Indian cueist Pankaj Advani secured his 26th World Billiards Championship title in Doha, Qatar, triumphing over compatriot Sourav Kothari in a thrilling final. The victory, coming in a rematch of last year’s title clash in Kuala Lumpur, adds another illustrious chapter to Advani’s unparalleled career.
The match began with Pankaj Advani trailing 26-180 in the first hour, setting the stage for a comeback that would go down in billiards history. Battling against 2018 world champion Kothari, Advani displayed resilience and strategic brilliance to turn the tables. His final score of 1000–416 showcased a remarkable recovery and a dominant performance.
In the initial stages, Kothari took the lead, showing promise and strength. However, a series of missed opportunities allowed Advani to capitalize and bridge the deficit. Both players engaged in a scrappy exchange, with Advani’s strategic prowess shining through with two 150-plus breaks that helped him secure a substantial lead.
Advani’s game-changing moment came with a break of 214, the highest of the match, rendering him unstoppable. Maintaining a healthy 250-point lead for a significant part of the match, Advani showcased his consistency and determination on the billiards table. Kothari’s efforts to narrow the gap fell short, and Advani’s unfinished break of 199 marked the end of the proceedings, sealing his victory.
Describing the overwhelming feeling, Advani expressed, “To me, consistency is the hallmark of success, and continuing to bring home world titles for the country is what drives me the most.” The seasoned player highlighted the dedication and hard work that goes into achieving such feats year after year.
Advani’s relentless pursuit of excellence continues as he prepares for the next edition of the World Billiards Championship, featuring the short format, 150-up. His commitment to the sport and hunger for success underline his status as a legend in the world of billiards and snooker.
On the other side, Kothari attributed his early lead squandering to fatigue, citing a challenging semifinal that stretched for almost five hours. Despite the setback, Kothari expressed optimism about making amends in the upcoming point-format matches.
Advani’s victory marks not only his personal achievement but also contributes to keeping India at the forefront of world billiards. Having secured his first world title in 2003, Advani remains the only player globally to win world titles in all formats of both billiards and snooker.
As the curtain falls on yet another stellar chapter in Pankaj Advani’s extraordinary career, fans and enthusiasts eagerly anticipate his continued dominance on the global billiards stage. The relentless pursuit of excellence, coupled with a rich legacy of achievements, solidifies Advani’s status as one of the greatest cueists in the history of the sport.