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Mosconi Cup: Joshua Filler scores whitewash as Team Europe run riot over USA on opening day

Team Europe enjoyed a dream start to the 30th anniversary Duelbits Mosconi Cup as they claimed all four points on the opening night in an electric atmosphere at the Alexandra Palace.

Captained by Ralph Eckert for the first time, the hosts and title holders – aiming to record a fourth consecutive Mosconi Cup triumph – completed the competition’s first opening session clean sweep since 2013. The first team to 11 points will lift the iconic trophy and pocket the lion’s share of the $360,000 total prize money.

For the first time in five years, Team Europe won the traditional curtain-raising teams fixtures featuring all ten players in this year’s event. 

In what would be an action-packed tie, Jayson Shaw pinched rack one after Shane Van Boening missed a straightforward 9-ball for a break and run. The unexpected error would set the tone for the remainder of Van Boening’s evening. 

Skyler Woodward and Tyler Styer turned things around as they punished scratches from their respective opponents, although momentum shifted again as Albin Ouschan delivered the maiden golden break of this year’s Cup before David Alcaide and Shaw put the finishing touches to racks five and six after misses on the 7-ball from their opponents. 

The visitors responded through Woodward and Styer – both picking up their second rack wins of the match – to force a hill-hill climax, although two-time world champion Ouschan got the better of Fedor Gorst in the decider to notch up the first point.

Eckert’s side continued its ideal start as Shaw & Ouschan raced into a 3-0 lead against Van Boening & Styer in the first doubles clash.

USA won two of the next three racks - including a break and run in the sixth with a 7-9 combo – but the Scotland-Austria pairing compiled a break and run of their own in the next to complete a 5-2 victory and gain revenge for a narrow defeat to Van Boening & Styer on day one of last year’s event in Las Vegas.

There was more payback in the first singles rubber of 2023 as former US Open and World Champion Joshua Filler routed Woodward 5-0; reversing a loss from the same session twelve months ago.

The 26-year-old German issued a statement of intent with a break and run in the opening rack before doubling and then tripling that lead with another dish in rack three. 

A spectator for much of the encounter, Woodward was left with precious little when he did visit the table; failing to contact a cushion when getting out of a snooker in rack four and then watching his rival pot a 2-5-9 combo to move onto the hill. 

Filler duly wrapped up the whitewash win in the next and further swelled his impressive overall record in Mosconi Cup singles matches to 11-3.

The team in blue rounded off its perfect night with a 5-3 success for World Cup of Pool winning duo Francisco Sanchez Ruiz & Alcaide over Gorst and Cup rookie Shane Wolford.

The Spaniards went 2-0 ahead, but the Americans showed grit and stopped the rot as they subsequently levelled at 2-2. However, after chalking up a protracted and memorable fifth rack, FSR and Alcaide hit their second and third break and runs of the match en route to victory.

Overall Score after Day One: Team Europe 4-0 Team USA 

Match One: Team Europe 5-4 Team USA 

Match Two: Jayson Shaw & Albin Ouschan 5-2 Shane van Boening & Tyler Styer 

Match Three: Joshua Filler 5-0 Skyler Woodward 

Match Four: Francisco Sanchez Ruiz & David Alcaide 5-3 Fedor Gorst & Shane Wolford

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