China’s Si Jiahui knocked former UK and Masters champion Matthew Stevens out of the BetVictor Scottish Open with a fine 4-1 victory in the qualifying round.
Si, competing as an amateur having dropped off the pro tour last season, goes through to the final stages in Llandudno in December. Having shared the first two frames, he compiled breaks of 105, 76 and 81 to secure an impressive result.
Mark Davis came from 2-0 down to beat Michael White 4-3, making an 81 in the decider. Tom Ford rounded off a 4-2 win over Peter Lines with a run of 115.
Elliot Slessor made a break of 114 to lead Liang Wenbo 3-2, but it was China’s Liang who came back to take the last two frames to snatch a 4-3 success.
Anthony Hamilton won four frames in a row with a top break of just 29 as he beat Tian Pengfei 4-1. Jimmy Robertson eased to a 4-1 win over Jamie O’Neill, while Jamie Jones saw off Joe O’Connor 4-2.
Once again one match is bizarrely missing from this report: 18 years old Zhao Jianbo beat Liam Highfiled by 4-0 in the first match of the day and finished it off in style with breaks of 83 and 69.
Elliot Slessor had a 96 as well as the above mentioned 114 but still lost to Liang Wenbo who didn’t have any big break all match. Liang really surprised me there. He wasn’t playing well, his long potting was unreliable but he was tactically sound and extremely patient, very different from the player we used to see a few years back. Well done Liang.
The Hamilton v Tian match, 5 frames, lasted 3 hours and 45 minutes… with the referee, Ben Williams, asking them to speed up a bit at one point as their AST had gone one 40 seconds. This prompted Shan Murphy to ask for a 30 seconds shot clock. To that, Phil Haigh, who has interviewed Anthony Hamilton a few times over the last season, observed that the players circumstances should be taken into account, and that Anthony has been in a lot of pain in recent years. Shaun then backed down, admitting that, having suffered from neck and back pain himself in the past, he wouldn’t have wanted to be hurried at the time. He admitted that he hadn’t thought of it. Good on him. Whilst Anthony’s circumstances are well documented, I wonder what happened to Tian. OK, he’s not the fasted player … but still … he was even slower than Antony in that match.