Advani, Sethi hail compatriot Sitwala despite loss

Leeds: Dhruv Sitwala missed out on a historic
title triumph at World Professional Billiards championship but
seasoned pros Pankaj Advani and Geet Sethi on Monday said he does
not need to be disappointed as he has matured as a player and
this performance will stand him in good stead in future.

Sitwala had a dream run at the prestigious tournament as
he stunned defending champion Advani and five time winner
Sethi en route to the final, which he lost 1204-1738 to
legendary Mike Russell.

"Dhruv is a great friend of mine and I am feeling
extremely happy for him. He put up a brave fight against
Russell, whose prolific break building and ability to
uncork big breaks is known to everyone. He did well throughout
the tournament to sail into the finals," Advani told reporters.

"I would be happier had he won the event. But still he
came out with good overall performance. He held his nerves and
showed tremendous character and composure. This will help him
in long run," said Advani, who had lost 608-723 against
Sitwala in the last-eight stage of the event on October 30.

Sethi, making his 19th appearance at the event, said
Sitwala`s excellent performance in the event just showed that
how good he has become on the professional circuit.

"Dhruv played really well (against Russell). It was a
fantastic performance and I believe this will help him in
future ahead. He fought two very close matches before
advancing to the finals. Despite losing, all credit goes to
him for such a fine effort," said the green baize baron Sethi.

On his semifinal match against Sitwala, he said, "It was
a very close game and that shows how exciting this game is.
There had to be one winner after every match and that day it
was Sitwala."

Sethi said the five-day-long championship will help the
Indian players at this month`s Asian Games in China.

"The championship just before the Asian Games has helped
us prepare better. It`s good to organise it before the Asian
Games. Looking forward to the challenge ahead," Sethi added.