Engert Makes a Recovery
Germany’s Thomas Engert came back from 3-1 down to defeat Tony Drago and set up a clash with 2005 World Champion Wu Chia-ching.
Drago had started well and looked on course to defeat Engert for the second year running in the PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters, but the German won seven of the last eight racks to seal an 8-4 win.
I think the first round is always the toughest match in the tournament, said Engert. I’m a straight pool player and I need to get rhythum to shoot the balls.
Wu is one of the best players in the world but I beat him in the 2005 World Pool Masters so I’ve got experience with him but it’s a different game, a new day.
Thomas Engert won the lag and then almost got lucky as after a shot he left the 9-ball hanging over the bottom right pocket.
But the German later missed a chance as Drago, who is regarded as one of the fastest pool players in the world, raced into a lead.
Drago doubled his advantage, although Engert clinched the third, before Drago ran through the fourth in about a minute to gain a 3-1 advantage.
These players met in the opening round of the 2006 Masters with Drago winning on that occasion by 8-3. This year’s encounter was not going to follow in the same fashion as Engert won the next two for 3-3. An error from Drago left a shot on at the 6-ball, which Engert made and he eventually did enough to bring the scores level.
The balance of the match had swung in Engert’s favour and he won his third rack in succession after Drago had failed with a safety attempt that left the red three close to the right middle pocket.
In the eighth rack, Drago missed an attempted pot on the 4-ball into the top left pocket, although he nearly still won the rack but a potential 7-9 combination failed by the narrowest of margins. That enabled Engert to win another rack and move two ahead for the first time in the match.
The advantage then moved to three racks as Engert won another, his sixth out of the last eight. Things got worse for Drago as he scratched off the break in the tenth rack when the cue ball was kicked into the corner pocket.
However, Engert missed the 8-ball when he tried to roll it along the right-hand rail to hand Drago a lifeline and a way back into the match.
But Engert then moved to the hill after he had been given another opportunity by Drago when the red three was left hanging over the bottom right pocket.