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Zieliński Triumphs as 2023 Michigan Open Champion
 Posted on Sunday, September 24 2023 @ 09:35:07 UTCby admin
10 Ball 2023 Michigan Open
Kellogg Arena
1 McCamly Square
McCamly St S
Battle Creek
United States - youtube - brackets

Wednesday-Saturday 20-23 September 2023

Wiktor Zieliński - 2023 Michigan Open Champion
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Reporter: Predator Group
Photography: Predator Group

Aloysius Yapp appeared virtually unbeatable in Battle Creek. When he orchestrated a comeback from being one set down against Gorst in the semifinal, the enticing chance at a third win in a row in Michigan seemed well within reach. Only one polish player could stop his dream: Wiktor Zieliński.

Despite facing recent struggles, Zieliński exhibited exceptional form throughout the tournament. In the first semifinal, he launched like a juggernaut, executing three break-and-runs in the initial set to secure a remarkable 4-0 victory in just 20 minutes. His compatriot, Fortunski, although starting off strong in the second set, bore witness to a game-changing moment when Zielinski executed a remarkable kick-shot on the two ball, decisively shifting the momentum in his favor.

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Watch: Full Final Match - Wiktor Zieliński vs Aloysius Yapp

Gorst vs. Yapp: A Rollercoaster Ride

The second semifinal witnessed a brilliant start from Fedor Gorst, who dominated the first set with three break and runs, securing a 4-0 victory. Yapp didn’t touch the cue in the first set. Yapp faced dry breaks in the second set, but capitalized on a couple of mistakes from Fedor, ultimately winning the second set 4-3. The third set saw a shift in momentum. Fedor made an unbelievable 2 rail kick shot but then missed the 8 ball. Yapp was finding success on the break, ultimately leading to a 4-3, 4-2 victory after a challenging start.

Yapp-Zielinski, the ultimate battle for the third title

The final match could not have been more thrilling. Both players, each with two US Pro Billiard Series titles to their name, demonstrated their prowess. Yapp, a two-time consecutive winner of the Michigan Open, faced off against Zielinski, who had claimed victory at the Las Vegas Open two times in a row.

Both lost their winners qualification matches and reached the final from the losers' bracket. Zielinski faced a defeat against Fortunski, while Yapp's journey took a detour after a loss to Tyler Styer.

The final began with Yapp taking a 2-0 lead in both sets. However, Zielinski showcased resilience, battling back to secure victories in both sets. A pivotal moment occurred when, at a 2-1 score, Yapp missed a crucial long 1 ball, providing Zielinski with an opportunity for a jump shot and a subsequent cross bank on the 2, turning the tide in his favor.

The match was filled with heart-stopping moments. At 2-2 in the score, Yapp's scratch on the 9 ball proved to be a pivotal setback. In the second set, Yapp had a chance to reach the hill, but a missed 7 ball opened the door for Zielinski, who capitalized on the opportunity to level the score. Another error from Yapp on the 4 ball, followed by a bank shot from Zielinski, solidified Zielinski's victory, who took the first prize of $22,500 and his third US Pro Billiard Series trophy.

Zielinski expressed his elation, saying, "Last couple of weeks were really tough for me, so I am happy that I'm finally back on winning ways. I was feeling really good throughout the match, really confident, and Aloysius made a couple of mistakes, which I took advantage of it. Amazing feeling."

Yapp reflected, "I feel nervous, because I’ve been struggling for quite a bit in this tournament… the day I played Tyler Styer I played really bad, but I’m happy that I somehow managed to find some mental strength and keep myself in it."

Non stop action at the Kellogg Arena

The Women’s Open quarterfinals delivered nail-biting excitement with three out of four matches culminating in shootouts. Kelly Fisher emerged victorious in a sibling faceoff against her older sister Allison Fisher, securing a 4-1 win. Chieh-Yu Chou triumphed over Jasmin Ouschan in a tense shootout (4-2), while Tzu-Chien Wei bested Kristina Tkach in two sets. Chihiro Kawahara displayed exceptional resilience in a lengthy shootout, ultimately securing a 6-5 victory over Meng-Hsia Hung.

The Final 4 matchups are as follows:

- 10:30 AM local time: Chieh-Yu Chou vs Tzu-Chien Wei
- 12:30 PM local time: Kelly Fisher vs Chihiro Kawahara

A thrilling Chinese Taipei showdown awaits in the first semifinal between two-time World Champion Chou and last year's Michigan Open runner-up, Wei. Reigning champion Kelly Fisher enters the second semifinal as the favorite, but the determined Chihiro Kawahara from Japan will give her all to secure a spot in the final.

The final of the Michigan Women’s Open is scheduled for 4 PM local time.

Both semifinals will be streamed live for free on the World Billiard TV YouTube channel. Fans can also watch live on Billiard TV, which is available on many platforms including Samsung TV Plus.

