Pankaj Advani defeated nine times champion Mike Russell at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds to win the elusive World Professional Billiards Championship.
Advani beat the defending champion 2030-1253 after having a 800-plus lead at the break.
Advani is the second Indian to win the title in its 139th years of history. Geet Sethi was the last Indian to win in 2006, his first being in 1992.
There were doubts about the jinx of Advani continuing at the worlds when he had lost to Roxton Chapman in the quarters at the EBOS event in Yorkshire before the world event. Sitwala had lost Russell in the final.
This is Pankaj Advani's first Professional Billiards world title. He has already won the amateurs world billiards and snooker Championships.
Russell didn't appear to be the player who won the title last year beating Geet Sethi having trailed (470-608) behind Rupesh Shah in the semi-final at the half-way stage earlier in the day. Pankaj had a good run-in thanks to his ONGC teammate Dhruv Sitwala who match him for stroke with the result just 65 points separated the two at the finish.
Pankaj had a break of 226 while Russell had a 193 in the final. In the earlier two rounds Pankaj had a 182 and 195 while Russell had a 267 against Rupesh Shah.
Pankaj hasn't got past the quarter-finals in his previous attempts. The last time the title came to India was in 2006 when Geet Sethi beat Mike Russell in the final.
Source : TOI