Defending Champ Fisher Upset in First Round
WPBA U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships / Norman, OK
The Women’s Professional Billiards Association’s (WPBA) U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships kicked off July 31 with a full 64-player field. This event will conclude August 3 and is hosted by Riverwind Casino in Norman, OK.
Top seed Allison Fisher was all set to defend her title against her first-round competitor, Iris Ranola, but in a stunning turn of events, was sent to the one-loss side after a nail-biting double-hill match. Ranola, who hails from the Philippines, has only appeared on the WPBA Tour twice but has been making quite an impression on the regional women’s tours around the country for the past few months. Her next match was against Aileen Dimmick, who bested Sarah Rousey 9-6 earlier, and Ranola also sent Dimmick to the west side of the chart 9-2.
Karen Corr, Xiaoting Pan, and Ga Young Kim are all tied in the WPBA rankings for second place. Pan, having made quick work of Zinnie Panju 9-4 and Ewa “The Striking Viking” Laurance 9-5, will next face off against Jeanette Lee, who has notched two strong 9-2 victories over My-Hanh Lac and Melissa Little. Corr also advanced, defeating Line Kjorsvik of Norway 9-4 and Joanne Ashton 9-4 to meet Vivian “The Texas Tornado” Villareal next. Finally, Kim won her first-round match against Michelle Rakin 9-5 and her second against Tiffany Nelson 9-6. Her next match will be against Ireland’s Julie Kelly.
Austria’s Jasmin Ouschan won her match with Tina Larsen 9-3 and then sent Alice Rim west 9-4. Ouschan’s next challenge will come from Kelly Fisher. Ranked fifth on the tour, Fisher has won her first two matches against Amanda Lampert and Kim White, both 9-3. However, sixth-ranked Anna Kostanian, though she won her first-round match against Lisa D’Atri 9-5, lost her second to Caroline Pao 9-4 and will have to fight her way through the one-loss side.
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