Baranowski Claims Polish Snooker Title Triple

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Mateusz Baranowski defeated defending champion Konrad Juszczyszyn 5-1 in the final to win the 2022 Polish Amateur Snooker Championship and complete a career hat-trick of national titles. 

Organised by the Polish Billiards and Snooker Association, this was the 30th annual edition of the country’s most prestigious snooker event.

The championship began in December with two qualifying competitions taking place in Lwówek and Kraków where there were two spaces available at each venue to join the seeded players in the main draw.

The finals stages of the championship were hosted by the Masters Club in Lublin where the 32 remaining players were drawn into eight round robin groups of four. The top two from each group then qualified for the knockout phase.

Baranowski won all three of his group games – with the loss of only three frames – to make it through to the last 16. There, he made breaks of 59, 69 and 65 as he defeated two-time winner Jarosław Kowalski 4-0.

In the quarter-finals, the 24-year-old was tested by former finalist Paweł Rogoza in a high-quality affair that went all the way. Baranowski registered runs of 53, 83 and 88 earlier in the match, before a run of 40 helped him come through a seventh-frame decider.

The semi-finals and final were played in a specially erected arena at the TVP Sport television studios in Lublin. Throughout the day, action was broadcast live on their network.

A 62 break was the highlight of Baranowski’s 4-1 win over Michał Kotiuk in the last four. His opponent in the final later that day would be 2021 champion Juszczyszyn, who was putting up a fine defence of the title.

Having won it for the first time – as a qualifier – twelve months before, Juszczyszyn had come through undefeated and relatively untroubled until the semi-finals where he faced promising youngster and 2020 winner Antoni Kowalski in a repeat of their meeting at this stage last year. Once again, Juszczyszyn would come out on top, this time, 4-3.

However, Baranowski would prove too strong for Juszczyszyn in the final, as the cueist from Zielona Góra racked up three breaks of 42 and a 69 in a 5-1 triumph.

This latest national victory for Baranowski goes alongside his previous wins in 2017 and 2018. This was his fifth final in all having also reached the title match in 2015 and 2020. Baranowski is now just one behind four-time winner Rafał Jewtuch in the all-time national championship winners’ list.

Six different players made century breaks throughout the tournament with Baranowski’s 135 during the groups phase being the best.

Many thanks to Wiktoria Jędruszek for her help in compiling this article