Andres Petrov will become the first professional player from Estonia after winning the 2022 European Snooker Championship on Friday.
The 25 year-old denied Ben Mertens the rarest of European doubles after a 5-3 victory in the final in Albania.
Belgium’s Mertens was attempting to become the first player to land both the underage and senior titles in the same year.
The 17 year-old claimed success in last week’s European Under-21 Championship with a 5-1 defeat of Florian Nuessle.
When Mertens denied the same opponent in the semi-finals of the blue-riband competition, it looked like history was about to be made.
Indeed, the teenager led Petrov 3-2 and had a second major piece of international amateur silverware within his sights.
However, the latter was not to be denied at the last hurdle for a second time, having lost the title decider five years previously in Cyprus.
A crucial three-frame burst from the former European six reds champion at the very end proved to be the defining sequence of the contest.
Petrov’s reward for winning the 2022 European Snooker Championship is a two-year tour card to compete on the professional Main Tour.
It takes the number of nationalities who are set to participate during the upcoming 2022/23 campaign to 18.
Earlier in the tournament, Andres Petrov qualified from the round-robin phase as the tenth seed and subsequently earned victories over Darren Oldroyd, Viktor Iliev, and Aaron Busuttil in the early knockout stage.
In the quarter-finals, he overcame Ukraine’s Iulian Boiko 4-1 before a 4-2 triumph against Germany’s Umut Dikme in the last four.
Next season, Petrov will have the opportunity to compete alongside the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, and Neil Robertson.
After spending several years scrapping in the amateur scene, he has finally earned the opportunity to earn larger sums of money from the pro tour.
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Meanwhile, Wendy Jans of Belgium triumphed in the European Women’s Snooker Championship for a 14th time.
The 39 year-old has dominated the event for years and collected the title again after a 4-1 defeat of Diana Stateczny in the final.
In the European Seniors Championship, former World Championship semi-finalist Darren Morgan sealed glory for a 12th time.
The European Championship festival continues with the European Team Snooker Championship in the upcoming days.
Featured photo credit: WPBSA
He could one day eclipse Erki Nool (Olympic Decathlon champ in 2000) as Estonia’s greatest sportsperson.