Melling Averts First Round Flop at China Open
Defending Champ Pulls off Great Escape on Day 1
By Ted Lerner/WPA Press Officer
Photo by Tai Chengzhe/Top147.com
(Shanghai, China)–The 2012 China Open got underway on a rainy Thursday afternoon here in Shanghai, and it didn’t take very long for the fireworks to start going off inside the Shanghai Pundong Yuanshen Stadium.
Defending Champion Chris Melling from England was first up on the TV table and immediately found himself in a dogfight with tough Chinese player Dai Yong. The 33 year old Englishman couldn’t get a shot off the break while Yong had all the rolls and led throughout the race to 9 match. Dang was one away from a monumental upset at 8-6 but couldn’t close the deal on Melling. Then at 8-8, Dang had to give up the table with only four balls remaining. Melling pulled a great escape when he nailed a hair raising full table bank on the 7 ball, then a full table pot on the 9 for a 9-8 win at the wire.
“Everything went his way,” Melling said afterwards. “I couldn’t get a shot on the break and I had to play silly shots on every rack. I guess I was lucky to win but I also feel that I deserve it. But you need luck to win in pool.”
The 64 players in the men’s field are divided into eight groups of 8, playing double elimination. Four players from each group will advance to the final 32 single elimination stage.
There were several other tight matches in the early sessions of the men’s event. In a battle of two former China Open champions, Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann came from behind and barely beat Taiwan’s Chang Yu Lung, 9-8. China’s Liu Haitao also won a sudden death match, beating Chinese Taipei’s Chao Yung Hwa, 9-8.
World number one and current World 9-ball champion Darren Appleton had a walk in the park as he cruised past South Africa’s outclassed David Van Den Berg, 9-0. In another whitewash which will surely raise some eyebrows, Qatar’s Waleed Majeed blanked the USA’s Corey Duel, 9-0.
Conditions on the Star tables were giving some players fits, as the new cloth and cold air inside the arena made for super slick ball movement and bouncy rails. The use of the Magic Rack template almost guarantees that at least one ball is made on the break. The result is that getting an open shot off the break is often the decider in a rack, if you can get the speed of the table.
The USA’s Mike Dechaine found himself shaking his head after getting clobbered in the second session. It was the talented American’s first time to play in Asia and he had about as tough opponent as one could ask for in Chinese-Taipei’s Ko Pin Yi. The match wasn’t even close as a jet-lagged Dechaine couldn’t adjust to the tables, and he lost 9-2.
“This is totally different from how we play in America,” Dechaine said afterwards. “I couldn’t get the feel of the table.” Overall it’s been a miserable opening day so far for the USA, as Hunter Lombardo also lost.
The second session the afternoon had several exciting matches as Germany’s Oliver Ortmann scraped by Taiwan’s talented Lo Li Wen, 9-8. In a major upset, Sweden’s Adreas Gerwen beat the Philippines Dennis Orcollo, 9-8. In an intriguing battle of two talented Filipinos, Alex Pagulayan, playing for Canada, beat Carlo Biado, 9-7.
One of China’s pre tournament favorites, Li Hewen, went down to defeat, falling to countryman, Wang Ming, 9-6. Yang Ching Shun, the veteran from Taiwan, handily took down the Netherland’s Nick Van Den Berg, 9-3.
There were several matches on the ladies side but most of the big names had byes in the first round. In a TV table amtch, pool legend Allison Fisher beat veteran Taiwanese Liu Xinmei 7-3. Japan’s Akimi Kajitani won 7-6 over China’s Ren Qiuyue, while Japan’s Chichiro Kawahara beat China’s Zhou Doudou, 7-2.
The tournament continues on day 1 with an evening session preceded by the opening ceremony.
The 2012 China Open runs for four days beginning Thursday, September 13 through Sunday September 16, at the Shanghai Pudong Yuanshen Stadium in Shanghai and is a major ranking event of the WPA.
