Elsherbiny and Wael Talat.

"We're the first team to win 5-0 and it gives us a great start to the tournament,” said Stevens.

Williams believes the format, which sees five one-frame matches, means any team could win it. He added: "If it was best of nine matches I think we would probably romp home but in one-frame matches I don't see a favourite.

"Any new tournament we play in is good and if Barry hadn't put this on we would be stuck at home doing nothing.”

Thailand 1 got their campaign back on track as they beat UAE 4-1 after losing by the same scoreline against Australia on Monday.

"I feel happy that we could win," said Thailand 's James Wattana. "For the big game yesterday I wasn't very good but today I was happy with my game.”

In the final match of the day, Hong Kong defeated Afghanistan 3-2, although Marco Fu lost one of his two singles matches.

For more information about the PTT-EGAT Snooker World Cup, please visit www.worldsnooker.com


ENGLAND CRUISE IN WORLD CUP OPENER


England cruised to victory in their opening clash of the 2011 PTT-EGAT Snooker World Cup in Thailand .

The two-man team of Ali Carter and Mark Selby produced a fine performance as they won 4-1 against the Brazilian duo of Noel Rodrigues and Fabio Luersen.

England were only denied the first 5-0 whitewash of the competition by a break of 61 by the South Americans in the doubles clash as England lost a 54-0 lead at the Bangkok Convention Centre.

"It was good and we both played well and we were unfortunate not to win 5-0 but they made a superb clearance in the doubles," said Carter.

"It's a very short format and anything can happen so even if you lose a point then you can't crucify yourself.

"We lost a doubles game and didn't do anything wrong and we're happy with how it went today.

"It's brilliant to be here representing England . I've not really thought about it but for us to be the two highest ranked English players says something about how well we've played recently.

"The likes of Ronnie O'Sullivan and Shaun Murphy are not here as we're ranked higher and we have to give ourselves a bit of credit for that and hopefully we will do well.

Asked if there was pressure on them being the favourites to win the competition, Carter replied: "Both me and Mark want to do well for ourselves and are not bothered what other people think, we just want to do as well as we can and I'm sure Mark feels the same. We're in it to win it."

Selby, who recently defeated Carter in the final of the invitational Wuxi Classic event on Sunday, was also pleased with their performance.

"It would've been nice to win 5-0 but a win is a win and 4-1 isn't too bad," added Selby.

"It's massively important to start with a win and if you look at our group ourselves and Northern Ireland are the toughest teams so as we have the three other teams first we need some convincing wins.

"We've got as good a chance as anyone. We're definitely one of the favourites to win it but in one-frame matches anything can happen and anyone can win so you have to have a bit of luck.

"It's great to see other countries taking part and if it was not for this tournament you wouldn't get the chance to see them."

In the other matches on Tuesday afternoon, Australia maintained their winning start as they defeated Malta 3-2.

Amateur player Steve Mifsud stole the show for the Australians as he defeated both Maltese players – Tony Drago and Alex Borg – in his singles matches.

India won a thrilling match 3-2 against Belgium as Pankav Advani got the snooker he needed and defeated Bjorn Haneveer on the black in the deciding frame.

Germany (Lasse Munstermann and Patrick Einsle) edged out Pakistan (Sahid Aftab and Muhammad Sajjad) by the same scoreline.


WATTANA BLAMES HIMSELF FOR THAILAND THRASHING


James Wattana admitted he felt like ‘he had let everyone down’ after the main Thailand team were crushed in their World Cup opener.

The PTT-EGAT Snooker World Cup is being held at the Bangkok Convention Centre in Wattana’s home country but he was powerless to stop Australia winning 4-1 in front of a packed crowd.

“I felt quite good but my performance showed otherwise,” said Wattana, a national hero in Thailand after a career that has included three ranking tournament victories in the 1990s and two appearances in the World Championship semi-finals.

“It just didn’t happen today and it really annoys me as I’ve been playing ok in practice but today’s performance was at a below 20 per cent level.

“I think I let my team down as I had chances to win. There wasn’t pressure on us before but now there is as we lost 4-1 and didn’t expect to lose like that.

“We’re still in the tournament and could beat anyone but we can’t afford to lose anymore.”

The Australian pair of Steve Mifsud and 2010 World Champion Neil Robertson move to the top of Group B as a result of their comprehensive victory.

The last Snooker World Cup was held in Bangkok in 1996 and Wattana was proud the event had returned to his homeland

“All of the top players love coming to Thailand and it’s a lovely country. I’m more than happy that it has come back to Thailand ,” added Wattana.

