Saturday February 16, 2013
Indiaís Pankaj makes history at Wales Open
NEWPORT (United Kingdom): Pankaj Advani on Thursday became the first Indian snooker player to reach the quarter-finals of a world ranking event when he defeated Graeme Dott 4-1 at the Welsh Open.
The 27-year-old from Pune followed up his 4-3 defeat of Shaun Murphy by knocking out another former world champion to set-up a last-eight clash against Judd Trump.
“I knew I had the chance to make history,” said Advani, a former world billiards champion.
“That caused me to a miss a ball or two so I just tried to make sure I was focused on what was happening.
“When you are in the balls you are in control ... pressure is only self-created.”
Breaks of 63 and 73 put him 2-0 up on Dott, and although the Scot took the third frame, Advani was not to be denied.
In the final match of the day, he took a scrappy fourth then finished with a superb break of 100.
“I am surprising myself with this run but I’m just going with the flow and trying to keep winning. It’s exciting to be playing against the best in the world, at the top level and under the best conditions,” added the Indian player.
“Billiards is my first love, I achieved a lot and it gave me my identity.
“But once I make a decision I don’t look back and I have no regrets that I did not play professional snooker until this season.
“It’s a fresh challenge and a new atmosphere.” — AFP