The 2021 World Grand Prix – Day 3

Other than Ronnie winning his opening match, here is what happened yesterday as reported by WST:

Afternoon session:

BetVictor Scottish Open champion Luca Brecel continued his tremendous run of form as he beat Jordan Brown 4-1 with top runs of 100, 57, 88 and 105. The Belgian has now won 14 of his last 15 matches.

Everything came easy to me today, even before the match I knew I was going to play well,” said Brecel, who will now face Jimmy Robertson, a 4-2 winner over Matthew Selt. “I felt relaxed and played freely with no pressure, I expected everything to go in. That shows how important confidence is.

Earlier this season I tried to figure out what I needed to do to get better results, because I was going nowhere. I have been playing with more focus and intensity, which has helped me to stop missing easy balls. And I am taking a more professional approach to the game.

Luca played very well indeed. He will play Jimmy Robertson who got the better of a rather out-of-sorts Matt Selt. Jimmy Robertson could be a top player if he manages to improve his safety game.

Evening session:

Ford Sinks Trump In Black-Ball Thriller

Defending champion Judd Trump suffered a second round exit at the Cazoo World Grand Prix as he missed two crucial balls a dramatic deciding frame and lost 4-3 to Tom Ford.

Trump won this tournament in 2015, 2019 and 2020 but the world number two surprisingly failed to take chances at the business end of tonight’s clash in Coventry, finishing 2021 on a low note. The Bristolian hasn’t won a ranking title since March, though he did lift the trophy at last month’s Cazoo Champion of Champions.

Ford knocked out John Higgins in round one and claimed another major scalp in booking a quarter-final Leicester derby against Mark Selby on Thursday evening.

From 2-0 down, world number 23 Ford made breaks of 133 and 65 to recover to 2-2. Trump regained the lead, but at the end of a scrappy sixth frame he missed a tough long pot on the final green, allowing Ford to level at 3-3.

In the decider, leading 36-0, Trump rattled the pink in the jaws of one top corner, and later at 51-9 he failed to pot the black to the other top pocket when he was just a few balls from victory. The frame came down to the last red, and Ford converted an excellent long pot to set up a cool clearance. The black was close to a side cushion but he nudged it free in potting the pink, then rolled the final ball into a centre pocket.

You don’t usually get two chances in a whole match against Judd, so I was surprised to get two in the last frame,” admitted Ford. “We both felt nervy and I was lucky he let me off because I thought I was going home. On the last red, I could have played safe, but I knew I should have a go at it.

I was useless for the first two frames, then something clicked and I got back into it, then I went back to being awful. It was a strange match. My game doesn’t feel good, but the balls are going in.”

Selby beat Mark Allen 4-2 with top breaks of 85 and 78. It has been a poor season so far for World Champion Selby, by his high standards, but he is now into the quarter-finals of a ranking event for the first time this term. A deep run will boost his position on the one-year ranking list, with only two more counting events to come before the cut-off for the 16-man Cazoo Players Championship.

Masters champion Yan Bingtao beat Martin Gould 4-0 with a top break of 57 and the Chinese ace now meets Neil Robertson, who saw off Anthony Hamilton 4-1 with top breaks of 108 and 74.

So the man who claims that Ronnie can’t buy a ranking title win to save his own life, can’t even buy a ranking semi-final himself it seems. He hasn’t got past the QF in any ranking event since early March when he won the “all-best-of-seven” 2021 Gibraltar Open.

Yan Bingtao didn’t score particularly heavily but played excellent solid snooker to whitewash Martin Gould.