A year after his European title with the U18, Ben Mertens has now also crowned himself European champion among players under 21 years of age. In the Albanian city of Shëngjin, he defeated Austrian Florian Nüssle 5-1 in the final.
The 17-year-old East Fleming, who won bronze at the European U18 Championships on Thursday, was more than a size too strong for Englishman Liam Pullen in the semi-finals with breaks of 66, 56, 58 and 56. Our compatriot won 4-0.
In the final against Florian Nüssle, Mertens once again brought out his best snooker. After the 20-year-old Austrian, who knocked out Julien Leclercq in the quarterfinals, won the first frame, Mertens hit back mercilessly. He took a 2-1 lead with an 84 break. In frame four, in which Nüssle appeared to be heading for a frame win, Mertens potted away the colors for a 3-1 lead. Mertens confidently took the next two frames for the European title.
Mertens is immediately sure of a two-year entrance ticket for the Snooker Tour. Read: he can qualify as a pro for at least two years for all top tournaments. Earlier, 19-year-old Julien Leclercq also forced such a ‘tour card’.
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