Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Filipiak stars but top order unmoved

Poland's prodigy Kacper Filipiak was the star of the show on day two of the World Cup - despite title favourites England, Wales and Scotland all winning their opening matches.

The 15-year-old wonderkid won both of his singles frames against Scotland's three-time world champion John Higgins and former UK Champion Stephen Maguire, but couldn't prevent a 3-2 defeat his nation.

Filipiak is new to the professional circuit this season after winning the 2011 European Under-21 Championship, but many people questioned whether he was old enough to successfully compete after suffering a 5-0 tour debut defeat to Li Yan in the Australian Goldfields Open qualifiers.

He dispelled these theories as myth today - looking completely at home on the big stage to chalk two impressive wins.

After his victory, he said: "I was really relaxed – it was just a normal frame."

That sounds like the words of star if ever I've heard them. Simply in his comfort zone playing snooker.

Ronnie O'Sullivan followed this up by tweeting he'll be a future world champion. A pretty heavy endorsement by anyone's standards.

Scotland may have been made to scrap for their maiden wins at the World Cup, but Wales and England had no such trouble.

Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens flew the flag for the Welsh Dragons with a 5-0 demolition of Egypt, while Mark Selby and Ali Carter eased past Brazil 4-1.

Away from the big guns, Tony Drago was again in the thick of the action. He added to his scalp of Ding Junhui yesterday by beating former world champion Neil Robertson, but again saw Malta lose 3-2.

Belgium slumped to their second defeat in as many days. Bjorn Haneveer looked to have the win in the bag but lost the final frame from two snookers required against Pankaj Advani, as India recorded a 3-2 victory.

Elsewhere, Pakistan couldn't build on their win against Ireland yesterday. They were beaten by the Germans 3-2, as Lasse Munstermann won both his singles frames. Hong Kong beat Afghanistan and the UAE lost their first match to Thailand 1.

Notably, the standard of snooker was a lot higher today - proved by the action finishing a hefty three hours earlier than yesterday.

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