Kowalski Wins Second Polish Title

January 24, 2023
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Antoni Kowalski defeated defending champion Mateusz Baranowski 5-2 in the final to win the 2023 Polish National Snooker Championship.

Following his maiden victory in the event in 2020, it is the second time that 18-year-old Kowalski has claimed his country’s most prestigious domestic snooker title – a competition which was first held in 1993.

The championship had different phases with qualifiers held before Christmas to join the 32-player final stages last weekend in Lublin which featured the seeded players.

Exciting prospect Kowalski – who won a qualifying match at the 2020 World Professional Championship – breezed through his group, qualifying top after winning all three of his matches and dropping just one frame.

In the knockout rounds he immediately faced a sterner test as he ousted former two-time winner Jarosław Kowalski (no relation) 4-3, making breaks of 51, 65 and 75 in the process.

The teenager then came back from 2-0 down against another two-time champion in Marcin Nitschke in the quarter-finals, registering runs of 68, 47 and 135 – the highest of the tournament – to win 4-2. That result meant he made it through to the last four live televised stages of the event. Once again, a table was erected in the TVP Sport studios in Lublin and coverage was broadcast to a total of 350,000 viewers.

In the semi-finals Kowalski ended the challenge of Daniel Holoyda 4-2, winning the final three frames with efforts of 64, 74 and 52. That victory set up a final meeting with reigning three-time champion Baranowski who had earlier dispatched Maciej Kusak 4-2 in the other last four fixture to reach his sixth final in the last nine years.

A rerun of the 2020 title encounter, it was Kowalski who was once again celebrating as he came from behind twice early on to win 5-2 with the aid of breaks of 51, 69, 80 and 67 in the final four frames.

Pictures are from the tournament organisers the Polish Billiards and Snooker Association 

This post appeared first on World Snooker.

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