The second day at the 2020 UK Championship started in a weird way. The first two matches scheduled on the streamed tables started as planned, but all other morning session matches were delayed by quite some time. It transpired that this was because the Covid tests results arrived late. Not sure how they where still able to start the two streamed matches as planned under the circumstances …
Stevens Tests Positive For Covid-19
Matthew Stevens has tested positive for Covid-19 at the Betway UK Championship in Milton Keynes and has been withdrawn from the event.
Stevens was due to play Jamie Jones on Tuesday evening. Jones receives a bye to the second round of the world ranking event.
All other players and officials involved in Tuesday’s fixtures have had negative results.
Stevens will now undergo a period of self isolation and will receive the support of WST.
Since WST events restarted in June, strict Covid-19 regulations have been and continue to be followed, under UK Government guidance.
The day didn’t spring any big surprise but some of the top seeds were made to work very hard for their spot in the second round. Here is WST report:
Crucible runner-up Kyren Wilson came through a hard fought battle with Ashley Hugill 6-4 to book his place in the second round of the Betway UK Championship.
The tie included a magic moment for four-time ranking event winner Wilson, who fired in the third maximum break of his career in the sixth frame.
Kettering’s Wilson came into the UK Championship full of confidence, having won the recent Championship League ranking event by beating Judd Trump in the final. By contrast Hugill has been struggling so far this term. The York cueman, who regained his professional status this year by winning the WSF Open, is yet to win a match this season.
Despite the rankings gulf between world number four Wilson and world number 126 Hugill, there was little to choose between the players this afternoon.
Wilson asserted his authority in the early stages, composing a run of 107 to take the opener. Hugill subsequently got his first frame on the board, but it was Wilson who claimed the third and fourth to lead 3-1 at the mid-session.
Hugill pulled within a frame upon the resumption, before Wilson made his sublime 147 contribution to lead 4-2. From that moment of perfection, the Warrior’s standards slipped as Hugill upped his game to make it 4-4 with breaks of 65 and 51.
From there Wilson surged to the finish line, making breaks of 50 and 92 to wrap up the win.
Wilson said: “The 147 break kind of came out of nowhere. I felt in really good form coming here. You never know how it is going to pan out. There were numerous kicks for myself and I just felt a bit edgy. To then create snooker perfection, just shows how topsy turvy this game can be. I’m delighted to do it here, that is my first in a Triple Crown event.
“You know that everyone is watching back home, especially on the TV table. It is something that makes you proud to build up in your career. 147 breaks are hard to come by. There are many great players that have never had one. To have now had three, I am obviously chuffed with that.”
Thai number one Thepchaiya Un-Nooh took a massive step towards Masters qualification with a 6-2 win over Germany’s Lukas Kleckers.
Un-Nooh is currently in 15th position in the race to qualify for the elite 16-player event, with the cut-off coming at the end of the UK Championship.
Former Shoot Out champion Un-Nooh made breaks of 65, 77, 86 and 51 on the way to today’s victory. He faces Duane Jones or Joe O’Connor next.
Un-Nooh said: “This victory means a lot for me. I dream of playing at the Masters at least one time. This is a great opportunity to qualify. I just need to keep concentrating for the next round and keep winning. All of the top 16 are great players. If I qualify, it will be the honour of my professional career.”
Scotland’s Stephen Maguire surged to a 6-1 defeat of 15-year-old Ukrainian Iulian Boiko.
Maguire reached the final last year, but was runner-up to Ding Junhui. Few would bet against another big run from Maguire this year following today’s display. The 2004 UK Champion fired in runs of 96, 113, 128, 80, 65 and 67 to win in just one hour and 27 minutes.
Triple Crown winner Shaun Murphy came through a thrilling clash with Lee Walker, sealing a 6-5 win with the clock just past 12:40am. Murphy had moved a frame from victory, leading 5-3, before Walker mounted a steely fightback.
After pulling within a frame, Walker then edged an epic 50 minute tenth frame to force a decider. Murphy got in after a sublime safety shot in behind the yellow forced an error from his opponent. From there, the Magician compiled a match winning run of 54.
Gary Wilson’s hopes of Masters qualification were left hanging by a thread after a 6-4 defeat to Oliver Lines. If Jack Lisowski beats Farakh Ajaib in his first round tie on Thursday, then Wilson will definitely miss out on a place.
Gary Wilson defeat is no surprise given how his season has gone so far.
Kyren Wilson produced a rather inconsistent performance: there were lots of mistakes, lots of great shots, and this magical moment:
Kyren Wilson 147 Triggers Betway £10,000 Donation To Jessie May
Kyren Wilson made a fantastic 147 maximum break on the second day of the Betway UK Championship, triggering a donation of £10,000 from tournament sponsor Betway to Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home.
Betway announced before the tournament that it would donate money for every century break made during the 13-day tournament, up to £10,000, but the full donation would be activated if a 147 was made.
And world number four Wilson potted 15 reds with blacks and cleared the colours during his first round match against Ashley Hugill.
Betway Spokesperson Chad Yeomans said: “Congratulations to Kyren Wilson, whose 147 has triggered our £10,000 donation to Jessie May. The first maximum break seems to happen earlier each year and surely it’s only a matter of time before it’s done on Day One!”
Lindsey Horton, Corporate Partnerships Officer at Jessie May, added: “We can’t believe it. We were sitting here with baited breath watching the centuries and then BOOM…Kyren made a 147! We’re so excited and can’t thank Betway (and Kyren) enough for their remarkable generosity. Our families and Nurses thank you so much. You’ll never know the difference it makes!”
Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home has been WST’s official charity partner for the past four years. Their nurses provide vital respite and palliative care for terminally ill children, and their families across the South West of England.
The Betway UK Championship runs until December 6th, featuring all of snooker’s top stars.
After beating the 15 years old Iulian Boiko, Stephen Maguire said this:
He’s absolutely right. Iulian has a huge potential, but he’s not ready. He’s also only a young teenager. Adolescense a difficult period in the life for everyone. Living in the UK as an expat isn’t that easy either, even for an adult. Things are hard enough for Iulian without the additional stress and disappointment of going through soul destroying defeats tournament after tournament. He’s still only a kid. This could destroy his confidence and, in the longer term, his chances to build the career that his talent promises.
Please WST … consider to go back to a tiered system, at least for half of the events. Offer the young a smoother development path. It doesn’t “protect” the higher seeds if, as it is already the case in the World Championship, there are no ranking points for losing the first match, no matter the stage it is played at. And with the current technology, there is no reason why the early stages wouldn’t be streamed, if not televised. You currently do cover eight tables for the Chinese audience…