Zhao Xintong was undefeated in winning Group 3, and also scored his 100th career competitive century during the event! Well done Zhao!
This young man is clearly conquering the heart of many fans, with his attractive brand of snooker, his warm personality and his radiant smile.
Zhao Wins Group Three
Zhao Xintong put on a masterclass to become the third player into Winners’ Group of the 2022 BetVictor Championship League Snooker Invitational, winning Group Three at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
Zhao came into the playoffs in fine fettle, after winning all six matches in the group stage whilst only conceding four frames along the way. The 24-year-old overcame Stuart Bingham in the group semi-final with a break of 138, his highest break of the tournament so far, to secure a 3-1 win and face the winner of Mark Selby and Xiao Guodong in the final.
It was Xiao who made breaks of 70, 52, 79 and 89 in a 3-1 defeat of Selby, to set up a clash with compatriot Zhao for a spot in the Winners’ Group.
UK Champion Zhao amassed an early 2-0 buffer with 90 in the first frame and two breaks of 40 and 20 in the second. However, Xiao came back into it with two heavy scoring frames to force a decider. It was Zhao who sealed progression thanks to a run of 66 to join Liang Wenbo and Graeme Dott in the next stage.
Losing semi-finalists Selby and Bingham join Group Four tomorrow alongside Xiao, Lu Ning, Judd Trump, 2021 Championship League Snooker Invitational Winner Kyren Wilson, and 2020 Winner Scott Donaldson. Joe Perry and Ryan Day were eliminated after finishing 6th and 7th respectively.
Zhao said: “I played very well over the two days. I just wanted to play as I do in practice. I am waiting for the Masters and I want to play more. In this final, I played very well. It was perfect preparation. I will practise more now as I wait for the Masters.”