Chitra wins women's snooker title

Chitra wins women's snooker title

Former world women's billiards champion M Chitra finally won her maiden national title after years of toil, winning the women’s snooker championship by beating Neena Praveen of Tamil Nadu 3-1 at the Manisha-National Billiards and Snooker championship here.

Starting her game tentatively, Bangalore cueist Chitra opened up good lead against Neena, also a first time finalist, before taking the first frame 58-43. She then wrapped up the second frame 57-28 to give herself a good cushion to bank on. Neena resorted to safety play in the third frame and won it over the black ball 35-32, but Chitra was ready to start afresh in the fourth frame as she raced to a comfortable lead before wrapping up the frame 44-9 to emerge a worthy winner.

Results: Women's snooker: (Final): Chitra M (Kar) bt Neena Praveen (TN) 3-1 (58-43, 57-28, 32-35, 44-9); For 3 and 4 Position: Keerath Bhandaal (Del) bt Arantxa Sanchis (Mah) 2-1 (37-42, 51-21, 52-48). Meanwhile, defending champion Aditya Mehta starts as favourite from a huge field that, for the first time, will have a 32-player knockout draw after 80 cueists began the league phase in 16 groups, in the men’s snooker

2009 Asian Indoor Games gold medalist Mehta, the first Indian to play in the pro Tour in England since Yasin Merchant played in the 1990s, is the top seed and heads Group A while 2011 runner-up Alok Kumar, a five-time winner, is in Group B.

Also in fray is four-time national snooker champion Pankaj Advani, who retained his billiards crown a few days ago. The 2003 IBSF world champion  had finished sixth at the last nationals in Chennai.

Advani head Group F, while other major contenders are also parked in the first 10 groups. Sourav Kothari, Manan Chandra, Rupesh Shah, Kamal Chawla and Neeraj Kumar also have capability to upset the applecart of the best.

The top two cueists from each group after the league phase will make it to the 32-player knockout draw which will be played over best-of-seven frames till the round of 16.
Quarterfinals and semi finals will be best-of-nine frames and the final, on February 4, will be fought over 11 frames.

The league phase will be best-of-five frames wherein 22 qualifiers would join 58 direct entries from state and affiliated units of the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India.

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