Aly Retains Title After Epic Final Battle
filed on Sunday, July 4, 2010. 22:16 PT/USA
Ahmed Aly Elsayed has successfully defended his United States National Snooker Championship title, with a sensational 5-4 defeat of Yi Fei Mei in the final at the Embassy Billiards Club in San Gabriel, California.
Aly, who has become the first player to win back-to-back Championships since Tom Kollins in 1999, was for the second year running involved in a tense final frame shoot-out after a tremendous tussle where he forged ahead then lost the advantage.
Yi, who won the United States Snooker Association Tour event at the Embassy Billiards Club last year but was making his debut in the National Championship, got off to a solid start as a run of 42 helped him secure the first frame to settle his nerves.
The second frame went down to the final colored balls but it was Aly's 35 break that assisted him in getting his first frame on the scoreboard, but Yi edged ahead after sealing the third frame with a run of 64.
Ahmed Aly Elsayed pictured with the trophies after capturing the 2010 United States National Snooker Championship
Photo © SnookerUSA.com
A fourth frame break of 49 got Aly back on level terms at 2-2, and after the mid-session interval the 30-year-old from Brooklyn, NY, took the lead for the first time after claiming the fifth frame on the final colored balls.
Yi, from nearby Monterey Park in California, hit back in frame six and then regained the lead by taking the seventh frame and was now on the hill and ready to claim his first National Championship title.
One frame behind with two to play, Aly had already found himself in this position during his quarterfinal against Romil Azement, and on that occasion he was up to the task in coming from behind and needed to find that same mental strength to do it again.
The five-times United States National Snooker Champion and Class 3 International Referee
Tom Kollins (center) pictured with Ahmed Aly Elsayed (left) and Yi Fei Mei prior to refereeing the final
Photo © SnookerUSA.com
He won the eighth frame fairly convincingly and then he could call on his experience from last year's final when he held his nerve to defeat Ajeya Prabhakar in the final frame.
Aly always had the upper hand in the final frame and he duly took it for a terrific second National Championship final.
Aly, who has now firmly established himself at the top of the new United States Snooker Association rankings, is now eligible to represent the United States at the International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF) World Snooker Championships in Syria later this year.
||Ahmed Aly Elsayed (New York)
||5 - 4
||Yi Fei Mei (California)
|Frame scores and 30+ breaks in brackets (Aly's score states first):
1st. 19-62(42) 2nd. 71(35)-57 3rd. 30-95(64) 4th. 63(49)-6 5th. 57-48 6th. 39-66
7th. 27-66 8th. 68-35 9th. 76-41
The USSA would like to thank the Tweeten Fibre Company for being an official supplier to this year's Championship, and the Embassy Billiards Club for hosting this year's Championship.
The USSA's president, Ajeya Prabhakar, also wanted to offer his personal thanks for those involved with the organization of the Championship. He commented: "I would like to thank Bob Jewett who did a wonderful job as the tournament director, Tom Kollins who was the head referee and conducted the finals extremely well, focusing on the game which was almost a 4½hr. affair at the age of 75, and Alan Morris who worked out the match schedule and did a great job reporting the results on the SnookerUSA.com website."