Mumbai : Sumeet Ahuja (+35) showed steady nerves and put up a strong fight which helped to score a fantastic win against Abhishek Soparkar (+29) by a 3-2 scoreline in a tense first round match of the Matunga Gymkhana 9-Red Open Handicap Snooker Tournament 2017, which is sponsored and hosted by Matunga Gymkhana and played at the gymkhana’s billiards hall.
The more experienced player Soparkar started with wins in the first two frames quite comfortably to take a 2-0 lead. But, Ahuja playing with a never-say-die attitude surprised his rival by winning the next three frames to wrap up a 67-75, 64(23)-82(34), 80-60, 87-63, 78-54 victory and advance to the second round. Ahuja made a break of 23 in the second frame and Soparkar did better with a break of 34 also in the second which he won.
In the other first round match, Sanjeev Bijlani (+29) seemed well set and easily defeated Pankaj Teckchandani (+35) by a 3-0 margin. The frame scores were 104-76, 76-43, 78-68 in favour of Bijlani.
Meanwhile, Seasoned campaigner Yasin Merchant leads the field of 210 strong title-contenders in this tournament, which is conducted under the auspices of BSAM. The final, is slated to be played onMarch 18.
This is the first-time ever that a 9-Red event is being conducted and this format has been conceptualized by V. Subramanium, popularly know at ‘Raja’ in the cue sports fraternity and Arun Agrawal.
Besides the former two-time Asian champion, Yasin Merchant, the other star attractions include Siddharth Parikh, Himanshu Jain and Rahul Sachdev, all starting with the lowest handicap of +3. Junior National snooker champion Ahutosh Padhy, Delhi’s Nitesh Madan, Mukund Bharadiya and Anand Raghuvanshi, will all start with a +7 handicap. Other notable names include Abhimanyu Gandhi, Abhinay Edke, Manav Panchal, Sahil Nayyar, Dhairya Bhandari.