Alexander Ursenbacher wins 2024 Vienna Snooker Open

Credit: © Vienna Snooker OpenCredit: © Vienna Snooker Open
Credit: © Vienna Snooker Open
Alexander Ursenbacher ousted Craig Steadman 5-4 in a thrilling final to win the 2024 Vienna Snooker Open, claiming the title for the first time in his career.

One of snooker's most prestigious pro-am tournaments - first held in 2010 - Ursenbacher joins a list of champions that includes former professional ranking event winners Stephen Lee, Mark King, Peter Ebdon and Michael Georgiou.

A total of 80 cueists representing a host of European nations and beyond entered the event played at the KÖÖ 7 Snooker Club in Austria’s capital city with a total prize fund of 10,000 Euros on offer.

The contestants were split into round robin groups of five with the top three players from each group advancing to the knockouts with the group winners going straight into the round of 32.

Swiss professional Ursenbacher won three out of his four group games; a 2-0 defeat to Wayne Brown (England) meant he qualified in second. In the knockouts, the former English Open semi-finalist defeated Rodion Judin (Latvia) 2-0, Daniel Womersley (England) 3-0, Mark Joyce (England) 3-0, last year's runner-up Lukas Kleckers (Germany) 3-1 and then Mark Davis (England) 4-2 in the semi-finals.

Steadman also had to take the slightly longer route having finished second in his pool behind fellow ex-professional Harvey Chandler. In the elimination phase, 2013 runner-up Steadman included victories over Nigel Bond (3-0), Elliot Slessor (3-0), and Iulian Boiko 4-1 in the last four to make the final for the second time.

In the showpiece fixture, Steadman took the opening frame but Ursenbacher responded with a 59 to level at 1-1. After the next two frames were shared and the players went into the mid-session interval 2-2, Ursenbacher produced a 65 in frame five as he edged ahead again, although Steadman restored parity once more. The sequence continued as the 28-year-old went one up with two play following an 84 clearance in frame seven before former Shoot Out semi-finalist Steadman notched up the next to force the tie all the way.

However, a match-winning contribution of 87 in the deciding frame saw Ursenbacher cross the line and secure the title.

Earlier in the tournament, defending champion and home hero Florian Nuessle lost to Joyce 3-2 in the last 32.

There were no shortage of centuries throughout the four days with Boiko constructing the highest, a 146.