Mixed feelings for UAE players at the Dubai International Open

After a spectacular show in the first session, the trend almost reversed in the second for the UAE as the 2012 Dubai International Open  featuring 32 top ranked snooker players from 11 Asian countries got underway at at Dubai Snooker Club on Sunday.


There were some brilliant performances by the national team players in the opening session with experienced Mohammed Al Joaker, Marwan Ibrahim and Saif Al Kitbi being outstanding.


Al Joaker led the way with a 4-0 hammering of Jala Al-Lawati of Oman which included spectacular breaks of 94 and 96 with the second being the highest of the tournament so far.


Ibrahim produced the shock of the day as he defied all odds to score a 4-2 upset victory over Qatar No. 1 Ahmed Saif, a veteran of many international events around the world.


Al Kitbi fought a marathon battle with Saeed Abooyesani of Iran before walking away with a 4-3 victory in his first match of the tournament.


In a match pitting two talented and young UAE players, Khalid Kamali succeeded in edging Abdulrahman Saif 4-3. Saeed Al Zaabi, playing in his first international tournament, went down 4-1 to Firas Kamil of Iraq.


However, apart from a hard-fought 4-3 victory scored by Mohammed Shehab over Iraq's Hussein Jaffar, there wasn't much else for the home team to celebrate in the second session.


Ahmed Shehab was beaten 4-1 by Mohammad Asif of Pakistan, while Mohammed Hussain went down fighting 4-2 to Amir Sarkhosh of Iran. Ahmed Abdulqader suffered a 4-1 loss to Laxman Rawat of India.


Young Badr Obai Almehairi's 4-0 loss to Qatar veteran Mohsen Bukshaisha was somewhat expected. 


There were other upsets as well on the Day One as Thailand's reigning national champion and former Asian youth title-holder Pramual Jantad lost 4-1 to Andy Lee of Hong Kong and young Asjad Iqbal of Pakistan beat former Asia No. 3 Au Chi Wai of Hong Kong 4-1. 


The 32 participating players have been divided into eight groups of four each for the first round, round robin action, which continues tomorrow at the same venue.


The top two players from each group will make it to the last 16 stage for which another round robin battle will take place with the qualifiers being split into four groups.