by Ben Hudd • January 22, 2023
South Korea’s Seo Seoa dethroned defending champion Kelly Fisher to reach the 2023 Women’s World 9-Ball Championship semi-finals at Hurrah’s Resort and Casino in Atlantic City.
Fisher was crowned women’s world champion in both 2012 and 2019 but her reign comes to an end following a dramatic hill-hill quarter-final against the South Korean, who accomplished the biggest achievement of her young career.
Seoa, who reached the final of the Women’s Asian 9-Ball Open back in August, capitalised on Fisher missing the winning nine-ball in the deciding rack to book her place in the semi-finals.
Fisher battled back from 3-1 and 6-4 behind, eventually leading 8-7 in a fascinating contest. A tremendous six-nine combination from Seoa forced a decider, which produced drama of the highest order.
The 23-year-old from South Korea found two balls on the break and was nicely poised to prevail, only to undercut the eight-ball to middle pocket and allow Fisher back to the table.
A seemingly composed Fisher banked the eight-ball for good position on the nine-ball, only to squander her opportunity, allowing Seoa to calmly sink the winning ball before releasing a scream of emotion.
Seoa will encounter the experienced reigning world 10-ball champion Chou Chieh-Yu on Sunday morning for a place in the final, with Taiwan’s Chou having defeated Woo-Jin Lee in a hill-hill match before brushing aside Hye-Ju Jin 9-2.
Former girls world champion Kristina Tkach will be vying to fulfil her destiny, having overcome 4-1 and 8-6 deficits against Jasmin Ouschan and then beaten Japan’s Chihiro Kawahara in another closely-contested affair.
Tkach will take on the legendary Allison Fisher in the last four, with four-time champion Fisher vying to reel in her first title in more than two decades following a quarter-final victory over Women’s Asian Open champion Chezka Centeno from the Philippines.
Seoa and Chou will face in the opening semi-final from 10am local time prior to Fisher’s midday meeting against Tkach. The final will be held from 4pm in Atlantic City, with the eventual champion receiving the $30,000 top prize.