Hometown Hero Rubilen Amit Carries a Country On Her Back
Final Four Set in Women’s World 10-Ball Championships
by Edward Asistin
Rubilen Amit (Philippines) lost her first match to Kelly Fisher (England) in the group stages of the Women’s World 10-Ball Championships and has not suffered another defeat. She won the next four of her group stage matches and the three matches played today in the single-elimination phase. The first two matches in the knockout round she won convincingly by a score of 8-3, the first over Julie Kelly (IRE) and the second to one of the five undefeated women, in the tournament Hsiang-Ling Tan (Taiwan).
Her third match in the quarterfinal round was against Jeanette Lee. Rubilen cruised out to a 4-0 lead, but Lee was able to tie it at 5-5. Lee the proceeded to take the lead and lead by scores of 7-5 and 8-6 but just couldn’t put the local away. At hill-hill it became a safety battle, with each player being extremely accurate with her safety play. Trading safeties on the 1 ball in the final rack, Lee was not able to touch the object ball and that was all for “The Black Widow.” Rubilen took ball in hand and in the pressure cooker of the Sky Dome ran out the final rack in front of the Filipino crowd. Now she carries the hopes and dreams of a country on her back into the final four of the tournament.
The first surprise of the day, and maybe of the tournament, was Charlene Chai (SIN) defeating Ga Young Kim (Korea) in the first round of single-elimination play. At one point in the match Kim was leading the match by a score of 6-3. The happiness did not last long for Chai as she lost her next match to two-time world champion Shin-Mei Liu (Taiwan).
The next surprise of the day came in the round of 16 when Akimi Kajitani (Japan) rallied from 6-2 and 7-4 down to Yuan-Chun Lin (Taiwan) and won the match 8-7. Even though Kajitani received the first-round bye, most people would consider Lin to be the favorite to win the match, and she supported that thought early in the match by jumping out to an almost insurmountable lead. Kajitani somehow managed to win the last four games and maybe had executed the best comeback of the tournament against the reigning world 9-ball champion. Shortly after, Kajitani dispatched Corr in the quarterfinal round 9-7 to earn her spot in the semifinal round against Amit.
Allison Fisher (England) lost a hill-hill thriller to Yu Ram Cha (Korea) in the round of 16. Fisher was down 6-3 and managed to bring it back to 6-5, then she missed a 10 ball, making it 7-5. Fisher was then able to bring it back to 7-7 only to miss a 4-10 combo for the match, which Cha made to close out the match.
Cha’s opponent in the quarterfinals was a red-hot Jasmin Ouschan (Austria). Ouschan was yet another player who lost her first match in the group stage and hadn’t been defeated since. This match was of the highest quality with neither player missing shots and not getting more that one game ahead. Ouschan reached the hill first at 8-7 and broke dry. Cha proceeded to run the rack out but got slightly out of position on the 7 ball. She scratched, and instead of bringing it to hill-hill, Ouschan ran the rest of the rack out to earn her spot into the final four.
In the last match of the quarterfinals, Kelly Fisher (England) and Shin-Mei Liu went hill-hill after Liu led 8-6. Both missed the 8 ball in the final rack, but Liu then proceeded to run the last three balls to win the match 9-8 and earn her spot against Ouschan in one of the semifinals.
The stage is set for the Inaugural Women’s World 10-Ball Championship: Akimi Kajitani versus Rubilen Amit in one semifinal match, and Jasmin Ouschan versus Shin-Mei Liu in the other.