Doha: A “nervous” Niels Feijen of the Netherlands had a few anxious moments but rode his luck to collect the greatest triumph of his 17-year-old pool career here yesterday.
The 37-year-old defeated Austria’s Albin Oushcan 13-10 in the final to win the 2014 World 9-ball Championship (W9BC) at Al Sadd Indoor Stadium.
“It was the hardest match, I was nervous to start off, I picked up midway to play my best game to take it to 12-8 but then he (Oushcan) bounced back to make 12-10,” said Feijen, nicknamed “The Terminator” in pool circles.
In Doha, he lived up to his nickname.
But the way to the title was not easy. Ouschan took an early lead in the final but faltered thereafter as Feijen leveled the score and went on to take the lead at 12-10.
Ouschan, playing his first final, erred with the score at 12-10 to give Feijen the chance to clear the table and with it the title.
“I lost concentration when I was leading 12-8, I was already thinking about the win, making a winner’s speech, I was not composed,” said Feijen who never made it past the round of 64 in three earlier attempts in Doha.
The victory was a huge relief, he said. “In the end I did it, so happy to win it. I have been trying to win it for so many years, working hard over the years and the efforts have borne
fruit. I wanted to grab it and am delighted to have it. It’s the
cherry on the cake (of my career),” said the Dutchman who seconds later called up his wife to convey the news of his Doha triumph.
Feijen said his opponent in the final kept up the pressure till end.
“Although Ouschan was making it past the quarter-finals for the first time, he gave a good account of himself. At no point in his campaign in the semi-final and final did he give the impression that he was overawed by the situation,” Feijen said about his 24 year-old final opponent.
Ouschan on the other hand said he should have adopted a more aggressive game plan.
“I was too composed, which in the end was not good for me,” he said.
Earlier in the semi-finals yesterday, Ouschan defeated Chang Yu Lung of Chinese Taipei 11-7, while Feijen got the better off Elmer D. Haya of the Philippines by an identical score.
The winner collected a cheque of QR30,000 while the runner-up had to settle for QR15,000.
Qatar will hold the W9BC of the World Pool-Billiard Association consecutively until 2017.