Advani heaps praise on Mehta

Ace cueist turns his focus on defending World 6-red title

Advani heaps praise on Mehta

Having won the bronze medal in the just-concluded Snooker World Cup at Wuxi, China, along with Aditya Mehta, ace cueist Pankaj Advani on Tuesday lavished praise on his team-mate, saying the duo exceeded expectations with their fine show.

After failing to advance to the quarterfinals four years ago in Thailand, both Advani and Mehta played some superb snooker in this quadrennial tournament conducted by World Snooker. They lost the opening league match to China ‘A’ but then recovered quickly to win their next four and advance to last-eight as group runners-up. They then beat Belgium before losing to Scotland in the last-four to settle for a bronze medal.

“I think both of us enjoyed playing together,” Advani told Deccan Herald soon after returning to the city on Tuesday morning. “We really complement each other very well. At the start of the tournament, I was not striking the ball well. I needed time to get used to the conditions. So, Aditya was doing the bulk of the scoring, taking the pressure off me.

“In doubles, I would play a few safety shots and force the error from the opponent and let Aditya score. I was happy doing that at the start. Even in the game against Belgium (in the quarterfinals), he played outstandingly well. In the semifinals, I thought it was time to raise my game and I did exactly that. It was unfortunate in a way that we lost, considering we were so close to the finish line.

I think we deserved to be in the final. I think, at the end of it, we dished out a good combination of attacking and defensive snooker. There was some superb potting as well fine safety play. If one of us had a bad day, the other would lift the morale. It was superb playing with him and winning a medal for India,” said Advani.

The 29-year-old said while he enjoyed playing such tournaments hosted by World Snooker -- the professional body – his next focus is on successfully defending his World 6-red Snooker Championship crown.

“The IBSF 6-red snooker championship is there in Pakistan this August. I would be going out there to defend my title and I hope to do so successfully. I believe, simultaneously, they are staging the team championships as well. So there are two events for me to look forward to. The World Billiards is in Australia this time in September. So, that’s something I would obviously play.”

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