Geet Sethi in quarterfinals of World Snooker

Geet Sethi in quarterfinals of World Snooker

Geet Sethi in quarterfinals of World Snooker

India's Geet Sethi in action at World Snooker Championship 2009, in Hyderabad. PTI Photo

It was earlier scheduled that Saturday would be a rest day but the postponed matches from Friday’s 7 p.m. session were played.

Sethi, trailing 1-3, played the worst shot imaginable to fluke the black, sitting on the top cushion into the centre pocket on way to defeating his long-time rival Chuchart Trirattanapradit from Thailand, the top seed, 4-3 to enter the Masters quarter-finals.

On the adjoining tables, India's Manan Chandra, Aditya Mehta, Girish Rajashekar, I.H. Manudev, Lucky Vatnani had to work equally hard for their entry into the round of 32 in the men's section where they joined compatriots Alok Kumar (top seed), Pankaj Advani and Yasin Merchant who had qualified last evening.

In an enthralling and dramatic encounter where the fortunes swung either way, Sethi enjoyed a huge slice of luck when he fluked the black in the fifth frame and then took the sixth before winning the tense decider on the back of an early break.

Recalling the fluke on the black, the 48-year old Sethi said: "It was one of the worst shots I played. Chuchart had left me in a tight spot with an excellent safety shot. I was in two minds as to the shot I should play and I attempted to get the black into the baulk area while leaving the cue-ball on the top cushion. I am not sure what I played eventually."
At 3-1, 46-year old Trirattanapradit, the 1993 World and Asian champion, looked a clear winner, but a few misses kept Sethi afloat until the frame had to be decided on the black. Both played a few quality safety shots before Sethi fluked the black.

"That was the turning point of the match. I grew in confidence and made it 3-3. An early break in the seventh put me in front,” said Sethi who also praised Trirattanapradit for his sporting gesture of declaring a foul that the referee failed to notice in the latter half of the deciding frame.
"Geet beat me on his safety play that has always troubled me. He is a great billiards player and that helped him in his safety play," said the affable Trirattanapradit whom Sethi described as a great ambassador of the game.

Meanwhile, Alfie Burden, the 33-year old from England, and one of the hot favourites for the men’s crown, struggled to beat Steve Mifsud of Australia 4-1 after losing the opening frame, to set up a clash with Afghanistan’s Nader Khan Sultani who eliminated India's Sandeep Gulati 4-3.
Burden said: “I have been struggling to get used to the different time zone that has affected my sleep pattern. But last night, I slept well and I am feeling more comfortable."
Steve Mifsud’s brother, James, brought some cheer to the Australian family, by winning his match 4-1 against Sascha Lippe of Germany.
The results:
MEN (Round of 64): Girish Rajashekar (India) bt Mohd Shehab (UAE) 4-1; Lucky Vatnani (India) bt Lim Chun Kiat (Singapore) 4-1; Manan Chandra (India) bt Shahbaz Khan (India) 4-3; Anthony McGill (Scotland) bt Omer Al Kojah (Syria) 4-3; Gavin Pantall (Wales) bt MS Arun (India) 4-3; Aditya Mehta (India) bt Chan ka Kin (Hong Kong-China) 4-0; Alfie Burden (England) bt Steve Mifsud (Australia) 4-1; Muhammed Sajjad (Pakistan) bt Chih-Hua Huang (Taipei) 4-0; Phillip Williams (Wales) bt Duncan Bezzina (Malta) 4-0; James Mifsud (Australia) bt Sascha Lippe (Germany) 4-3; Mohd Al Joaker (UAE) bt Suleman Salam (Sweden) 4-0; IH Manudev (India) bt Yu Lun Wu (Taipei) 4-3; Yuttapop Pakpoj (Thailand) bt Leonard Shanahan (Ireland) 4-1; Nader Khan Sultani (Afghanistan) bt Sandeep Gulati (India) 4-3; Habib Subah Habib (Bahrain) bt Alain Vandersteen (Belgium) 4-3.
Masters (pre-quarter-finals): Geet Sethi (India) bt Chuchart Trirattanapradit (Thailand) 4-3; Dene O’Kane (New Zealand) bt Hitesh Naran (South Africa) 4-1; Glen Wilkinson (Australia) bt Ron Jones (Wales) 4-2; Costas Konnaris (Cyprus) bt Ali Jaafar (France)