Pankaj Advani's birthday gift for his mum is Billiards C'ship title
Leeds: India's most celebrated cueist Pankaj Advani clinched the World Billiards Championship (time format) title to bag a record 12th world crown and also complete a rare 'Grand Double' post his third win in both the long and short formats in the same year.
My day! Pankaj Advani poses for photographers after winning the World Billiards Championship (time format) in Leeds yesterday. Pic/PTI
Bangalore's Golden Boy set the green baize on fire as he humbled England's rising star Robert Hall 1928-893 in a one-sided contest to hand his mother, Kajal, a perfect birthday gift yesterday.
He had won the 150-up format last week after defeating Peter Gilchrist. Hall, who had got past Advani's citymate Balachandra Bhaskar in the semi-finals, could not stand up to the Indian ace and the Englishman's maiden final appearance ended on a disappointing note.
But it was all smiles for Advani, whose third grand double makes him the only billiards player to achieve this feat. Advani, 29, surpassed Mike Russell, who had won the double in 2010 and 2011.
Advani's previous grand doubles were in Malta in 2005 and in his hometown in 2008. Saving his best for the last, which is often synonymous with Advani, he led 746-485 with the help of a 185 break in the first session of the five-hour final.
World Billiards champion Pankaj Advani's mother Kajal and brother Shree at their residence in Bangalore yesterday. Pic/PTI
On resumption, the Indian ace fired in breaks of 94,182, 289 and 145, adding a whopping 1000 points in under two hours. Advani then went into overdrive making the match a foregone conclusion with over hour left on the clock.
On how he was able to turn things around in the second session, Advani said, "With a 260 lead in the first half, I knew I had things under control. But Hall has the ability to come back so I decided that I was going to score as much as possible on each visit. I spoke with my brother Shree who was following the match online. A couple of tips from him did the trick too."
Toil pays off
When asked about the multiple records, a thrilled Advani said, "I don't know what to say. The way I feel makes words seem incapable of truly depicting it. I worked really hard on my game and fitness, both physical and mental before coming here (to Leeds) and it definitely paid off.
"I'm on my way to Sheffield to get billiards out of my system and switch to snooker in order to prepare for the IBSF World Snooker Championship happening next month in Bengaluru."
On winning his 12th world title on his mother's birthday, he said, "This win is truly special. Apart from the dozen world titles and the third grand double, the main reason for it being so special is because it was won on my mother's birthday. She is my rock. Happy birthday Mom! Hope you like your present."