Spain’s Sanchez Ruiz and Alcaide to defend World Cup of Pool on home soil

Photo: Taka Wu / Matchroom

by Ben Hudd • March 30, 2023

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and David Alcaide will defend their World Cup of Pool title on home soil, with the 2023 edition of the tournament to follow the inaugural Spanish Open Pool Championship in June.

It was revealed on Monday that Matchroom would be staging a signature open-draw event at the Pazo de Feiras e Congresos de Lugo from June 20-25 and the World Cup will be held in the aftermath between June 27 and July 2 at the same venue.

World number one Sanchez Ruiz, who has won both the World Pool Championship and the US Open Pool Championship in the last seven months, and two-time World Pool Masters champion Alcaide will be the top seeds as defending champions.

European Open semi-finalist Jose Delgado and emerging youngster Jonas Souto will both make their World Cup debuts as they represent Spain B, with the host nation traditionally having two teams.

Shane van Boening and Skyler Woodward will represent the USA as the second seeds, with two-time champions Austria, Joshua Filler’s Germany and Great Britain led by Jayson Shaw also amongst the other seeded nations.

Mohammad Soufi’s Syria will make their World Cup debut following his unbelievable run to the World Championship final, while brothers Ko Pin-Yi and Ko Ping-Chung will appear for Taiwan and Abdullah Al-Youssef will lead Kuwait.

Poland, Greece, Netherlands, Albania, Hungary, Canada and Japan are the additional seeded nations, who have earned their status as seeds via the nineball world rankings.

A total of 32 nations will compete in the tournament, with the remaining 16 countries to be invited by Matchroom and expected to include last year’s runners-up Singapore, former champions the Philippines and an anticipated return for China.

Matchroom Pool boss Emily Frazer said: “What a festival of pool Lugo is going to have with an inaugural Spanish Open Pool Championship with 256 players and the prestigious World Cup of Pool, led by our new nineball world number one Francisco Sanchez Ruiz after an impressive 15-month run.

“We truly believe Spain is an untapped market for professional pool. The nineball world rankings are becoming the backbone of the tour, allowing players to fully earn their place in these events with the 15 top countries on the nineball world rankings being seeded.

“Both events will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and locally on DAZN in Spain as well as our extensive coverage worldwide. Thanks to our partners at the AGP to make this event happen.”

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