Vidya, Chitra post victories

Veteran Geet Sethi struggles to a 3-2 win over Simon Zammit

India's Geet Sethi aims for the green ball during his Masters’ match against Simon Zammit of Malaysia in the World Snooker Championship at Hyderabad on Monday.  PTI

Barring Vidya, both Chitra and Neena had to grind it out against opponents, who were on the slower side, but the trio is certain to make it to the knockout stage if the current form and flow can be sustained.

India No 2 Vidya outclassed Cladia Weber of Switzerland 3-0 with the help of a couple of 30-plus breaks and looked in good touch.

Chitra, on the other hand, was kept at the table for almost all of the three hours of the afternoon session before coming through 3-1 against compatriot Suniti Damani, who thus suffered her second defeat in as many outings.

In fact, a majority of the women’s matches were a crawl and one of the matches saw a frame lasting nearly an hour. The tournament’s Head Referee Tiang Cheng Seah of Singapore expressed helplessness when queried about slow players or players resorting to deliberate slow tactics.

Neena handed a 4-1 drubbing to National champion Meenal Thakur for her second victory in the group. Meenal, playing rather poorly, thus tasted her second consecutive defeat.
In sharp contrast, Indian men’s champion Pankaj Advani wasted little time in brushing aside Moosa Saleem of Mauritius 4-0 with breaks of 54, 58 and 62 clearance in the second, third and fourth frames.

Later, former Asian and National champion Yasin Merchant came up with a brilliant fightback for a 4-3 win against Mario Fernandez of Ireland. The Irishman fluffed a 3-1 lead as Merchant came roaring back on breaks of 88 in the fifth and 71 in the sixth before clinching the final frame on small but useful runs for his second victory. Merchant had begun the proceedings with a 82 break in the first before yielding ground.

On another table, Manan Chandra, a title hopeful who had lost his opening league fixture last night, put his campaign back on track by defeating Khalid B Mohd of Libya 4-1 despite playing with a new cue tip.

Earlier in the day, Darren Morgan of Wales, now playing in the Masters category, slammed a 103 break as he routed Japan’s Naoki Matsuzaki 4-0 for his second win in the league.

Also chalking up a second victory was India’s Geet Sethi, winner of eight World titles, but the 48-year old from Ahmedabad struggled for his 3-2 verdict against Malta’s Simon Zammit in a match that saw an unscheduled and rather longish break.


Results (Indians unless mentioned): Group A: Pankaj Advani bt Moosa Saleem (Mauritius) 4-0 (84-0, 85(54)-22, 75(58)-21, 78(62)-39).
Group B: Shahbaz Khan bt Mark Hannah (Nzl) 4-1 (72-20, 25-66, 78(62)-28, 65-19, 66-35); Supoj Saenla (Tha) bt Mohd Awad (Egy) 4-2 (47-71, 84(54)-14, 61-44, 41-76, 62-15, 71-08); Habib Subah Habib (Brn) bt Pierre Jordan (SA) 4-2 (86-27, 80-17, 29-57, 62-29, 22-61, 63-13).
Group C: Yasin Merchant bt Mario Fernandez (Ire) 4-3 (115(82)-08, 39-63, 54-57, 11-71, 129(89)-05, 99(71)-32, 60-15); Ahmed Aly (USA) bt Ammar Taqi (Kuw) (62-04, 66-46, 09-68, 01-92, 65-10, 74-34); Mohd Asif (Pak) bt Steve Mifsud (Aus) 4-2 (17-82, 62-47, 34-70, 55-47, 66-50, 66-54).  Group D: Manan Chandra bt Mohd Khaled Belaid (Lib) 4-1 (74-15, 66-49, 63-34, 34-64, 75-09); Alex Borg (Mlt) bt James Mifsud (Aus) 4-2 (32-65(65), 61-34, 29-67, 61-21, 86(65)-35, 67-29).  Group E: Anthony McGill (Sco) bt Igor Figueiredo (Bra) 4-0 (70-23, 78(75)-00, 67-50, 82(72)-16); Leonard Shanahan (Ire) bt Andreas Ploner (Aut) 4-1 (37-49, 62-26, 57-12, 54-48, 75-52). Group F: Greg Casey (Ire) bt Hesham Abdel Salam (Egy) 4-1 (53-18, 74-07, 58-26, 50-62, 66-14); Fung Kwok Wai (HK) bt Rishabh Pandya 4-0 (55-15, 57-38, 69-01, 73-29); Nader Khan Sultani (Afg) bt IH Manudev 4-2 (47-68, 45-58, 64-20, 56-00, 81-18, 64-17).
Group G: Mohd Al Joaker (UAE) bt David Craggs (Eng) 4-1 (79-69, 64-10, 36-74, 78-26, 70-13).  
Group N: Anthony Brabin (Cyp) bt Amir Sarkhosh (Irn). Group Q: Suleman Salam (Egy) W/O Najibullah Akbari (Afg). Group R: Yuttapop Pakpoj (Tha) bt MS Arun 4-1 (75(58)-37, 77-16, 96-02, 49-66, 61-49); Wael Talat (Egy) bt Emir Yigit (Tur) 4-0 (70-18, 71-11, 72-18, 90-01).
Women: Group A: Jaique Ip (HK) bt Nahla Sunni (Brn) 3-0 (75-17, 62-12, 71-32).  Group B: Vidya Pillai bt Claudia Weber (Sui) 3-0 (63-12, 72-10, 98-25); Nicha Pathom Eakmongkhon (Tha) bt Kathy Howden (Aus) 3-0 (51-12, 59-33, 53-27). Group C: Yu Ching Ching (HK) bt Jeanne Young (SA) 3-0 (48-24, 70-20, 42-32); Neena Praveen bt Meenal Thakur 3-1 (47-60, 53-15, 61-36, 50-21).  Group D: Ramona Belmont (NZ) bt Ng On Yee (HK) 3-2 (31-60, 62-27, 09-105(77), 59-09, 67-17); Shirley Smith (Aus) bt Delphine Morel (Fra) 3-0 (55-18, 78-50, 36-07); Anuja Chandra bt Bi Zhuqing 3-0 (59-49, 79-47, 63-57).

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