Woman battles ‘barrage’ of hate to bag top snooker crown
Jamie Hunter described her US Open experience as “magical”
A woman from Widnes has battled a “barrage” of online hate to triumph at a major snooker tournament.
Jamie Hunter, 25, crowned a memorable debut year on the World Women’s Snooker (WWS) Tour by securing her first world ranking event title at the US Open in Seattle on Sunday (August 28). Jamie, a keen footballer, took up snooker in a bid to fill a “competitive hole” after a severe ankle injury forced her to prematurely hang up her boots.
Jamie joined her hometown snooker club and played in local leagues before joining the WWS tour last year. It’s been a whirlwind month for the 25-year-old, who claimed victory at the Women’s World Billiards championship in Dublin on August 21 before making the trip to the US.
While the WWS tour is predominantly made up of high-level amateur competitors, Jamie bagged US open glory by defeating professional snooker player Rebecca Kenna 4-1 in the final.
Jamie told the ECHO : “Seattle was nothing short of magical. The place was simply stunning, the people were so kind, caring and inclusive.
“The venue was the best I’ve ever been to, the hosts were two of the most special people I’ve ever met and, to top it all off, I was able to win the US Open so I couldn’t have wished for a better experience.
“Honestly, I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet. My tournament wins never feel real until I see my dad. The pride and joy in his eyes when I see him, that’s when I know I’m a champion“.
Following her recent success, Jamie is now sixth in the World Women’s Snooker Rankings – a feat that is particularly impressive considering she has to juggle snooker with her full time job in IT at Halton Borough Council.
She said: “Snooker is a sport that requires so much practice, for the precision and for the mental aspect of the game. After joining the tour, I had to get my own table, which took months to organise and setup.
“I now practise roughly 25-30 hours a week, while also having a full time job, so some days it is tough. Add on top that when you lose in some events, you’re really disappointed and the desire to keep playing everyday just to fall short is hard and takes a lot of mental strength but I’m always back on that horse at some point.“
Despite receiving an “outpouring of love” from family and friends in the wake of her US open triumph, Jamie told the ECHO she has also been hit by a wave of abuse on social media because she is transgender.
She described being a trans woman in the public eye as “exhausting” and has been inundated with “disgusting” hate messages, threats and cheating accusations.
She said: “I have thick skin and nothing anybody will say will stop me playing snooker and billiards, they’re my passion and my dreams, but it doesn’t half hurt to see that my existence and my dreams upset so many people.
“Luckily WWS and WST staff have been by my side and vocal about standing with me against hate and transphobia, using the hashtag #hateneverwins which has been amazing by them to show their support.
“Although this win in Seattle is my first ranking title and something I thought I’d only ever get in my dreams, and it’s one of the happiest moments of my life, at the same time it’s the saddest time because of the social media hate barrage.“
Jamie will get the chance to pick up another title at the Australian Open, which takes place in Sydney in October. Jamie said: ” My Dad is travelling with me and my partner for this one, and it’ll be the first ranking event he’s ever attended, so it’ll be a special one. It’s a jam packed calendar this year, but that’s just a testament to the growth of the WWS tour and the hard work by all the staff involved.”
Speaking of her pride at Jamie’s recent achievements, mum Janice told the ECHO: “I’m absolutely delighted. It’s been a long journey and it hasn’t been easy.
“She joined the tour a year ago and has just gone from strength to strength. This is the first major snooker tournament she’s won so we’re just beyond proud of her.
“Some of the girls she’s been competing against have been playing for a long time and have been on the tour for a number of years so we’re just delighted.“
I never understood why so many people can’t just allow others “to be” even if it’s unconventional or unusual … as long as it doesn’t hurt or damage anyone. Why does it bother them if someone doesn’t conform to their personal standards? Why do they hate those who are different? Why do we have to comply to social stereotypes and prejudices? And it’s not just about sexuality, it’s about everything… religion, education, fashion, sports. You name it.
Here are a few examples
When I was a teenager I was educated in a school for girls only. They didn’t offer us the option to take an “advanced maths” or “advanced physics” course because “those things are not for girls”. Really? Well … I had to fight but I ended up with a PHD in Maths and one of my then classmate has one in Physics.
The social media nowadays is full of calls encouraging men to reach out if they suffer from mental health issues. Yet many don’t, they feel ashamed, don’t want to be perceived as “weak” … and take their own life. I’m convinced that the social stereotypes about “strong male”, “boys don’t cry”, “take it on the chin” are at the root of this situation. Why do men need to suppress their emotions?
