Pankaj Advani advances to pre-quarters of Asian Snooker Championship

Pankaj Advani advances to pre-quarters of Asian Snooker Championship

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Fifteen-time world champion Pankaj Advani entered the pre-quarters of the Asian Snooker Championship on Wednesday, after defeating Iraq’s Alijali Ali 4-1. The Indian ace won his fourth successive match of the tournament with a scoreline of 78-54, 107-2, 74-9, 29-65, 57-44 to enter the last 16.

After his three-match winning streak in the group stage without losing a single frame, Indian cueist Pankaj Advani continued his impressive run in the tournament defeating Alijali Ali of Iraq in the last-32 stage. Advani, who finished as runner-up in the last edition of the tournament, won the first three frames 78-54, 107-2, 74-9 to go into a 3-0 lead before conceding the fourth frame to Alijali Ali 29-65. However, he bounced back from the loss and won the fifth frame 57-44 to confirm his place in the pre-quarters.

Speaking to the media after his win, Advani said starting the knockout stages with a win will help in the later stages of the tournament.

“It is good to start on a winning note in the knockout stages as it acts as a confidence booster, a necessity in tournaments of this level,” Advani was quoted as saying by IANS.

The title favourite will next face fellow countrymen and 2015 National Sub-Junior Snooker Winner, 19-year-old Ishpreet Singh Chadha in the pre-quarter-final on Thursday. Ishpreet made his way into the last 16 after defeating Mohammed Al Joaker of UAE 4-1 in the last 32 stage.

“I look forward to facing promising talent such as Ishpreet who has been making quite an impression on the national snooker circuit. I am sure this will be a challenging yet exciting encounter,” Advani said.

Other Indians in the fray, Sundeep Gulati, and Manan Chandra, 1failed to replicate the success of Advani, and bowed out of the tournament on Wednesday. Sundeep Gulati lost to Muhammad Asif 2-4, while Manan Chandra suffered an agonising 3-4 defeat to Karam Fatima of Syria.  

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