Day 3 Michigan Open - Another jumping masterclass by Gorst

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Reporter: Predator Group
Photography: Predator Group

The 2023 Michigan Open presented by Samsung TV Plus continued to deliver top-tier billiards action on its third day:

Another jumping masterclass by Gorst. Last 16 round featured a showdown between Max Lechner and Fedor Gorst. Lechner made a dream start, executing two break and runs, keeping Gorst in his chair. The third rack witnessed a strategic safety battle culminating in a spectacular long jump shot by Gorst. That was only the first of 4 impressive jumps accomplished by Fedor only in that match.

The first set showcased the mental fortitude required at this level of play. While Lechner played flawlessly, Gorst seized the initiative with a stunning jump shot and position play, completely shifting the momentum of the match.

Fedor commented, "I switched to the other side because I didn't like the way the rack was breaking from the left. And I was getting lucky there and making balls on the break. So I had the initiative from the beginning in the second set, so I got up and I was up 3 to 1, could have closed the set, missed the ball, and Max ran out from there and then broke dry and left me open and I ran out and I made like five or six jump shots."

Styer's Exit in Shootout. American Tyler Styer's journey came to an end as he was bested by Joven Bustamante in a nail-biting shootout in the last 16. Bustamante is now set to face Fedor Gorst in the first TV match of the day at 9 AM local time.

Polish Powerhouses Shine: Former world 10-ball champion Wojciech Szewczyk from Poland showcased a flawless performance, securing a 4-0, 4-0 victory against Vietnamese star Hoang. Szewczyk's precision was on full display with two break and runs to seal the match. He also bested fellow countryman Daniel Maciol, earning him a spot in the last 8 where he will face another Polish contender, Mieszko Fortuński. This marks an impressive presence of three Polish players in the last 8 of the Men’s Open.

Quarterfinals Matchups for the Men’s Open:

- Mieszko Fortuński vs. Wojciech Szewczyk - Denis Grabe vs. Wiktor Zieliński - Aloysius Yapp vs. Jan van Lierop - Joven Bustamante vs. Fedor Gorst

Kelly Fisher survives the shootout. On the Women's Open, defending champion Kelly Fisher suffered to go trhough her match against Silviana Lu. Lu secured the first set 4-1, but Fisher came back strong to take the second set 4-2. The shootout was equally thrilling, ending with a 4-2 victory for Fisher.

Fisher commented, “I didn't think I were going to win it for one minute... Another day. Another day. And I'm looking forward to tomorrow. So fingers crossed I can step it up and take it all the way.”

Jasmin Ouschan lost in a shootout against Chihiro Kawahara, but managed to qualify through the losers' side after beating Elise Quiu. Ouschan is set to face Seo Seoa on the TV table at 11 AM local time for a spot in the quarterfinals.

The match between Allison Fisher and Margaret Fefilova promises to be another thrilling contest in the Last 16 of the Women’s Open, starting at 11 AM.

The 2023 Michigan Open presented by Samsung TV Plus runs concurrently with the CSI Leagues Michigan State Championships. The Kellogg Arena was buzzing with activity, hosting 69 Predator Apex 7f tables, 149 teams, and over 800 players.

Day 2 Michigan Open - Styer sends reigning champion Yapp into the loser side

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Reporter: Predator Group
Photography: Predator Group

The 2023 Michigan Open presented by Samsung TV Plus continues to deliver heart-pounding action at Battle Creek's Kellogg Arena. Here are the highlights from Day 2:

Tyler Styer Shines on Home Soil. American Styer displayed a solid performance on his home turf, securing three wins and clinching a decisive victory over reigning champion Aloysius Yapp in the winner qualification round. Yapp had an opportunity to even the score at 3-3 in the second set, but a snooker on the 8-ball proved to be his undoing, allowing Styer to seize the match. Styer remarked, "It feels good to get to the stage where we get to play 3 sets. It’s a little bit humid here, but once I figured the speed of the table I felt pretty good."

Polish power set to conquer Battle Creek. Impressive performances from Polish players, with three already securing spots in the last 16 and two more on the cusp of qualification pending today's results in the losers' qualification round. Daniel Maciol is one of them, ready for the last 16. Maciol's campaign saw him notch three wins, all in two sets, with no shootouts required. He defeated Michael Bridges, Max Adams, and Georgi Goergiev. Maciol expressed, "I feel very happy, I played so far very well, I’m enjoying the tournament so far, I like the format, I hope to play my best game tomorrow."

Kazakis ousted by Gomez. Alex Kazakis faced an early exit as he struggled to find his game against Filipino contender Roberto Gomez. Gomez now needs two more wins in the losers' side to qualify for the last 16.

Tkach Triumphs in Shootout: Kristina Tkach emerged victorious in a nail-biting shootout on the TV table against Yu-Hsuan. The match showcased both players executing several impressive 10-ball combinations. As the match went into a shootout, the pressure intensified. The last 10-ball wobbled on the edge of the pocket before finally disappearing, securing Tkach's victory. Reflecting on the match, Tkach stated, 'Coming into this tournament, I was well prepared, but I was really nervous in this match. I couldn't quite find my rhythm and get the feel in my hand. I managed to pull through and hopefully I'll feel better in the next match against Chia Hua Chen'.

