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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

Calm and cool F-One thrills his way to final

Thailand's Thepchaiya Un-nooh will play in the Pathum Thani 6-red World Championship final on Saturday.

Thailand's Thepchaiya Un-nooh reached the final of the Pathum Thani 6-red World Championship after edging past Iran's Hossein Vafaei with a thrilling 7-6 win on Friday.

The 37-year-old from Nakhon Nayok will be seeking his second 6-red world title after his 2015 crown when he meets England's Tom Ford or China's Ding Junhui in Saturday's showdown at the Convention Centre of Thammasat University's Rangsit campus.

The champion will take home 4.2 million baht from the total purse of 11 million baht and receive the prestigious trophy graciously donated by His Majesty the King.

In Friday's first semi-final, world No.45 Thepchaiya, who is dubbed 'F-One' for his fast play, came from 5-2 down to defeat No.22 Vafaei, who saw off Judd Trump in the quarter-finals.

After Thepchaiya cut the deficit to 4-5, the Iranian took a 6-4 lead and needed one frame to advance to the final.

But the Thai held his nerve to win the next three games and the match to send his home fans into raptures.

However, it was the presence of his family that drove him on to get over the line.

"I just looked at my family to give me some power," Thepchaiya said.

Thepchaiya has won one ranking event, the 2019 Snooker Shoot Out, and finished as runner-up in the 2019 World Open.

He is regarded as one of the fastest snooker players on the World Tour, averaging less than 17 seconds per shot during the 2017–18 and the 2019–20 seasons.

Meanwhile, Zhao Xintong, Yan Bingtao and eight other Chinese players will remain suspended until the end of the season and miss the World Snooker Championship as they await the outcome of a disciplinary hearing for alleged match-fixing, governing body WPBSA said.

The hearing will start on April 24, clashing with the April 15-May 1 tournament at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

Zhao, who won the 2021 UK Championship, is ranked ninth in the world while former Masters champion Yan is 19th.

"The players will remain suspended until the outcome of the independent disciplinary hearing is published," WPBSA said in a statement. agencies

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