Northern Ireland duo Mark Allen and Gerard Greene were also 4-1 winners on Monday evening as they thrashed India .

It was a fine return to action for Allen, who was playing his first competitive match since the World Championship at the end of April.

“I’ve only played three times since the World Championships and one of those was in an exhibition,” admitted Allen.

“At the end of the day I can’t keep getting away with it and not putting the hours in on the practice table – it will soon catch up with me.

“But it’s nice to get rid of some rust and I made a 108 in my first frame of the season.

“It’s great to play for your country and in snooker you don’t get to do it much. It’s a bit of fun out there. You want to do well for your country but also enjoy yourselves as well.

“It was a pretty good start and we couldn’t have asked for much better. In the first two and a half frames it was perfect snooker and that deflated them as it was a long way back from that.

“It’s good to be playing with Gerard. We’re both left-handed and both play the same way.

“We just play our shots but it’s harder to do that if one’s left-handed and one’s right-handed and in doubles play you need to play with a bit of rhythm.”

In the final matches on Monday, China ’s pairing of Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo defeated the Malta team of Tony Drago and Alex Borg 3-2, while Egypt battled to a 3-2 win over Germany .

A total of 20 teams are in the World Cup with four groups, each consisting of five teams.

Each match is played over five one-frame matches and the teams score one point for each frame won with the top two in each group advancing to the quarter-finals.

2011 PTT-EGAT SNOOKER WORLD CUP
Day 1, evening session results
Group A – Egypt 3-2 Germany
Group B – Thailand 1 1-4 Australia , China 3-2 Malta
Group C – India 1-4 Northern Ireland


IRELAND SLUMP TO SHOCK DEFEAT IN SNOOKER WORLD CUP


Republic of Ireland suffered a shock defeat against Pakistan on the opening day of the 2011 PTT-EGAT Snooker World Cup.

The two-man Irish team, consisting of Fergal O’Brien and former World Champion Ken Doherty, slumped to a 3-2 loss against Pakistan at the Bangkok Convention Centre in Thailand.

This is the first staging of the World Cup since 1996 when O’Brien and Doherty were in the Irish side that lost to Scotland 10-7 in the final, although each team had three members then.

“We’re very disappointed to lose but it’s amazing that we both made a century break each but lost the match 3-2,” said Doherty, who made 111 in frame one, while O’Brien made 101 in frame five.

“There will be a lot of shocks and surprises and it’s very hard to get into rhythm, especially with the doubles match.

“It’s a disappointing start but every frame counts so that’s a good thing so if we beat Germany or Egypt 4-1 or 5-0 then we’re right back in it.

“Pakistan and India always have good cueists and they have a tradition of producing good players over the years.

“They will be a test for any of the other teams in our group so it won’t be as straight forward as it looks.

Doherty beat Muhammad Sajjad in the first singles match and O’Brien did the same in the last singles match but two wins for Sahid Aftab and success in the doubles clash gave Pakistan victory.

“It’s fantastic to be back in Thailand,” added O’Brien. “We never thought that it would take 15 years after 1996 for the next event.

“But hopefully it will be every two years from now on. The hotel is fantastic and the Thai people love their snooker and it shows how strong the game is worldwide.”

Hong Kong became the second seeded team to lose as they fell to a 3-2 defeat against a Polish side that included 15-year-old Kacper Filipiak.

He beat former Grand Prix winner Marco Fu in their singles match and Fu believes Filipiak, the current Under 21 European Champion, has a great future in the sport.

"It's good to see someone so young and he comes from Poland so it's nice to see the game develop across Europe and across the world,” said Fu.

"It's really good for the game and hopefully we will see more talent coming through from different parts of the world.”

The Thailand second team of Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Passakorn Sunwannawat made a winning start as they defeated Afghanistan 3-2 with Un-Nooh beating Mohammad Saleh in the decisive singles match.

Un-Nooh also won his earlier singles encounter against Mohammad Rais, while Thailand triumphed in the doubles match.

Sunwannawat said: “We’re not yet at our target of performance and we wanted to win 4-1. But today was really good as it’s only a short game and we needed to make a good start.”

In the other match of the afternoon session, Brazil’s pairing of Fabio Luersen and Noel Rodrigues won 3-2 against Belgium’s Luca Brecel and Bjorn Haneveer.









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I didn't think anyone read this bit down here!!!


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