SINGAPORE – After six weeks of training and competing in the United States, Singapore’s top pool player Aloysius Yapp has seen his standing in the world game skyrocket.
The 25-year-old rose to world No. 2 in the latest World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) player rankings updated on Tuesday (Oct 5).
This comes on the back of his win at the CueSports International Michigan 10-Ball Open on Sept 25, which gave him the ranking points needed to rise from his previous rank of fifth.
While he admitted climbing up the rungs so swiftly was “way beyond expectations” – he was ranked 20th when he arrived in the US on Aug 19 – Yapp said the latest milestone only serves as motivation for him to go all the way to the top.
“I can’t be satisfied with just this,” he told The Straits Times in a phone interview from South Carolina.
“In pool, you always have to strive to be better, and it’s a never-ending process of trying for perfection.
“You can keep learning from every game, because there are a million possibilities of what could happen on the table.”
He is pencilled in for only two WPA ranking events before returning to Singapore in early November, and is unlikely to usurp top-ranked American Shane van Boening by then.
But the Singaporean said it remains his goal to eventually become the world No. 1, in addition to winning a major senior international title like the World Championship or the prestigious US Open.
Last month, he came close in both tournaments.
He secured a third-place finish at the World 10-ball Pool Championship in Las Vegas, beating world No. 3 Jayson Shaw of Scotland in the quarter-final.
The following week at the US Open 9-ball Championship in Atlantic City, he beat world No. 2 Joshua Filler of Germany and van Boening, but lost in the final to Filipino Carlo Biado.
Yapp, however, rebounded by winning the Michigan Open, which represented his first senior international-level title win and also secured him a place at the 2022 World 10-Ball Championship.
Cuesports Singapore president Justin Lee said the association was keen to help Yapp leverage on his newfound status as a world-class player and continue to give him the exposure needed to maximise his potential.
Said Lee: “What is critical now is that Aloysious receives dedicated coaching and managerial support so as to maintain his continued presence at such world ranking tournaments around the world.
“This is the immediate challenge for Cuesports Singapore and we intend to ensure that we do everything in our power to help Aloysious hit the summit of pool.”
Lee added the association was “very proud” of Yapp’s milestone and said: “Being world No. 2 at his age is truly an extraordinary achievement. He is truly a great sportsman and a role model for any athlete from any sport.”
Yapp is in the US with compatriots Sharik Sayed and Toh Lian Han. They will compete at the Ohio 9-Ball Open in Wilmington from Oct 13-17, before wrapping up their two-month stint at the Oct 22-30 International Open in Norfolk, Virginia.
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