Ajeya Prabhakar won the 2014 United States National Snooker Championship, 14 years after winning the title for the first time.
By Alan Morris
At the Top 147 Snooker Club in Brooklyn, New York, Prabhakar beat Raymond Fung 5-2 in the final.
Having won that first title back in 2000, Prabhakar lost in four finals, so could have been forgiven for thinking that it was never meant to be again. He has been a stalwart of snooker in the United States over the years in both a playing and organisational role.
Defeat was tough to take for Fung whose dream it has been to finally win this title, but he was denied at the last hurdle, as he was in 2004.
Fung had won three events on the United States Snooker Association Tour this season, and having beaten Prabhakar in the group stage of this Championship, he went into the final with confidence.
But Prabhakar won the first frame comfortably and then sealed the second on the final black for a 2-0 lead. The third was another tight affair that Fung won on the black, but California’s Prabhakar went into the mid-session interval by restoring his two-frame advantage, winning frame four on the colours.
In an intensely fought contest, Prabhakar eased the pressure on himself when he extended his lead to 4-1 after winning a tight fifth frame. Fung pulled one back in yet another black-ball frame, but relief came to Prabhakar as he finally got over the line by securing the next for a well deserved 5-2 victory.
Both players have now gained automatic selection to represent the United States in the men’s event of this year’s International Billiards and Snooker Federation World Championship, which will take place in Bangalore, India, from November 19-30.
Results from quarter-finals:
Sargon Isaac (California) bt Laszlo Kovacs (New York) 3 – 0
Ajeya Prabhakar (California) bt Kevin Wong (New York) 3 – 0
Raymond Fung (New York) bt Mihai Visovan (California) 3 – 2
Henry Wong (New Jersey) bt Ahmed Aly Elsayed (New York) 3 – 1
Prabhakar bt Isaac 4 – 0
Fung bt Wong 4 – 3
Prabhakar bt Fung 5 – 2