There are many events, every year, which are exceptional, remarkable, incredible, amazing or just special. Sometimes, it happens in ordinary billiard halls, far beyond the publicity. But most of the time, the absolute top players are in the spotlights of major tournaments such as World Cups, European championships and World Cups.
Frédéric Caudron never shouts from the rooftops: he always reacts extremely cool after great matches or tournaments, because he is used to great performances and many wins. Except at the World championship in Antwerp this year, where the champion showed just some of his emotions to the audience.The unusual sporting achievements are preserved for history. As the incredible series of World champion victories and European championship wins of Raymond Ceulemans. And the results of Torbjörn Blomdahl, with his 41 World Cup victories, or other famous players in the history of three cushion.The difference between the great names in the past and top players from the current generation is that records and highlights are blown up by the media nowadays (especially Kozoom) and all great performances are stored and broadcast live.
Frédéric Caudron is the best example of the tremendous attention this year. The Belgian enjoyed a sensational and extremely successful year. And of course, there was never a year in his brilliant career when he didn’t win titles.But this year was very special, filled with highlights, with victories at the World championship in Antwerp, the World Cup in Colombia, the European championship one cushion, the World championship for teams in Viersen with Eddy Merckx, the Verhoeven Open, the traditional Belgian titles, except three cushion, the Kim Chi tournament, the Superprestige and a balk-line tournament in Ronchin.
Frédéric Caudron not only played a key role as a great winner. Among so many top players, there were inevitable losses of course, sometimes quite remarkable. The season started off without a win in the Belgian title race in three cushion (winner Roland Forthomme), followed by elimination in the Antalya World Cup, in the first round, the loss in the Agipi Masters final against teammate Marco Zanetti.But in that tournament he starred in an unbelievable match in the group stage. Dick Jaspers made a fantastic start and took a 44-7 advantage. What happened then was incredible after Caudron’s failure in the previous fifteen innings. Caudron won the match with a glorious final sprint: 50-47, what means: Caudron 33 caroms in 9 innings, Jaspers three points.Just as legendary, but not with a happy ending for the master, was the semi-final at the European championship in Brandenburg. Marco Zanetti led 15-3 after six innings when Caudron came to the table for an awesome run of 28 (!), equaling the world record run.The world class, however, wasn’t crowned with the match win, because Zanetti showed his incredible fighting spirit and won 40-37 in 12 innings.Frédéric Caudron is the most outstanding player of the year, there ‘s no doubt about it.
Kozoom/Markus Schönhoff: This year was filled with amazing, what was for you the most wonderful victory?
Frédéric Caudron: ,,My world title, of course, won for a fantastic audience with 1.500 people and in a great atmosphere. I could’nt wish a better time to become world champion.”
Kozoom/MS: Your start of the year was quite difficult: you missed the Belgian title three cushion, there was the elimination at the World Cup in Antalya. But you really recovered quickly. How do you look back at the first part of the year?
FC: ,,My start was pretty good, however the World Cup in Antalya was a bad tournament. But at the same time we won the world title for teams for Belgium, together with Eddy Merckx. To win the Belgian title in three cushion is not so easy. I played very well, but did not win.”
Kozoom/MS: How important was the world title in Antwerp for you and for the Belgian federation, organizers and audience?
FC: ,,Very important for me, for the organization as well. They hoped for a Belgian in the race until the last day, so I think everyone was very happy. There was the memory of two previous World championships in Belgium. Both times a Belgian player lost the final. Therefor the pressure was very high and the more beautiful was the victory.”
Kozoom/MS: What was your match of the year and why?
FC: ,,The semi-finals at the European championships in Brandenburg against Zanetti. I made the run of 28 points, but still lost the match. We both played over three average. It was one of the rare opportunities to break the world record run.”
Kozoom/MS: Many people say, when Caudron plays three cushion, it all looks so easy. He plays with so much inspiration and joy. What is the fascination of billiards for you and especially in three cushion? Is it just your profession or much more than this?
FC: ,,Billiards is my profession, but it’s still a game. And I love to play this game. We will probably never understand everything of three cushion for hundred percent. Today you can play three average and everything looks easy. Tomorrow you can play one average and you wonder how this is possible, as if suddenly you forgot all about the game.”
,,But still… I love billiards very much, I love the game.”
Markus Schönhoff/Kozoom.December,2013.Caudron’s profile.
English subtitles.