Leeds: It was his maiden appearance in World
Professional Championship finals but Indian billiards player
Dhruv Sitwala reckons defeating legendary cueist and
compatriot Geet Sethi in the semifinals as more satisfying
than reaching the summit clash.
Sitwala, who made it to the finals of the World Pro
championship for the first time in his career, said the
five-day-long event has helped him to develop into more
"mature, complete and pressure-seeking competitor".
"Defeating defending champion Pankaj Advani in the
quarterfinal was great achievement for me but I would rather
like to conclude that pipping legendary Geet Sethi by just one
point in the semifinal was the most memorable and celebrated
moment for me in the event," Sitwala, who lost in the final to
nine-time champion Mike Russell of Qatar, told reporters.
"It was a major victory for me. I was just praying that
the final bell rings because the match was going neck and
neck. Both victories will always remain with me as they have
helped me develop as more mature player and bring more
positivity in my approach," Sitwala, the 2007 IBSF World
Billiards runner-up, said.
In the semifinal between nine-time World Billiards
champion Sethi and Mumbaikar Sitwala, played at the
Northern Snooker Centre here, a massive miscalculation in the
end moments of the game cost Sethi the match by a solitary
point 980-979, when it could easily have been a tie.
Sitwala had registered a hard fought 723-608 victory over
Advani in the last-eight stage of the event on October 30.
On the final match against Russell, where he lost
1204-1738, Sitwala said the century break of 450 constructed
by the nine-time Pro Chamionship winner put paid to his
chances of succeeding against the green baize maestro.
"I am disappointed at failing to clinch my maiden World
Pro title but at the same time feeling good the way I carried
my form throughout the tournament. Russell played really well
and helped his cause with some quick century breaks. He is one
of the toughest opponent to beat.”
"I constructed four century breaks against Russell,
including one accounting for 281 but that did not help me in
the end," said Sitwala.
Commenting on his performance at the tournament, the
Mumbaikar said, "I am fortunate to reach the finals of the
event where the line-up comprises of Pankaj, Geet, Russell and
Gilchrist. I had lost my first match of the championship to
compatriot Ashok Shandilya but managed to win all other group
matches. Happy to reach the finals," he summarised.