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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - World Cup - Porto (POR)

20th World Cup victory for sovereign Caudron

Posted by on July 8, 2018

20th World Cup victory for sovereign Caudron

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Caudron in shining form, too much even for Tasdemir

The world number one simply would not be denied: Frédéric Caudron won the 2018 Porto World Cup without even letting the competition get close. Tayfun Tasdemir was his opponent in the final, but even the Turk, who played some wonderful 3-cushion in Porto, could not get anywhere near the finish line: 40-21 in 14 innings to the Belgian, who managed to look relaxed at the table and treated the crowd to some jaw-dropping shots.  

Caudron had a far from easy draw in the early rounds: he started his campaign in the Stadio do Dragao against Dong Koong Kang (40-21 in 11). He then got past Murat Naci Coklu (40-19 in 15) and looked on his way to a sky-high tournament average. Things took a turn in the quarterfinals, where he met Cho Chi Yeon and used a few more innings for the win: 40-28 in 26. The semifinal was one-way traffic against Jung Han Heo who needed the equalizing inning to make things look decent: 40-27 in 18. Tasdemir was beaten in a similar way: two or three innocent mistakes by the Turk and Caudron had established a 20-6 lead. As his opponents know by now: once he is gone, he is gone.

The tournament in Portugal was not without a few blemishes. First, there was the absence of the Vietnamese players due to visa problems. They have been such a welcome addition to the international scene in the past few years, it must be a high priority for the governing bodies to make sure this can't happen again. Second, the half empty stands in Porto were a disappointment, spoiled as we were in Blankenberge a few weeks ago where the house was packed.

On the final day, with four players left, Porto was half Asian and half European. The first of the two semifinals saw Caudron take on Jung Han Heo, and it was never a real contest. Heo is a brilliant player but he struggles with nerves. This semifinal was like a birthday present to the Korean, who could very well have lost in the last 16 (to Leppens) and again in the last 8 (to Sayginer). He escaped both times, but Caudron was merciless. Every little mistake was punished by the Belgian, and Heo did well to end on 1.500, as the final score said 40-27 in 18.

In the other semi, Tasdemir dominated from the first inning, making the most of every chance and quickly building a lead. Halftime came at 20-5 in 6 innings, and Sung Won Choi, the 2014 world champion, never really recovered. It was 31-9 in 8, it ended 40-21 in 14. In a remarkable coincidence, all three losers on the final Sunday averaged exactly 1.500.

 

Jung Han Heo and Sung Won Choi

The two losing semifinalists: Sung Won Choi and Jung Han Heo

 

The final between Caudron and Tasdemir started in a strange manner: with Frédéric missing the break. Tasdemir ran 5 and looked to have the dream start. But Caudron quickly found his rhythm and 12-14 in 8 became 23-14 in 9, after a marvelous run of 11 by the Belgian. From that point, it was almost inevitable that the reigning world champion would also win Porto. When Caudron is focused and tense, he is one of the best. But when he is relaxed and enjoying his billiards, there is nobody who can touch him. 

The win in Porto takes Frédéric to a total of 20 career World Cups. On the all-time list, he is a serious threat to the number two: Dick Jaspers (23 wins). The leader, Blomdahl (44 wins) will probably never get caught. Caudron also reinforces his big lead on the world ranking, where he will remain on top even if he should play a lesser World Cup. Sayginer continues his climb on the ranking, Dani Sánchez (almost invincible two seasons ago) is slipping.   

The high run in Porto was made by Eddy Leppens: 15. The best match was played by Caudron: 40 in 11 (3.636).

Final standing of Porto 2018:

1 Caudron  2.380

2 Tasdemir 2.320

3 Jung Han Heo 1.750

4 Sung Won Choi 1.584

5 Sayginer 1.918

6 Merckx 1.870

7 Chi Yeo Cho 1.714

8 Wan Young Choi 1.471

9 Papakonstantinou 1.666

10 Leppens 1.625

11 Zapata 1.585

12 Blomdahl 1.500

13 Cenet 1.488

14 Coklu 1.372

15 Palazon 1.369

16 Zanetti 1.255 

 

Porto podium

The half-Asian, half-European podium in Porto

 

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