The World Championship Qualifiers ended yesterday and this is the outcome as reported by WST:
Bingham In Control
Stuart Bingham leads Luca Brecel 6-3 after an enthralling first session of their Judgement Day encounter at Betfred World Championship qualifying.
All of today’s best of 19 matches will be played to a conclusion from 5pm, with the winners qualifying for the final stages at the Crucible. Watch live on our Facebook and YouTube channels, as well as the Eurosport app.
Bingham is competing in the qualifying event for the first time since 2011. The 2015 Crucible king dropped out of the world’s top 16 following a difficult season, which has seen him reach just two ranking event quarter-finals.
The Basildon cueman trailed Belgian number one Brecel 3-1 after the opening exchanges. However, he burst to life after the mid-session interval. Breaks of 140, 108, 140 and 55 helped him to five on the bounce to turn the match around and head into this evening with a firm grip on proceedings.
Mark Joyce is just four frames away from a Crucible debut, after moving 6-3 up on Brazil’s Igor Figueiredo, who is bidding to become the first ever South American to reach the final stages.
Ali Carter is 6-3 ahead in his meeting with Switzerland’s Alexander Ursenbacher. The two-time finalist top scored with a stunning run of 139 this afternoon.
Former Crucible semi-finalist Ricky Walden holds a 6-3 advantage over Ryan Day, while Bai Langning has a slender 5-4 lead against Martin Gould.
Chris Wakelin composed a superb break of exactly 100 to lead Xiao Guodong 5-4 heading into tonight. Zhao Xintong is one frame to the good at 5-4 against Sam Craigie, who is aiming for a Crucible debut.
Craigie And Joyce Earn Crucible Debuts
Sam Craigie made a tremendous break of 89 in the deciding frame to beat Zhao Xintong 10-9 in the final qualifying round of the Betfred World Championship.
In the only ‘Judgement Day’ match to go to a decider, Newcastle’s 27-year-old Craigie rose to the occasion to beat Zhao and earn a Crucible debut, getting his name into the draw for the last 32. The main event starts on Saturday.
China’s highly-rated Zhao had leads of 3-0, 5-2 and 7-5, but Craigie battled hard and made breaks of 126, 50, 60, 106, 50 and 117. Then in the last frame he took his chance with an excellent match-winning contribution.
“I’m over the moon and glad about the way I held myself together,” said Craigie. “I have only had my B and C game in all three matches this week. But I finished it off well tonight, I just tied to focus on the balls going into the pockets. Recently I have done a few things differently and it has paid off. Until I got to this round I didn’t think I was that bothered about getting to the Crucible. Then last night I was struggling to sleep, thinking too far ahead. I had to reset myself for today.”
Igor Figueiredo’s dream of becoming the first player from South America to make it to the Crucible came to an end as the Brazilian ace lost 10-7 to Mark Joyce. Walsall’s 37-year-old Joyce booked his debut, 15 years after turning pro. A top break of 135 gave Joyce a 9-4 lead, and he eventually clinched the result in frame 17 after losing three in a row.
“I have finally got there,” said Joyce. “I have got to the final round before and I didn’t believe in myself. I’m a different player now. When Igor was coming back at me at the end, in 15 years on the tour that was the worst I have felt. My timing was gone, the white wasn’t going where I wanted it to go and that makes you look silly. He fancied the job at 9-7. But I got over the line and hopefully now I can go to the Crucible and enjoy it.”
Bingham, the 2015 Crucible king, had to go through the qualifiers for the first time since 2011, but safety negotiated 10-5 a win over Luca Brecel. From 3-1 down, Bingham took nine of the last 11 frames with top breaks of 140, 108, 140, 55, 63, 74, 67 and 57.
“The last qualifying round is a horrible match,” said Bingham. “I was here yesterday watching some of the matches come off and I saw one player in tears having lost, while the winner was elated. I am just so happy to get through and finish the season at the Crucible. These two matches have got me really sharp. My break building is there and my safety is good. I’ll be heading home with a big smile on my face. Whoever draws me is going to have a tough game.”
Carter, who was runner-up to Ronnie O’Sullivan in the 2008 and 2012 finals, scored a 10-4 victory over Alexander Ursenbacher with a top break of 139. “We all want to finish the season at the Crucible,” said the Captain. “I was solid all day, my temperament was good. It’s a relief to get through.”
