At Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz won the 2022 US Open Pool Championship, defeating Austria’s Max Lechner 13-10 in the final to move up to the top spot in the Live Nineball World Rankings, win $50,000 first place, and become the first Spaniard to win one of pool’s oldest majors.
Lechner won the lag before claiming the first rack in a break and run to calm any early concerns in the biggest match of both players’ careers. Rack 1: Francisco Sanchez Ruiz 0-1 Lechner.
Sanchez Ruiz is 0-2 in rack two. – Lechner With another break and run shortly after, the Austrian quickly increased his lead and effectively signaled his strategy for the match.
Sanchez Ruiz defeats Lechner 1-2 in rack 3. Lechner appeared to be in position to create a 3-0 lead at the start of the game after a quick safety exchange, but a missed seven-ball later, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz scored the game’s opening goal.
Sanchez Ruiz 1-3 in rack 4. Sanchez – Lechner Ruiz made his first break of the game, but he was unable to make a shot on the two. Before Lechner placed him back in, he opted to push out. Francisco Sanchez Ruiz booted the two, but in doing so, he also cleared the table, allowing Lechner to sit back down. Lechner went aloft to make touch with the three but found that it stumbled in, making an easy exit from there.
The match was moving in Sanchez Ruiz’s favor for the first time after a fluked carom to make the nine when leaping for the two. Rack 5: Sanchez Ruiz 2-3 Lechner.
Sanchez Ruiz 3-3 in rack six. – Lechner The duo was tied at three all for the first time since the game’s beginning thanks to a Sanchez Ruiz golden break. He had won three racks by potting seven balls.
Sanchez Ruiz 3-4 Lechner, rack 7. Only the third all-European US Open final in history could be decided by a small margin, and after seven games, Lechner gained the lead. When Francisco Sanchez Ruiz attempted to cut the three in, it stubbornly adhered to the pocket, leaving him in despair.
Sanchez Ruiz 4–4 Lechner in rack eight. In his semi-final matchup with Ko Ping Chung, Lechner occasionally struggled with the two ball. In the eighth rack, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz was once more called to the table to tie the score once more.
Sanchez Ruiz wins 5-4 in rack 9. Sanchez – Lechner At 5-4 in the game, Ruiz took the lead for the first time. The Spaniard had already developed a rhythm and was making the most of it since he knew he would be the new No. 1 player in the Nineball World Rankings at the end of the day.
Lechner 5-5 Sanchez Ruiz in rack 10 Just as everything seemed to be going in Sanchez Ruiz’s favor, a nightmare struck. The 2022 World Cup of Pool champion came back from the break and leveled the score by bringing Lechner back to the game.
Sanchez Ruiz won the 11th rack 6-5. Lechner: Lechner was fouled while attempting to make the three-ball by leaping over the four and the five. With the ball in his possession, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz retook the lead.
Lechner 6-6 Sanchez Ruiz in rack 12: Sanchez Ruiz attempted to hit a field goal with the two over the pocket, but he failed, giving Lechner a second chance to tie the score.
Sanchez Ruiz won the 13th rack 7-6. Sanchez Ruiz swooped in to grab the lead and make the first trip to the halfway point because Lechner – Lechner broke and snatched at a chance with the remainder on the five ball.
Sanchez Ruiz defeats Lechner 8–6 in rack 14. Lechner was beginning to regret wasted opportunities when Sanchez Ruiz used a superb break and run to give himself a two rack lead for the first time in the match.
Sanchez Ruiz won rack 15 9-6. Lechner – Sanchez Ruiz made a clean run out to be four points away from winning after crunching in the break in the fifteenth rack.
Sanchez Ruiz wins rack 16 10-6. – Lechner Sanchez has four balls off the break. In order to focus on winning his first solo Matchroom title with another break and run, Ruiz was the ideal choice. Cruise control was in use.
After a brief safety exchange, Sanchez Ruiz’s momentum was abruptly stopped in the 17th rack. FSR returned to the table but had to use a tough 5-6 combo to remain there. When he made contact with the five, he left the table exposed, which let Lechner pounce and take a rack back.
Sanchez Ruiz wins rack 18 10-8. – Lechner Lechner made a break and fled, bringing his back to within two.
Sanchez Ruiz wins rack 19 10-9. Lechner – Lechner got caught by the eight when attempting to make the seven, but he shown enormous amounts of fortitude to leap it and make the seven before maintaining position on the eight and nine to be one level away from leveling up.
Sanchez Ruiz defeats Lechner 11-9 in rack 20. With maybe the match’s greatest shot in the previous rack, Lechner appeared to be regaining his footing. However, he scratched on the break, giving Francisco Sanchez Ruiz a simple run out to be two away.
Sanchez Ruiz won rack 21 11-10. – Lechner Just as things started to heat up, Lechner and Francisco Sanchez Ruiz were involved in a heated safety dispute, which the former ultimately won by clamping the cue ball tightly to one end of the table. Lechner entered to take revenge for Sanchez Ruiz’s foul and put the score at one.
Sanchez Ruiz beats Lechner 12-10 in rack 22. As Lechner scraped off the break to let Francisco Sanchez Ruiz in to tidy up and go up the hill first, there was despair for Lechner once more.
Sanchez Ruiz beats Lechner 13-10 in rack 23. As it always does in a great year, Sanchez Ruiz’s cueball did the job as he used a break and run to secure an unforgettable victory.
FRANCISCO SANCHEZ RUIZ’S STATEMENT
How it feels is incredible. I’m giddy with joy. Best wishes to Max. I appreciate your support and I love you all. It’s the biggest victory I’ve ever had. There are now too many positive emotions. I was quite grateful after learning that I had been selected for the Mosconi Cup. I want to express my gratitude to my teammates Jose Alberto Delgado and David Alcaide. It really is an awesome sensation.
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