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Davis Ends Europe’s Mosconi Cup Drought
2002 Mosconi Cup • Dec. 22, 2002 • London, England
WITH INTERNATIONAL bragging rights at stake, the Mosconi Cup produces a unique layer of pressure for the European and American squads. No longer is pool an individual sport; now you’re playing for team and country (or continent).
(Click above to view the last rack of the match
Video provided by Matchroom Sport)
Before the first break at the 2002 Mosconi Cup, Team Europe was a huge underdog. The Americans had captured the last six transatlantic competitions. Not only that, they had completely embarrassed the Europeans the year before, taking the 2001 Cup by a 12-1 count.
So as Steve Davis prepped for his match against Earl Strickland, knowing his team led 11-9 and was one win away from victory, Team Europe knew nothing was over until that last 9 dropped.
One rack — Davis wins, the Mosconi Cup goes to Europe; Strickland wins, the Americans are still alive.
After a pushout and Strickland safety, Davis scratched on a table-length kick. With ball in hand, Strickland worked through the low balls, but let the cue ball drift getting on the 6. His tough cut rattled in the jaws of the corner pocket.
Davis ran to the 9 and lined up a near straight-in shot. The clincher hit the back of the pocket, and York Hall exploded — confetti, team hugs and plenty of high fives. Meanwhile, Davis sat to the side shaking his head in relief, offering an ominous appraisal of the pressure only experienced at the Mosconi Cup.
“Every shot is like blood,” he said.
Since 1978, Billiards Digest magazine has been the pool world’s best source for news, tournament coverage, player profiles, bold editorials, and advice on how to play pool. Our instructors include superstars Nick Varner and Jeanette Lee. Every issue features the pool accessories and equipment you love — pool cues, pool tables, instruction aids and more. Columnists Mike Shamos and R.A. Dyer examine legends like Willie Mosconi and Minnesota Fats, and dig deep into the histories of pool games like 8-ball, 9-ball and straight pool.
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