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"The next one will be horrible"


Published by bert van manen

© © Kozoom

"There is no such thing as an easy world record, but the easiest one will probably be the 40 in 6. Someone will make 40 in 5, I am sure. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but it will happen. Dick was very close already, twice.

The high run? Also very difficult, because to make 29, you need to handle the pressure when you get close. Just ask Fred, and Roland too. Maybe you have played relaxed and you've hit the ball well, and then you get over 20, and the pressure starts to build. The cue will get heavier and heavier, until it weighs a ton. And it's not just pressure in a match situation, there is also fatigue. I have made 33 twice in practice, and you just get tired from focusing and not wanting to miss.

One of those runs was all just natural points, played for position as you normally would. The other run, I remember well, had all sorts of problems. Precision shots, short-long-short, where everything must be exactly right. It wears you out, and at some point you just don't hit the ball with the same quality anymore.

The hardest one to beat, without a doubt, is the 50 in 6, Eddy's world record. We don't play to 50 anymore, at least not that often, that's one reason. But also, to make 50 in 5 is such a task. You need a run of 24, 25 or better very early in the match. And then you need to be almost perfect in the other four innings. That particular record could stand for a long time.

I would probably give the best chance to either Fred, on one of his miracle days, or Dick. Dick is always hungry to perform, he wants it so bad, that is his strength."

Just 15 minutes in the stands with Tayfun Tasdemir, but they were good minutes. He has an opinion that counts. Then I quickly moved from Turkey to Italy. 

"Now that was the right shot, but with the wrong speed. Can you see he has virtually no chance of position now? Play it like this, but two or three feet firmer, and you open up the game again."

A few minutes later, on another table...

"This point, he will probably make, but the next one will be horrible. He's not going to use enough of the red ball, so it will end up halfway on the short rail."

(it did)  

"I would not have played it this way, but look at what it gave him! How can you be wrong, when you make the point and you get this result. Maybe I have learned something."

"Whenever I make a mistake like that, my opponent runs 8 or 9. And I am in the chair, and I say to myself: good, you earned that. You played a stupid shot, this is what you deserve. "

Sitting with Marco Zanetti is like going to school. I am no stranger to this, having spent many hours watching top 3-cushion with commentary from TB sitting next to me.  Sometimes it is bordering on funny. Last year, Torbjörn was watching table 1, but I nudged him and called his attention to table 3, where (in my opinion), the player was about to make a bad decision. TB had about 2 seconds to look at the position, and then the player hit the shot. 

"Stupid." says TB. "He thought there was a kiss, but there was no kiss". So what TB just did in 2 seconds, was a) look at the position b) consider the other solution, the one the player just decided against c) imagine how the balls would have rolled, HAD he played it, working out both their speeds and trajectories and d) conclude there would not have been a kiss.  

I think if you asked NASA to calculate it, they would ask for bigger and faster computers.