Advani stumbles at final hurdle again

Advani stumbles at final hurdle again

Ace Indian cueist Pankaj Advani’s quest for a maiden Asian Snooker Championship remained unfulfilled as the 16-time world champion suffered another heart-breaking defeat in the final at Doha on Friday.

Needing just the Asian snooker title to complete a career slam of all major titles in both billiards and snooker at both the continental and global level, Advani seemed on course to writing another piece of history before being undone by the brilliance of Chinese teenager Lv Haotian. Advani, who suffered a 3-6 defeat, thus faltered in the final for the fourth time.

The 31-year-old had previously lost to Alok Kumar (2003), Aditya Mehta (2012) and Hamza Akbar (2015) in the title deciders.

The 19-year-old Haotian won the opening frame 95-32 to start on a positive note. Advani hit back to win the second 75-31 but Haotian won the next two 69-43 and 65-24 to take a 3-1 lead.  Thereafter there was a bit of a cat and mouse game before Haotian started to take control of the proceedings and galloping away to the title.

Results: Final: Lv Haotian (Chn) bt Pankaj Advani (Ind) 6-3 (95 (65)-32, 31-75 (58), 69-43, 65 (57)-24, 0-78, 102 (102)-6, 48-61, 59-48, 71-69).

Semifinals: P Advani (Ind) bt Mohammad Bilal (Pak) 5-0 (82-44, 67-12, 50-38, 66-8, 67-8); Lv Haotian (Chn) bt Mohammed Shehad (UAE) 5-3 (52-42, 22-67, 78-9, 21-60, 14-68, 102-0, 75-0, 65-32).

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