Anthony Raga was defeated by David Alcaide to win the 2023 European Open Championship - 9 Ball

David Alcaide has won the 2023 European Open Pool Championship at Hotel Esperanto, Fulda, Germany, defeating Anton Raga in the final. The match was a thrilling hill hill finish, with Alcaide leading 1-1 after a dry break from Raga in the second rack. The pair went toe to toe for 2-2, 3-3, and 4-4. Alcaide pulled ahead at 5-4 after a dry break from Raga, and then a dry break from Raga in the tenth rack. Both players struggled with the break, and a scratch from Raga led Alcaide back in to bring up a 6-5 lead through a 4-9 combo. Neither could shake each other's efforts off, and it was 6-6.

Raga made the first break toward the finish line with back-to-back runouts to go 8-6 up. An errant effort on the two from Raga in the 15th rack was all it took for Alcaide to cut the deficit to one at 8-7. A confident break and run levelled up at 8-8, and a race to five was on. The Spaniard took charge for 9-8.

Alcaide closed in on the finishing line with another brilliant rack in the 18th to reach double digits first. The experience of Alcaide was starting to shine through, with the two-time World Pool Masters champion two away from victory with another break and run for 11-8. Raga stole the 20th rack and then the following before a tricky break-and-run road map put Raga one behind El Matador 11-10.

Raga seemed to find the break on his comeback trail but it deserted him in the 22nd with a dry break that allowed Alcaide in to tie Raga in a tough snooker from the two ball. Alcaide made an uncharacteristic miss on the three, and Raga stepped in to level up at 11 all, the first time they were level since 6-6. A brilliant bank on the six the pick of the bunch to level up.

A loose safety on the two in the 24th rack saw Alcaide level the tie for a thrilling hillhill finish. In the final rack, Alcaide was hooked on the two causing a brief safety battle, which Raga got on top of only for his momentum to be swiftly halted by the 6 failing to drop in the middle pocket, meaning Alcaide swooped for a first Matchroom major title since the 2019 World Pool Masters.

Alcaide provisionally moves up to number two in the Race to Mosconi Cup standings and inside the World Nineball Tour Rankings top ten overall. He believes that 8-7 for Raga is his big chance, and 11-10 misses a chance before finally having some luck. 

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2023 Euro Open 9 ball Final Game Highlights


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