In a stunning display of prowess, Team Europe secured a perfect start to the 2023 Mosconi Cup at Alexandra Palace, whitewashing Team USA 4-0 on the first night. The European trio of Jayson Shaw, Albin Ouschan, and Joshua Filler delivered standout performances, leaving the defending champions with a formidable 4-0 lead.
Team Europe, having clinched victory in the last three editions of the Mosconi Cup, showcased their dominance in the annual team tournament, pool’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup. The Mosconi Cup, spanning four days of action, requires the first team to secure 11 match wins to claim the title.
In an electrifying tradition, the team match kicked off the event, with each of the five players from both teams engaging in singles racks. The matches, following a best-of-nine format, demanded precision and skill, with the first team to reach five racks emerging victorious.
The night commenced with Jayson Shaw facing off against Shane Van Boening in a high-stakes encounter. A missed nine ball by Van Boening provided Shaw with an opportunity, and he capitalized, securing the first win for Team Europe amid an enthusiastic crowd.
Despite valiant efforts from USA’s Skyler Woodward and Tyler Styer, who won their racks, Albin Ouschan delivered a golden break that ignited the audience. The closely contested matches saw David Alcaide and Jayson Shaw contributing crucial victories, and Ouschan sealed the deal in a deciding rack against Fedor Gorst.
The partnership of Jayson Shaw and Albin Ouschan continued to shine in the first doubles match, outclassing the American duo of Van Boening and Styer with a convincing 5-2 win. Joshua Filler extended the lead for Team Europe with a dominant 5-0 victory in his singles match against Skyler Woodward, marking the first singles whitewash at the Mosconi Cup in three years.
The final doubles match witnessed a tactical battle, with the Spanish duo Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and David Alcaide facing off against Shane Wolford and Fedor Gorst. Despite a resilient effort from Team USA, the Spanish pair secured a 5-3 victory, completing a clean sweep for Team Europe on the opening day.
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, the world No. 1 in nine-ball pool, expressed his joy, stating, “An amazing day for team Europe. I’m really, really happy. It’s my first time here in Ally Pally, and I can feel all the crowd. It’s amazing.”
Looking ahead, three doubles and three singles matches are scheduled for each of the following days on Thursday and Friday, with up to five singles matches on the concluding day, Saturday, at Alexandra Palace. Fans can catch every thrilling match live on Sky Sports Arena from 6.30pm on each day of action.
The Mosconi Cup promises to deliver more intense competition and captivating moments as the battle for supremacy continues at one of pool’s most prestigious events.