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Stroke of Genius

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Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

World Pool Championship

Player: Alex Kazakis
Event: World Pool Championship
Location: Milton Keynes, U.K.
Date: June 6, 2021

Just weeks after his breakthrough victory at the World Pool Masters, Alex Kazakis was back in top-flight competition at the World Pool Championship in the U.K. The Greek star faced a difficult matchup in the group stage, facing BCA Hall of Famer Kelly Fisher in a race-to-9. Kazakis looked in perfect stroke, just like he was when he whitewashing Shane Van Boening, 9-0, for that Masters title.

Jumping out to a 6-1 lead, Kazakis faced a difficult table, as shown in the diagram to the right. With a clear shot on the 1, he wasn't going to push out, but offensive options were limited. With the 1 in the open and a handful of balls spaced out in the other side of the table, Kazakis needed to control both the cue ball and object ball for a tricky safety.

He struck the 1 ball just to the left of center, sending it two rails down table. The real master stroke came in his control of the angle and speed of the cue ball. He sent it off the two rails near the top right corner, having it come to a stop nearly frozen to the 8 ball, which was just a few inches off the short rail. While the cue ball was perfectly placed, the 1 traveled down-table, eventually hiding behind the 4 ball.

Fisher initially looked at a one-rail kick off the right long rail, but the 4 and 2 balls were large blockers for than angle. Instead, she opted for a two-rail Z shot going across the table's width twice. But with such a short distance into the first rail, Fisher erred in her attempt, scratching in the left side pocket. From there, Kazakis took the next three racks for a 9-1 win.

Both competitors survived the group stages, but Kazakis and Fisher both bowed out in the round of 64 single-elimination play.

(Video clip provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions.)

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