The men’s event has 64 players playing in eight groups of 8, double elimination, alternate break with four players progressing from each group to the final 32, which is then a straight knockout. The men’s event offers $176, 600 in prize money with $40,000 going to the winner.
The women start with 48 players divided into eight groups of six players, with the top two progressing to the final 16, which is then single elimination. The total prize fund for the women is $125,600 with $30,000 going to the eventual champion.
The WPA will be providing full coverage of the 2012 China Open, including live scoring on the WPA website, www.wpapool.com, and daily articles.
For updated men’s brackets, click here:
For updated women’s brackets, click here:
*The World Pool and Billiard Association(WPA) is the governing body of the sport of pocket billiards.The 2012 China Open is being sponsored by Star Tables, Andy Cloth, Fury, Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong.
Day 1, First Two Sessions
Darren Appleton(GBR) 9 – 0 David Van Den Berg(RSA)
Kwok Chi Ho(HKG) 9 -7 Jimmy Jusman(SIN)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 8 Chang Yu Lung(TPE)
Waleed Majeed(Qatar) 9 – 0 Corey Duel(USA)
Lu Hui Chan(TPE) 9 – 7 Sharlik Aslam Sayed(SIN)
Liu Haitao(CHN) 9 – 8 Chao Yung Hwa(TPE)
Chang Jun Lin(TPE) 9 – 3 So Shaw(IRI)
Nguyen Anh Tuan(VIE) 9 -7 Daryl Peach(GBR)
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 7 John Morra(CAN)
Wang Can(CHN) 9 – 5 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Liu Wei(CHN) 9 – 3 Mark Gray(GBR)
Chris Melling(GBR) 9 – 8 Dai Yong(CHN)
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 4 Chu Bingjie(CHN)
Oliver Ortmann(GER) 9 – 8 Lo Li Wen(TPE)
Nick Malai(ALB) 9 – 3 Lee Wan Su(KOR)
Fu Jianbo(CHN) 9 – 5 Francesco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP)
Nick Ekonomopoulos(GRE) 9 – 4 Hsu Kai-Lun(TPE)
Ko Pin YI(TPE) 9 – 2 Mike Dechaine(USA)
Alex Pagulayan(PHL) 9 – 7 Carlo Biado(PHL)
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 5 Alok Kumar(IND)
Andreas Gerwen(SWE) 9 – 8 Dennis Orcollo(PHL)
Yang Ching Shun(TPE) 9 – 3 Nick Van Den Berg(NED)
Wang Ming(CHN) 9 -6 Li He Wen(CHN)
Jason Klatt(CAN) 9 – 1 Vaic Zbynek(RSA)
Gao Meng 7 – 1 Nicola Rossouw
Wu Tzi-Ting(TPE) 7 – 5 Rubilen Amit(PHL)
Huyen Thi Hgoc(VIE) 7 – 4 Bai Ge(CHN)
Jung Bo Ra(KOR) 7 – 3 Liu Yuchen
Yukawa Keiko(JPN) 7 – 5 Wu Jing(CHN)
Li Jia 7 – 6 Wang Xiaotong(CHN)
Bi Zhou Qing 7 – 1 Duong Thuy Vi(VIE)
Chan Ya-Ting(TPE) 7 – 6 Tshuchiya Junko(JPN)
Han Fang(CHN) 7 – 5 Cong Jing(CHN)
Jing Jia(CHN) 7 – 4 Luo Qiuhong(CHN)
Allison Fisher(GBR) 7 – 3 Liu Xinmei(TPE)
Akimi Kajitani(JPN) 7 – 6 Ren Qiuyue(CHN)
Chichiro Kawahara(JPN) 7 – 2 Zhou Doudou(CHN)
He Xin Ru(TPE) 7 – 6 Zheng Xiaochun(CHN)
Iris Ranola(PHL) 7 – 2 Jiang Teng(CHN)
Caroline Roos(SWE) 7 – 5 Chai Zeet Huey(SIN)