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Stroke of Genius

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Video provided by Accu-Stats Video Productions

International 9-Ball Open

Player: Alexander Kazakis
Event: International 9-Ball Open
Location: Norfolk, Va
Date: November 1, 2019

WithoutGet deep enough into a major professional tournament and you're going to run into familiar faces and friendly foes. At last year's International 9-Ball Open in Virginia, Greece's Alexander Kazakis met Mosconi Cup Team Europe teammate Jayson Shaw on the one-loss side with just six players remaining.

Trailing 7-6 in the race-to-11, Kazakis overcame a safety from Shaw to start his run through the rack. But the Greek star ran into a little trouble while getting shape on the 6, in the upper right corner in the diagram. Kazakis fell nearly straight on the 6, making position play to the 7 ball that much more difficult. Additionally, with the 9 ball a few inches from the object ball, Kazakis was limited to only the bottom right corner for the 7.

Considering the slight angle on the 6, Kazakis needed to power the cue ball into and through the object ball to create an angle to have any chance at getting back downtable for a chance at the 7.

With plenty of power and slight right English, he rattled the 6 into the top corner. The cue ball hit the head rail with plenty of spin, opening up its rebound angle to one diamond off the right long rail. With perfect speed control, Kazakis watched as the cue ball drifted across the table, gently rolling into the left long rail before settling in perfect shape for the 7 in its only available pocket.

He closed out this rack to knot the set at 7-7, but Shaw bounced back and took the next four games for an 11-7 win. The Scottish star continued his hot play over the next 24 hours as he raced to the title with a win over Max Lechner in the final.

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

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