Bengaluru: Indian cue stars Pankaj Advani and Kamal Chawla on Friday moved closer to the knockout stage after registering their third straight win against their respective opponents on Day 3 of the IBSF World Snooker Championship at Sree Kanteerava Stadium here.
After getting into the groove post his second win yesterday, Advani continued his magnificent form by outsmarting Austria's Paul Schopf 4-0 with breaks of 71 in the first frame, 52 and 84 clearance in the fourth.
Billed as hot favourite to lift his 13th world title, Advani told reporters after the match that he played aggressively since his rival did not capitalise on his mistakes.
"I played aggressively especially since my opponent did not punish me for my mistakes," he said. This match against Schopf gave the national cue sport poster boy a chance to experiment before he stormed into the knockout stage, but Advani believes it's still a long way to go.
"Overall, it was a good win and I had the chance to experiment a bit, but there is still a long way to go," said Advani. Chawla, nursing a ligament injury to his right thumb, essayed his third consecutive win 4-1 over Belgium's Jurgen Van Roy with a break of 57 in the third frame.
"I stretched myself to the fifth frame. I should have won 4-0, but lost concentration in the fourth frame," he said. The Madhya Pradesh cueist said the playing conditions are improving compared to the first two days, and winning three out of three is a good start.
"I am playing well otherwise and the playing conditions have certainly improved from the previous two days. Three wins out of three is a good start," he added. Another young Indian though did not have his way as 22-year-old Mumbai cueist Rahul Ajay Sachdev lost to the much-fancied Chinese teenager Yan Bingtao 1-4.
The left-handed Sachdev, who took to playing snooker only four years ago and is being coached by Sanjay Sawant, did well to take the first frame against Bingtao. However, Sachdev's inexperience surfaced as he committed errors in the second frame and the talented 14-year old Bingtao, who reached the round-of-16 in Shanghai Masters, took charge.
New Delhi cueist Sundeep Gulati meant business when the young gun thrashed Tomasz Skalski of Belgium 4-0. Multiple title holder and bronze medallist at World Billiards last month, Sourav Kothari won comfortably against Michael Mengorio 4-1.
Another Kolkata cueist Brijesh Damani also had it easy against Sri Lankan cueist Mohamed Mubeen Mansoor, as the youngster won 4-0. Some noted Indian cueist to lose their matches were Dharmendra Lilly, Sahil Nayyar and Faisal Khan.
In the Masters section, defending champion Phisit Chandsri of Thailand had a 101 break while overcoming India's Kamaraj SH 3-0. Varun Madan continued his form beating Vinicius Da Silva Fucutta (Brazil) 4-0.
In women's category, Divya Sharma a wild card entry could not find her touch against Gareth Allen (Wales) and lost 2-4. R Umadevi managed to take frame from talented Hong Kong player I P Wan In Jaique to eventually lose 1-3.
Two-time title winner Ng On Yee had 2 breaks of 47 and 41 to dispatch Neeta Sanghvi 3-0.