Immonen is New U.S. Open 9-Ball Champion
U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships / Chesapeake, VA
A very determined Mika Immonen returned to the final arena at the 33rd Annual U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships for the final match Saturday evening, and he persevered to win his first title at that event. This makes eight years that a new champion has won this prestigious event.
It was a different Immonen who approached the table and played quickly and smoothly for the win. He took a very comfortable 6-0 lead in the extended race to 13 before giving his opponent in the finals, Ronato Alcano, something to shoot at by coming up empty on the break. Alcano cleared to get on the board and then took the next rack as well when Immonen undercut the 1 ball.
It was back to business after that, though, as Immonen went up another three racks to make it 10-2. And then Alcano made his own bid, playing superb defense and bringing the score to 10-5. At that point, Alcano switched from a soft break to a hard one, which helped him gain the next two racks. Alcano came up empty on his next break, but the Finn earned ball in hand after a sweet safety on the 3 ball, taking advantage of the 3-9 combo to go up 11-7. Immonen came up dry on his break, but Alcano scratched on the 1 ball, allowing Immonen to reach the hill.
In the final rack, Immonen had another dry break, and Alcano played a weak safety on the 1 ball. Immonen cleared to the 6 ball, for which he left himself tough and opted to play safe, putting the 6 behind the 8 and 9. Alcano kicked at and hit the 6, leaving a bank shot for Immonen. Immonen missed the bank but left the cue ball parked behind the 8, hiding the 6. Alcano kicked at the 6 again and hit it but left a simple out. Immonen considered it, addressed it, and ran out for the 11-7 victory.
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