The Kremlin Cup 2017: World and European ranking leaders clash

Michael Kablukov · 21 September 2017

The opening day of Moscow 10-Ball event has already featuerd some spectacular matches and Day 2 schedule is even more promising.

Due to the fact that this year's Kremlin Cup is not only a WPA ranking event but also provides Mosconi Cup ranking points for the first time, many pool stars checked the event on their list. It must be only Thorsten Hohmann who is missing. Especially provided the Hitman has a nice history in Moscow, winning a complete medal set in the past (being a semifinalist, a runner-up and a winner on various years).

Other than that, the field must be the strongest in recent years. 10 players from top 30 WPA ranking are here, which is pretty solid given the fact that half of those 30 come from China, Taiwan and the Philippines which were hardly ever present in Moscow anyway.

As planned, the Mosconi Cup team USA was brought to Russia by their captain Johan Ruysink. Skyler Woodward had to stay at home though, so he was replaced by Corey Deuel in a challenge match vs. team Russia. So far, the Americans look good, with Shane Van Boening still unbeaten after two matches.

The story is a bit different with the Russian players. Konstantin Stepanov literally crawled over the finish line vs. Francizco Sanchez-Ruiz. Kosta almost wasted a comfortable lead of 7-3. The final score is 8-5 in his favor. First half showed the young Spaniard giving up too many chances but later he began to win racks off his opponent. Next Stepanov is up against SVB.

Fedor Gorst started with a win over Denis Grabe (Estonia) but lost to the Kremlin Cup-2012 winner Mateusz Sniegocki. Andrey Seroshtan sent the Vietnamese Nguyen PhucLong to B side of the bracket. Phuc Long is a strong and experienced player, a former Asian 9-Ball Tour semi-finalist.

The most fascinating match of Day 1 was going to be Ruslan Chinakhov vs. Eklent Kaci. Just due to the fact these two are winners of the first and second events of the World Pool Series. The Russian player proved to be better of the two that evening and handed defeat to the Albanian at 8-5 scoreline.

On Day 2 the single elimination bracket will be filled, and there are going to be more interesting match-ups. Stepanov vs Van Boening, Ekonomopoulos vs Makkonen, Alcaide vs Chinakhov - these are known already. But the highlight is going to be the battle between Ralf Souquet and Joshua Filler. Like the title says, it goes about them being current World and European ranking leaders for the Mosconi Cup.

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