Posted on: February 16, 2013

Its Advanis show all the way at Welsh Open

By Ravi Kumar

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Its Advanis show all the way at Welsh Open

Indian ace snooker player Pankaj Advani maintained his dream run in the BetVictor Welsh Open Pro Snooker Series as the eight-time world champion on Thursday scripted history by storming into the quarterfinals of a major ranking event, toppling Scotland's Graeme Dott 4-1 at Newport, Wales.

Maintaining his current form intact by evicting out World No. 4 Shaun Murphy in the pre-quarterfinals, the defending world billiards champion easily defeated 2006 world champion Dott to once again display his authority on the professional snooker circuit.

Advani had on Wednesday turned out to be the first Indian cueist ever to reach the pre-quarters of the Welsh Open when he overcame a spirited challenge from the former world champion Murphy 4-3 in the Round of 32.

The Indian now looks forward to winning the event of the last-16 clash between World No.2 Judd Trump and Andrew Higginson.

"Being the only Indian to make it to the quarters of any professional snooker ranking tournament ever is a huge high for me. I really have no words to express how amazing this feels. I hope this will translate into big steps forward in Indian snooker," Advani told PTI.

The way Advani played showed no glimpses of any nervousness. In fact, he displayed total command over his Scottish counterpart in a scintillating display best game moves that the sports fans have witnessed in recent times. Perhaps, there is something more from this player in store, which might end up even in winning the cup.

In Thursday's match, Advani started with a bang in the first frame, securing a fine break of 63 to take a 1-0 lead.

Averting Dott from getting any chance to settle in, the 27-year-old Bangalorean built another frame-winning break of 73 to go 2-0 up.

Dott, currently ranked at 13, never let down his performance as it was evident that in the third to reduce the gap and make it 2-1.

Eventually, it was actually Advani who came back in the fourth with a 46 clearance to be one frame away from creating history. And the Indian did not disappoint fans back home. After getting out of the first colour attempt, Dott left the table not expecting that to be his last visit of the championship, as Advani sparked a splendid 100-break to break into the quarters.

Advani will be able to seek his title in case he gets over the future rounds in a successful manner, which should not be a tough ask considering the kind of form in which he is. Should he be the winner, then it will add one more milestone to his prolific career. Apart from Dott and other legends on the game, Advani, the only active player to play at the highest level in both billiards and snooker simultaneously in the same season, has won the hearts of fans the world over with his unprecedented first year performance on the professional circuit.

Earlier this season, he emerged victorious over some of the big names in the Pro circuit like Steve Davis, Jimmy White, Nigel Bond, Alan McManus, Michael Holt, Mark King, Ryan Day and John Higgins.

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