Here are WST reports on yesterday’s action:
Higgins Reaches Last 32
Scotland’s four-time World Champion John Higgins staged a fine fightback to defeat China’s Cao Yupeng 3-2 at the matchroom.live British Open in Leicester.
Higgins produced a magic moment in the first round when he fired in the 12thmaximum break of his career in the first frame of a 3-1 defeat of Switzerland’s Alexander Ursenbacher.
It was Cao who hit the ground running this afternoon, composing a break of 78 to take the opener and move 1-0 ahead. Higgins restored parity, before Cao edged one from the win at 2-1.
However, Higgins wasn’t to be denied and turned on the style just when required. A superb plant set up a break of 95 to force a decider. He the made contribution of 96, after a spurned long red from Cao, to take two on the bounce and secure the 3-2 win. The Glaswegian will now face Ricky Walden in the last 32.
Higgins said: “The plant could have gone wrong, but I didn’t have another shot on. Luckily I got the plant and managed to do the break. I was expecting him, being such a great long potter, to pot the red in the last. Fortunately for me he double kissed it and left it over the bag.”
Gary Wilson eased to a 3-0 defeat of seven-time World Champion Stephen Hendry. The win sets up a last 16 encounter with Xu Si.
Hammad Miah earned his place in the last 32 with an impressive 3-1 win over former English Open winner Liang Wenbo. Next up he will face Belgium’s Luca Brecel.
Miah is returning to the tour after a remarkable showing to come through Q School. A holiday in Dubai saw him eventually end up stranded in Uzbekistan due to Covid restrictions enforced whilst he was travelling home.
Trump Through As Selby Falls
World number one Judd Trump remains in contention to stay at the top of the rankings after this week following a 3-1 defeat of Stuart Bingham at the matchroom.live British Open in Leicester.
If Trump fails to make the quarter-finals he will surrender his world number one position to World Champion Mark Selby, who succumbed to a 3-0 loss against Ali Carter this evening. Trump faces Elliot Slessor in the last 32 tomorrow afternoon.
Trump has sensationally won 11 ranking titles over the last two seasons and has occupied the world number one spot since August 2019. However, the Ace in the Pack faces the prospect of the £175,000 he earned for winning the 2019 International Championship coming off his ranking at the end of this week. That leaves him vulnerable to world number two Selby.
It was Bingham who started fastest in this evening’s match, he fired in a break of 65 to take the opener. However, Trump turned the game on its head and breaks of 69, 75 and 65 saw him take three on the bounce and emerge a 3-1 victor.
Trump said: “Stuart made my job easy for me. He started off on fire and I knew every time I got to the table I had to clear up. He made it simple and took all doubt out of my mind. Go out and play amazing or go home.
“I came here not really paying any attention to the rankings. For me I just want to go out and win every tournament. If I go out and win five or six events every season then in my head I am the best player there is. That is my aim, to try and win five or six again this year.”
Carter was in impressive form during his 3-0 defeat of Crucible King Selby. The Captain fired in breaks of 107 and 57 on his way to the win and will face Oliver Lines in the last 32.
Carter said: “It was a good performance today. I’m really pleased to have won. It was a tough match and it is always a tough match against Mark. There were a couple of loose positional shots but on the whole my performance was good.
“I’m one of the best players in the world and this is a massive opportunity. It is a short format but all I’ve played since Christmas is short format matches so I’m used to it. Mark won the world title and probably had a few months off, whereas I’ve been in my snooker room and out hitting the road running. It has paid off.”
Leicester’s Joe O’Connor scored an impressive 3-1 win over 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty, while Lukas Kleckers defeated Louis Heathcote 3-2.
The match between Gary Wilson and Stephem Hendry was awful, they were both poor and Hendry in particular was really dire. Gary branded their performance “embarrassing”. It was. However saying it attracted criticism from Ken Doherty, who said this was a bit strong and lacking grace, and fans who claimed that he was being disrespectful to Stephen Hendry. Gary was just being honest and Stephen was equally blunt about what he tought of his performane: this is what he put on his Instagram:
Says it all.
Ali played well but reckons that Mark Selby didn’t put a lot of work in after his win at the Crucible last May. He’s right … as Mark Selby himself admitted ahead of the tournament. It’s perfectly understandable at this stage of Mark’s career and with a young family.
Anyway… this is the program for today morning and afternoon:
Only four of the top 16 remain in the draw… not often you see that at this stage of a full ranking tournament (not counting the Shoot Out here).