Wei's Spectacular Shot of the Day: Tzu-Chien Wei wowed spectators with a remarkable long 1-ball into the 10-ball, showcasing exceptional knowledge and precision. The runner-up of last year's Michigan Open is poised for another strong run and will face Margaret Fefilova in the winners' qualification round.

Alenzi defeating world Champion Ouschan. In an unexpected turn of events, Abdullah Alenzi secured an important victory over world champion Albin Ouschan in two sets. Alenzi advances to the last 16 while Ouschan gets another chance to qualify later in the day.

Gorst survives the sudden death: Fedor Gorst secured his spot in the last 16 after three hard-fought wins. His final match against young American Joey Tate culminated in a sudden death shootout, with Gorst emerging victorious with a score of 5-4.

Drama in Shootouts: The last round of the day was packed with drama and emotion, as five matches were decided in shootouts, showcasing the resilience and tenacity of the competitors.

Day 3 promises even more thrilling action as the Men's Open moves into the Last 16. The format extends to three sets, with shootouts in the event of a 3-3 tie in the third set. Additionally, the Women's field will compete in the qualification rounds. Semifinals and Finals for the Men’s division are scheduled for Saturday, with the Women’s division concluding on Sunday, culminating in the Final at 4pm.

Day 1 Michigan Open - Heart-Stopping Shootout between Patsura and Kazakis

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Reporter: Predator Group
Photography: Predator Group

Day 1 at The 2023 Michigan Open presented by Samsung TV Plus marks the event's triumphant return for its third consecutive year at Battle Creek's iconic Kellogg Arena. This versatile venue, known for hosting the Rumble Bees hockey team, has been transformed into the epicenter of professional billiards action once again.

The opening match on the TV table featured Max Lechner of Austria facing off against Roberto Gomez of the Philippines. Lechner showcased exceptional skills, securing a solid victory in two hard-fought sets, 4-2, 4-3, and avoiding a shootout in the process.

Polish contender Michal Olech faced the top pro Fedor Gorst, a three-time US Pro Billiard Series champion. Although it was Olech's first foray into the US Pro Billiard Series event and his debut on the TV table, he displayed commendable resilience on the first set. Gorst, however, demonstrated his mastery, executing another remarkable long 1-ball jump shot with draw spin to secure shape for the 2-ball, leading to a decisive runout. 4-2, 4-0 for Fedor.

Georgi Georgiev of Bulgaria embarked on his first journey to the USA, making an impressive start with victories against Gerson Martinez and Denis Grabe. A particularly memorable moment occurred in the first set against Grabe, as the two engaged in a gripping defensive battle that stretched on for an astounding 30 minutes. Georgiev's tenacity paid off, securing him a vital first-set victory in this format of short races.

In the Women’s Open event, the audience was treated to a riveting match between 13-year-old talent Savannah Easton and Mayte Ropero from Spain. Both players struggled on the defensive game, but Ropero capitalized on Easton's errors and showcased her aggressive shot-making. The highlight of the day was Ropero's astonishingly thin cut shot on the 5-ball, seemingly defying the laws of physics. Ropero secured a convincing 4-1, 4-1 victory and now looks ahead to a face-off against Kelly Fisher in the next round.

Local favorite Jeremy Seaman drew a spirited crowd of supporters, but it wasn't enough to overcome Vietnamese star Duong Quoc Hoang. Hoang emerged victorious in two sets, clinching the match with scores of 4-2, 4-2.

A total of 14 matches were decided in dramatic shootouts. The final TV match of the day kept fans on the edge of their seats as Alex Kazakis faced off against Vitaliy Patsura. Kazakis dominated the first set 4-0 and had an opportunity to close out the match, but a missed 5-ball in the second set led to a shootout. In an intense showdown, both players made their initial four shots, setting the stage for a nail-biting finish. Ultimately, Patsura emerged triumphant, seizing a hard-fought victory.

Reflecting on his unexpected win, Patsura expressed, "I don't know how I won this match; Alex played much better than me. Maybe the shootout is my strong suit. After this match, I think I'm going to sleep well."

Two-time Michigan Open champion Aloysius Yapp demonstrated his championship pedigree with commanding victories over Raed Shabib and Dimitris Loukatos. Yapp is poised to make history with a potential third consecutive title and is set to face off against American contender Tyler Styer in the winners' qualification round today (8pm local time).

More exhilarating action to come on Day 2, including a highly anticipated clash between Polish talents Wiktor Zielinski and Mieszko Fortunski, who will vie for a coveted spot in the last 16. Zielinski, already a two-time Las Vegas Open champion, has his sights set on yet another USPB title.

Day 2 play kicks off with the Men’s Open Loser’s round at 9:30am local time and the Women’s Open winner round at 11am.

Fans can watch table 1 matches live, for free on the World Billiard TV YouTube channel. Fans can also watch live on Billiard TV, which is available on many platforms including Samsung TV Plus.

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