The Thursaday at the Home Nations sees two rounds being played to completion, and, usually the demise of a few big names. Yesterday was no different as top 16 members Ding Junhui, John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Kyren Wilson, Joe Perry and Shaun Murphy exited the tournament.
Worldsnooker report is, as usual on moving day, minimalist and covering only the last 16 round.
Lisowski Downs Home Hero Higgins
Jack Lisowski defeated home favourite John Higgins 4-2 to reach the quarter-finals of the 19.com Scottish Open in Glasgow.
World number 14 Lisowski will now face a mouth-watering clash with Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in tomorrow’s quarters. The Thai whitewashed Neil Robertson 4-0 in a sparkling display to book his quarter-final place.
With Lisowski averaging 18.81 seconds per shot this season and Un-Nooh a staggering 16.82 seconds, a pulsating encounter is to be expected.
Higgins will have to wait another year to get his hands on the Stephen Hendry Trophy. The four-time Crucible king has enjoyed success in this event, having reached the final in 2016 and made a 147 in last year, but he is yet to claim a first Scottish Open title.
Breaks of 95 and 74 gave Lisowski a 2-0 lead this evening. However, Higgins did enjoy a landmark moment in the third frame, when a contribution of 109 saw him move clear of Stephen Hendry on 776 career centuries.
Lisowski replied with a break of 84 to regain a two-frame lead, before Higgins made it 3-2 with a run of 89. Lisowski wasn’t to be denied and he took the sixth frame to secure victory.
Lisowski said: “It was a really good atmosphere in there today. I got the good start that I needed and I was able to carry the momentum. I quite enjoyed it. I am very happy with how I played. I thought my safety was good and I scored heavily.”
Rocket Powers Past The Gentleman
Ronnie O’Sullivan came through an entertaining encounter with Joe Perry 4-2 to set up a blockbuster showdown with Mark Selby in the last eight.
Selby whitewashed Jimmy Robertson 4-0 to progress to tomorrow’s quarter-finals, while the Rocket fired in breaks of 87, 84, 53, 69 and 106 on his way to victory over Perry.
O’Sullivan said: “I enjoyed the game. It was decent free flowing stuff. I am just pleased to be through to the next round.
“I won’t change my game in the quarter-finals. My main priority is to enjoy it and have fun and get the game going how I want it to go. If I can win playing like that great, if not I am not going to allow it to get bogged down. I would rather lose comfortably than lose painfully.”
Scott Flying the Flag
Scott Donaldson is Scotland’s last player remaining in the event after progressing to the quarter-finals with a 4-2 win over Zhang Jiankang.
Prior to this year Donaldson, who has reached four ranking event semi-finals, had never been beyond the second round of this tournament. He will now face defending champion Mark Allen in the last eight. The Northern Irishman booked his place with a 4-1 defeat of Chris Wakelin.
Donaldson top scored in this evening’s encounter with a break of 96 and was overjoyed to reach the two-table setup in his home tournament.
He said: “I’m buzzing. I’m going to really enjoy tomorrow. To be in the quarter-finals of my home event is amazing. I am going to take it in my stride and take things a ball at a time, but I am delighted.”
Trump and Gilbert Progress
World Champion Judd Trump defeated Scotland’s former Crucible king Graeme Dott 4-2 to reach the last eight.
The Ace in the Pack will now face world number 12 David Gilbert after the Tamworth cueman secured an impressive 4-2 defeat of Shaun Murphy.
I didn’t see much of the last 32 round, other than Ronnie’s match. Ronnie played well although, to be honest, Martin Gould wasn’t able to take any of the few chances he got.
Other than that, Judd Trump v James Wattana was a right mismatch. James must have played better than that in the previous rounds, but, of course, consistency is often an issue as players get older. He was giving just a zillion occasions, that frankly Judd hardly needed! I’m not sure how he still got a frame as life had come in the way of snooker by the time the match reached that stage.
Ronnie didn’t play as well in the last 16, as he had before. Joe had his chances. This is a match that on a good day he could have won. Both players were making mistakes. Ronnie was the one who was able to punish them more often than not.
Again the only other match I watched, was Judd Trump v Graeme Dott. Here also I have to suppose that Graeme didn’t play quite as well has he had earlier on the day. Judd wasn’t unbeatable – far from it – but Graeme couldn’t take full advantage.
The truth is, two matches in a day, even short ones, with the waiting time in between, is probably taxing for everyone. Usually the last 16 in the Home nations isn’t the best round quality wise, although it oftens brings upsets and drama. It definitely did bring upsets yesterday.