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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - UMB Virtual OneCarom Challenge

Two giants meet in the final: Merckx and Sayginer

Posted by on July 11, 2020

Two giants meet in the final: Merckx and Sayginer

© Ton Smilde
The two players for the final in the Challenge: Semih Sayginer and Eddy Merckx, Sunday, 17.00 European time

AARTSELAAR / ISTANBUL - Two of the most admired players in the world of three cushion has reached the the final match in the Virtual Challenge, organized by the UMB in this matchless era. The decisive match is played tomorrow, Sunday (17.00 European time). 51-year-old Belgian Eddy Merckx and 55-year-old Turk Semih Sayginer showed up as the winners in the semi-finals against Tayfun Tasdemir and Torbjörn Blomdahl. Merckx had a poor start, but eventually won by the slightest difference: 50-49 in 12 innings. Semih Sayginer had a spectacular finish at 44-39 for Blomdahl with a final run of 11. Both matches had the same innings: 13.

Torbjörn Blomdahl missed the break shot twice in the first four innings against Sayginer, but he led by runs of 10 and 8 after 8 innings: 30-20. Sayginer scored 10 and 11 in his last five innings when the Swede had a poor final part: 50-44 in 13, averaging 3,85/3,38.

Tayfun Tasdemir had a better start than Merckx, including an 11 run in the third inning. The Belgian had his best part of the game between the 6th and 9th inning with runs of 13, 3, 5 and 9, making that he led 43-30 after 29-29 in between. The last part was spectacular in the score. Tayfun had unlikely bad luck in the second last inning and missed one inning later, in the last inning, on one carom from the end. Then, Merckx could finish with two: 50-49 in 12, averaging 4,166/4,083.

The story and analysis of the Challenge is mainly the story of the break shot: each player starts from the break in every inning, which makes the averages higher and the starting punch more important than in any match or tournament. In many opinions, Eddy Merckx proves to be the absolute specialist from the starting spots: he often makes the same hit and has almost the same position for a second, third or more caroms.

Kozoom asked the two finalists about the secret of the break shot.

Eddy Merckx: ''I don't know if there is a secret, but I did hit the break shot perfect very often. In my preparation for this Challenge, because is have my new Gabriel billiard only for one month, I practiced very often for the break. I think, hundreds of times in the few weeks before the tournament. Still, today, against Tayfun, I missed it for the first time. I hit the second ball too full, that's why it turned out into a follow shot, which was too long on the third rail. The break is different in every tournament and on every billiard table. Therefore, it seems like an easy ball, but when the table is changing, the shot is more and more difficult. For me, the shot is played perfectly when I keep the red ball close, so that my second point is an easy shot.''

Semih Sayginer: ''I admit: Eddy was very good in the break shot so far, but he is always and everywhere good playing from the spots. I think that is because he more aiming the shot and has the better stroke for it than other players. That makes him feel more comfortable. He makes the best hit of all of us, we have seen it every time. Really, it depends on the table: if he is sensitive and short, it's more difficult to hit the ball perfectly. If you can trust the table for hundred percent, you can use the standard stroke. But the table where I and Tayfun play, has a little the potention to get short. So we don't always know whether to push the shot, or not. Tayfun plays the opposite side to me on this table, so maybe I should try that in the final.''

Which is the most memorable match for both of you playing against each other?

Eddy Merckx: ''My last match against Semih was very special for me, in the McCreery event in New York. The match was very important in the run-up to the finals. We matched all the time, but I made the decisive 18 run, which later turned out to be the highest in the tournament and also decisive for the win.''

Semih Sayginer: ''A very long time ago, maybe twenty years, I played in the Dutch cup final for teams against Eddy. That was one of my best and most spectacular games ever. We played in sets, to the best of five over fifteen points. Eddy won the first and was very far ahead in all the next three sets. But miraculously, I finished three times with a high run: 12, 13 and 13, so I won 3-1. I don't remember the year, but Eddy will certainly do, because he was three times in a winning position.''



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My Comments

Ozgur Somuncu
Ozgur Somuncu
Good luck both of you
I think it was LG Cup 2019. The game was stopped by dog:)

Message 1/1 - Publish at July 12, 2020 2:13 AM

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