SINGAPORE - A day after he returned to world No. 1, national pool player Aloysius Yapp crashed out of the World 10-Ball Championship in Las Vegas, following an 8-4 loss to Poland's 32nd-ranked Mateusz Sniegocki in the second round of the losers' bracket on Wednesday (March 30).
While he did edge past Sniegocki and 55th-ranked Wojciech Szewczyk in last week's Las Vegas Open, he lost to another Pole, world No. 16 Wiktor Zielinski in the final on Saturday.
It was a similar story this week, as Yapp struggled with the table conditions at the same venue at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino against a familiar opponent.
He had gotten off to a rough start, losing 8-3 to American world No. 88 Donny Mills in the first round to fall into the losers' bracket, where he beat unranked American Evan Lunda 8-5 before meeting Sniegocki.
Yapp had finished joint-third at last September's World 10-Ball Championship to record the best finish by a Singaporean at a pool world championship and begin his surge to the summit, which he reached a month later.
The 25-year-old said: "I'm happy to be back at world No. 1, but disappointed to be knocked out early in this event.
"Like last week, the table conditions were hard to play on as they were not level and reacting inconsistently. They were also super fast, and players were complaining and struggling. I just couldn't get used to it in time.
"But I'll try my best to learn from this experience and do my best for the World 9-Ball Championship next week."
His compatriot Sharik Sayed is the last Singapore standing in Las Vegas after beating Germany's world No. 176 Marco Dorenburg 8-6 and then Mills 8-5 in his losers' bracket matches on Wednesday.
In the earlier rounds, the world No. 44 had beaten Qatar's 102nd-ranked Waleed Majid 8-3 but lost to Great Britain's 37th-ranked Darren Appleton 8-4 to drop into the losers' bracket.
Sharik, 31, will meet Taiwanese Ko Pin-yi, who is ranked 114th, but is a former world No. 1 who won both the 10-ball and 9-ball world championships in 2015. They have a 1-1 head-to-head record with Ko winning 10-6 in Malaysia in 2012 and Sharik prevailing 10-9 in China in 2019.
With a win, Sharik could move on to the last 32 final stage and money rounds of this event for the first time.
While confirming that the table conditions were fast, he added: "I feel good about my game. I'm not worried about the result and I'm more focused on my process and performance. If I get those right, the result will take care of itself."
Fellow Singaporean, 67th-ranked Toh Lian Han, was knocked out earlier after losing to unranked Edgie Geronimo 8-6, and fellow Filipino, world No. 22 Roberto Gomez 8-3.
After this week, Yapp, Sharik and Toh will head to England's Milton Keynes to play in the April 6-10 World 9-Ball Championship.