Scottish Open 2019 – Day 6 – SF

It will be Mark Selby v Jack Lisowski in the final today. 

We had two very different matches yesterday to get there.

Mark Selby completely dominated the afternoon match. He played well, but not at his very best. It was more than enough. The first two frames were puzzling because both players were basically playing like club players, over-hitting or under-hitting every shot. They seemed to have no control over the cueball. After two frames of struggle, they asked for the cueball to be changed … and that changed the match completely as Mark Selby promptly returned to his normal self and started scoring heavily when in. I’m not too sure what Gilbert needs to cope better with those pressure matches, but he needs something.

Jack Lisowski played marvellously well to beat Mark Allen. He had 6 breaks over 50 in the 6 frames he won. He’s really entertaining to watch, and quite unique. Mark Allen though stubbornly refused to go away, and the match went to a decider. At that stage, I expected Mark to win, because Jack in the past tended to become overly attacking  in trying to force results. This time though he went for a  rather crazy shot, got it, made 95 from it … and won.

The final today will be a clash of styles and personalities. Mark Selby is more than capable to play the attacking game, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he played on Jack psychology, sticking to a rather conservative approach, letting Jack take the risks and picking up the pieces … but, then, if Jack plays like he did yesterday, there might not be too many pieces to pick. Given his experience, I expect Mark to win but I’d love to see Jack lift his first trophy. Whoever wins, I hope for a good match, and both players are there on merit.

Afternoon: Mark Selby 6-1 David Gilbert (Worldsnooker)

Mark Selby put on an imperious display to sweep David Gilbert aside 6-1 and reach the 19.com Scottish Open final in Glasgow.

The match charted a similar course to Selby and Gilbert’s recent meeting in the 19.com English Open final. On that occasion three-time World Champion Selby missed just seven balls in blitzing to a 9-1 win. The Jester from Leicester is now one match away from becoming the first player to win two Home Nations titles in a season.

Gilbert’s wait for a maiden ranking title will now be prolonged. The 38-year-old Tamworth cueman has reached six ranking semi-finals, including four finals, but is yet to secure his first silverware.

Selby will now face the winner of tonight’s second semi-final between defending Mark Allen and Jack Lisowski. The victor in Sunday’s best of 17 final will pick up £70,000 and the Stephen Hendry Trophy.

This afternoon’s encounter got off to a sluggish start, with both Selby and Gilbert struggling to get out of the blocks. However, it was Selby who established a 2-0 lead. The players then both requested a change of cue ball and from there it was 36-year-old Selby who took complete control

Breaks of 76 and 84 helped Selby into a 4-0 lead at the mid-session interval. Contributions of 64 and 66 saw Gilbert get a frame on the board when they returned. However, Selby surged to the line with a break of 132, followed up by 69 to emerge a 6-1 winner.

Selby said: “He is a great lad and a great player. We have practised together a lot over the last few seasons. I know what he is capable of. I was always on my guard out there. I tried to keep it tight and not give him too many chances as he could easily have done what I did to him to me.

“It would be fantastic to win here. I have the Steve Davis Trophy at home and if I win tomorrow I will add the Stephen Hendry Trophy. I have a tough test whether I am against Mark or against Jack. I just have to rest up and go again.”

Gilbert said: “I didn’t expect anything from this week. However, after beating Judd Trump 5-2 last night I thought I would turn up and play like that again. I’m not saying I expected to win, but I felt I’d play well.

“I’m looking forward to playing in the Masters in January. I haven’t been there before, everyone tells me how mental it is. There are a lot of people there watching so it will be different from anything I have experienced. Hopefully I do myself justice.”

 

Evening: Jack Lisowski 6-5 Mark Allen

Jack Lisowski is through to the final of the 19.com Scottish Open after a thrilling semi-final clash with defending champion Mark Allen, which he won 6-5 in Glasgow.

Gloucester cueman Lisowski will face Mark Selby tomorrow over the best of 17 frames for the Stephen Hendry Trophy and £70,000.

It will be Lisowski’s third appearance in a ranking final, where he will be aiming to capture a maiden title. His previous two finals were defeats at the 2018 Riga Masters and 2019 China Open, both at the hands of Neil Robertson.

Allen picked up this title last year with a 9-7 defeat of close friend Shaun Murphy in the final. However, he will have to settle for the £20,000 prize attached to reaching the semi-finals this year.

Lisowski immediately imposed himself on proceedings this evening, a stunning break of 135 saw him take the opening frame. Allen then restored parity, before a contribution of 82 saw Lisowski regain the lead at 2-1.

Northern Ireland’s Allen refused to wilt under the relentless pressure exerted by the aggressive Lisowski and composed a run of 77 to make it 2-2 at the mid-session.

The Pistol then took the lead for the first time when they returned. However, three frames on the bounce for Lisowski, including a sublime 118, saw him move one from victory at 5-3.

Allen dug deep to claim two in a row to force a decider, but it was Lisowski who produced a steely 95 break to reach his first ranking final on UK soil.

Lisowski said: “It was a really good break to win it at the end. I wouldn’t say I was panicking, because I knew I was playing well. If I had lost that frame I could have said I’d given my all. It was a bit confusing how Mark was staying with me. I was potting everything, but it just shows what a great player he is, so all credit to him.

“It would mean everything to win tomorrow. It is what I have personally been working towards for the last few years. One of the biggest goals in my life at the moment is to win that first tournament.

“I’m just going to try and stay as calm as I can. In the past I’ve definitely got too excited. I’m going to try not to think about it too much, stay relaxed and get a good night’s sleep.”

Allen said: “I just kept hanging on and hanging on with grit and determination. Even though I didn’t have my best form I always back myself in a decider. I just didn’t really get a shot in it.

“He is brilliant to watch. He is a nightmare to play against. You just don’t know what he is going to do next. The long red he potted in the decider, nobody else goes for that. He is crazily talented, but maybe just going for one too many is what is stopping him winning tournaments.”

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One thought on “Scottish Open 2019 – Day 6 – SF

  1. Yes a very interesting line-up. If Selby plays well he should be able to control the match. But there are no guarantees how Selby will play – he’s still not completely recovered from his slump.

    There were a few matches which had problems with the balls: perhaps some new sets got mixed around? In extreme cases the players will normally agree to ask for a change. Unfortunately for Tom Ford, his opponent doesn’t speak any English, and Tom decided to leave it. It did provide him with a ready-made excuse when he lost, a negative mindset he needs to change. Dave Gilbert had looked tired when I saw him, and only when he was scoring was he comfortable. Perhaps he just didn’t feel capable of battling with Selby.

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