New Delhi: India`s leading professional cueist Pankaj Advani opened his campaign at the Indian Open world ranking snooker tournament with a dominating 4-1 victory over world number 29 Marcus Campbell here on Tuesday.
The Scot seemed off-colour as he struggled against the formidable Indian, who was in a punishing mood.
Advani, an eight-time world champion, showed his winning experience with a strong start to the match. The Indian raced to a 1-0 lead with the help of a 74 break and followed that up with some fine potting to make it 2-0.
Advani enjoyed a healthy lead in the third, starting with a 52 break but Campbell showed he was an opponent not to be taken lightly. A fluke red in the centre pocket was all he needed to carve out a brilliant clearance with two reds remaining to reduce the scoreline to 2-1.
The Indian, only in his second season on the pro circuit, responded to the pressure and stamped his supremacy by scoring the highest break of the tournament so far with a 134 clearance leaving the fans awestruck and his opponent with little hope.
A closer affair in the fifth frame, Advani again took a huge lead starting the proceedings with another 52 break. Campbell had his chance but faltered on a critical black before Advani potted enough to secure the frame and match, forcing Campbell out of his seat to concede the encounter with a gentlemanly handshake.
This win keeps both the Indian professionals -- the other being Aditya Mehta -- alive in the inaugural Indian Open ranking event.
The matches lined up for tomorrow are vastly contrasting as Advani takes on a tough opponent in world number 11 Mark Allen, the winner of the recent Ruhr Open Championship, while Mehta, who turned pro six years ago, will be expected to face little resistance from his tomorrow`s opponent -- Bangladesh`s Hammad Miah, who is ranked 107th.