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Aly To Face Fung In Repeat Semifinal
filed on Saturday, July 3, 2010.   22:41 PT/USA

Ahmed Aly Elsayed is still on course to defend his United States National Snooker Championship title as he sets up a repeat of last year's semifinal clash with Raymond Fung, while Championship debutant Yi Fei Mei will take on Jian Qiang Wang in the second semifinal tomorrow at the Embassy Billiards Club in San Gabriel, California.

Play started today with the two Preliminary Round matches which saw Michael Chan defeat Paul Chao 3-1, and Tommy Chen score a narrow 3-2 win over Alex Kopel.

Chan then went on to compete against Aly with the reigning champion recording a comfortable 3-1 success to move into the quarterfinals, and Chen was defeated 3-0 by his fellow New Yorker Jian.

Yi comprehensively booked his quarterfinal berth with a 3-0 defeat of Ernst Bezemer, however the match of the Round Of 16 was most certainly between the 2000 Champion Ajeya Prabhakar and the 2004 runner-up Fung. The encounter was a thriller going down to the final frame and the final black to which Fung pocketed for a 3-2 victory.

Raymond Fung pictured at the table during his Round Of 16 match against Ajeya Prabhakar
Photo SnookerUSA.com

Romil Azemat, making his first appearance in the Championship since he was runner-up in 2006, defeated last year's quarterfinalist Cheang Ciing Yoo 3-1, while Tim Lee had an excellent victory over the five-times champion Tom Kollins by the same scoreline.

Another epic tie was Henry Wong's terrific fightback to defeat Zhen Yan as Wong hit back from a 2-0 deficit to overcome Zhen 3-2, and Tony Annigoni defeated Yan Jun Chen to seal his quarterfinal berth after losing the first frame he went onto record a 3-1 victory.

Preliminary Round
(Best-of-5-frames)
Match ID Player Result Player
P1 Michael Chan (California) 3 - 1 Paul Chao (California)
P2 Alex Kopel (California) 2 - 3 Tommy Chen (New York)
 
Round Of 16
(Best-of-5-frames)
Match ID Player Result Player
K1 Ahmed Aly Elsayed (New York) 3 - 1 Michael Chan (California)
K2 Cheang Ciing Yoo (Washington) 1 - 3 Romil Azemat (Arizona)
K3 Zhen Yan Y. (California) 2 - 3 Henry Wong (New Jersey)
K4 Ajeya Prabhakar (California) 2 - 3 Raymond Fung (New York)
K5 Tony Annigoni (California) 3 - 1 Chen Yan Jun (New York)
K6 Ernst Bezemer (Texas) 0 - 3 Yi Fei Mei (California)
K7 Tim Lee (New York) 3 - 1 Tom Kollins (Illinois)
K8 Jian Qiang Wang (New York) 3 - 0 Tommy Chen (New York)

Three of the four quarterfinals went down to the final frame, as it was only Mei who eased into his semifinal berth with a comprehensive 3-0 defeat over Annigoni which included a break of 56 in the second frame.

Aly was staring defeat in the face as a confident Azemat took a 2-1 advantage in their quarterfinal, but the defending champion turned the match around and secured his semifinal appearance with a run of 40 in the final frame for a 3-2 win.

Fung booked a repeat of last year's semifinal by defeating the same opponent he had in last year's quarterfinal, Wong. In what was an amazing piece of deja vu, the path of this quarterfinal was very similar to last year's between the pair, as Fung again won on the final colored balls in the final frame.

Jian came through his quarterfinal by defeating the same opponent he played in the Round Of 16 last year, Lee. This year however Jian had a much tougher match on his hands, but a break of 62 in the final frame helped him seal the tie.

Quarterfinals
(Best-of-5-frames)
Match ID Player Result Player
QF1 Ahmed Aly Elsayed (New York) 3 - 2 Romil Azemat (Arizona)
QF2 Henry Wong (New Jersey) 2 - 3 Raymond Fung (New York)
QF3 Tony Annigoni (California) 0 - 3 Yi Fei Mei (California)
QF4 Tim Lee (New York) 2 - 3 Jian Qiang Wang (New York)

Both semifinals get underway at midday tomorrow Pacific Time, with the final scheduled to commence at 4pm Pacific Time.

The USSA would like to thank the Tweeten Fibre Company for being an official supplier to this year's Championship.

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