Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Advantage Advani

Pankaj Advani showed the snooker world exactly what he's all about.

The seven-time billiards world champion is playing in his rookie season on the professional snooker tour and tonight beat Shaun Murphy 4-3 on his venue debut at the Welsh Open.
He played some impressive stuff along the way and showed why he could have a very bright future in his chosen new disciple of cue sports.

His cue ball control is immaculate, his touch and judgement around the balls superb, he is a great shotmaker and appears to have a rock solid safety game. Although his cue action is unorthodox, he makes up for it with great skill.

Murphy is one of the true title contenders in every event he plays in, but Advani limited his chances well.

He looked unfazed on the big stage and it's hardly a surprise when you consider he's already reached superstar status in billiards.

Pankaj looks to have a really bright future on the old green baize. Just like his fellow countryman Aditya Mehta, he' has a top class attitude and looks willing to work hard for his success and take his chances.

It's fantastic for the wider snooker audience to get the chance to see Advani in action. This will become the case more and more once tournaments switch to a flat 128-man flat draw next season.

These kind of shocks are what the first round matches are all about. It shouldn't always be plain-sailing for the big boys. Players such as Pankaj will make sure of that.

Advani wasn't the only player outside the top 16 to make his mark today in Newport. Sam Baird qualified for his first venue at the Welsh Open a year ago and enjoyed more success in the tournament with a 4-0 victory against Gerard Greene.

There was also some cheer from the older guard. Ken Doherty sent John Higgins home and Alan McManus battled his way to victory against Barry Hawkins.

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