Chris Wakelin finished a superb week on a high by beating Xiao Guodong 10-7 with top runs of 100 and 120. Wakelin was in danger of relegation when he arrived in Sheffield, but after coming from 5-3 down to beat Lei Peifan 6-5 in his opening match, he went on to knock out Matthew Stevens and then Xiao. The Nuneaton cueman can now look forward to a second trip to the Crucible, having lost 10-9 to Judd Trump on his debut in 2018.
“When I came here I had to win to stay on the tour and I have never felt pressure like that,” said Wakelin. “Then I beat Matthew with one of best matches I have ever played. I am delighted to have done myself justice because I have not really done that since the last time I got to the Crucible. I have not played well enough and that’s my own fault. I have been in a bad head space and I have had to get that right. Trying to concentrate for seven or eight hours is really not easy and you have to accept that you are going to miss balls and make mistakes.”
Gary Wilson, who reached the semi-finals two years ago, booked his return by beating Steven Hallworth 10-3 with a top break of 131. Wilson has had a poor season by his standards, reaching the last 16 of just one ranking event, but hopes he has turned his form around.
“It has been my worst season ever, just abysmal,” he said. “But I have achieved what I set out to do at the turn of the year. I have been grafting so hard and now I am going there full of confidence.”
Martin Gould top scored with 103 and 100 as he came from 5-2 down to beat Bai Langning 10-5. Ricky Walden earned his first Crucible berth since 2018 as he saw off Ryan Day 10-5 with a top break of 84.
Judgement Day: The 16 winners
Having not been able to watch much, I’m not sure what happened in the Bai Langning match for the young Chinese to lose all frames in the evening session after starting it with a lead. I only heard a commentary by Ken Doherty, saying that he is “one for the future” … which he only can become if he regains a tour card at one point. Ken didn’t sound like he was aware of the fact that the youngster was being relegated.
I didn’t particularly enjoy what I saw, which wasn’t much. Zhao Xintong is an extremely frustrating player, pretty much like Jack Lisowski.
It’s a rather old set of qualifiers with only three under-30: Chris Wakelin 29, Sam Caigie 27 and Lyu Haotian 23.
How To Watch The Draw
The draw for the last 32 of the Betfred World Championship will be made at 11am on Thursday, with the top 16 seeds drawn at random against the 16 qualifiers.
Fans can watch live and free on WST’s Facebook Live and YouTube channels, as Betfred’s The Sportsman Facebook and YouTube channels plus the Eurosport website. John Parrott and Mark Pearson will be picking the balls out at Betfred’s studio in Salford.
The draw will appear below shortly after it is made:
Ronnie O’Sullivan (1) v qualifier
Anthony McGill (16) v qualifier
Ding Junhui (9) v qualifier
Stephen Maguire (8) v qualifier
John Higgins (5) v qualifier
Mark Williams (12) v qualifier
Mark Allen (13) v qualifier
Mark Selby (4) v qualifier
Neil Robertson (3) v qualifier
Jack Lisowski (14) v qualifier
Barry Hawkins (11) v qualifier
Kyren Wilson (6) v qualifier
Shaun Murphy (7) v qualifier
Yan Bingtao (10) v qualifier
David Gilbert (15) v qualifier
Judd Trump (2) v qualifier
CBSA Qualifiers 2021: Event One Results
Wu Yize and Zhang Jiankang will compete on the World Snooker Tour next season after the pair became the first players to qualify through the first of two qualification events held this week at the CBSA-WPBSA Academy in Beijing.
Organised by the Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association (CBSA), the events will see four players progress to earn two-year professional tour cards for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons.
Zhang Jiankang earned his place following a 4-0 victory against Deng Haohuiand will return to the World Snooker Tour a year after he was relegated at the end of the 2019/20 season. The 22-year-old previously reached the last 16 of the 2019 Scottish Open and achieved a highest ranking of 85th position.
Talented youngster Wu Yize will join turn professional for the first time following a 4-1 win against Pa Ruke. Aged just 17, Yu reached the semi-finals of the WSF Junior Open in January 2020, narrowly losing 4-3 to eventual champion Gao Yang.
In 2019, he competed as a wildcard at the International Championship, narrowly losing 6-5 to four-time world champion John Higgins. He made his debut at the Betfred World Championship as a WPBSA qualifier and defeated professionals Ashley Hugill and Robbie Williams, before losing to former Masters champion Alan McManus.
The second event will run from 14-16 April, with two further professional places to be won.