Recently the “Lionesses” won the Euro and everyone in the UK was behind them and, yet, from what I understood, girls are not allowed to take football as part of the PE curriculum. Why? And why is a boy “automatically” supposed to be interested in football?
I could go on.
Regarding transgender persons, I had an experience… some 50 years ago. I was a teenager in the early 70th. I was looking after younger children in a “holiday camp”. Amongst the boys, in the 4-6 years group age, was a little boy who didn’t fit. He was very sensitive, wasn’t interested in the usual “boys activities”, he preferred to play with girls and liked to dress-up. He was bullied by the other boys… I had never heard the word “transgender” at the time, I had no idea about such things. But we ended up moving this kid to the “girls group”, where he was welcome and much happier. That kid had a brother, just one year younger, and he was completely different, he was the “typical” boy. So this wasn’t about education. That “misfit” kid wasn’t trying to gain any “advantage”. He just wanted to be himself and happy.
The victory crowns a memorable debut year on the World Women’s Snooker (WWS) Tour for the 25-year-old, who becomes the first player to lift a maiden ranking title since Mink Nutcharut at the 2019 Australian Open.
Having entered the week ranked in 12th position, Hunter is now set to climb to a career-high position of number six in the latest world ranking list next week.
For Kenna, defeat represents her fifth reverse in a ranking event final, as her wait for an elusive breakthrough title goes on. She will remain fourth in the world rankings, having consolidated her position following her latest final run.
The pair began the day in the quarter-finals, having each progressed through the initial group stage without the loss of a frame. The route to the final for Hunter saw her defeat Frances Tso of the United States 3-0, before overcoming Mary Talbot-Deegan – who was competing in her first semi-final on the Tour – 4-1 to reach the title match. Kenna also enjoyed smooth progress, with victories against Mary ‘Princess’ Avina of Texas and world number five Emma Parker, without the loss of a frame.
It was Hunter who would enjoy the stronger start to the decisive match as she claimed the opening two frames, Kenna having spurned a chance to steal the opening frame with a missed blue when in to clear.
The top seed would get off the mark in frame three to ignite hopes of a comeback, but it was to be Hunter who would clinch a close fourth frame, before adding the next to get over the line and seal a landmark victory on the Tour.
The Challenge Cup competition, for players who did not qualify for the knockout stages, was won by Kaarin Lysen of the United States, who defeated Kathleen Stanley 2-0 in the final.
The final brought the curtain down on a historic and hugely successful week for women’s snooker with the first staging of a tour ranking event in the United States. With a range of players from Europe, the US and Canada among the field, the tournament was warmly received by all who took part, with players already excited to return in 2023.
WWS would like to place on records its appreciation to our wonderful hosts at Ox Billiards, led by owner Mike Dominguez, alongside everybody else who helped to ensure that the event was a success.
The WWS Tour will return from 1-4 October 2022 with the third staging of the Australian Women’s Open in Sydney, Australia.
Here are some more images shared on social media, mainly by WWS
On a completely different topic, If I understood it correctly, Sunny Akani has won the Thailand 6-reds Championship. I’m very happy for him! I hope to see him back on the tour soon, fully fit. In his most recent photos, he’s wearing glasses when not playing.
I didn’t manage to fully understand how the final unfolded, or who exactly is opponent was. Automatic translation from Thai is not the best … I’m still happy it exists at all though 😉. From what I understood, Sunny came from 7-4 down to win by 8-7.
Here are a few pictures
Congratulations Jamie Hunter and Sunny Akani
Finally … Jason Francis has been very active in setting up events. Here is what he has been up to:
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh continued his return to form with a 4-1 victory over Chris Wakelin to reach the final stages of the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open.
Thailand’s Un-Nooh narrowly avoided relegation from the pro circuit at the end of last season; only a run to the last 32 of the World Championship kept him on the tour. He is now looking to climb back up the rankings and with today’s result he can look forward to a trip to Belfast in October. Breaks of 66, 85 and 51 helped him to a comfortable win over Wakelin.
Jackson Page fired runs of 59, 51 and 107 as he saw off Robbie Williams 4-2 , while Martin Gould cruised to a 4-0 whitewash against Michael Judge. Sean O’Sullivan, returning to the tour this season after a three-year absence, top scored with 60 in a 4-1 win over Jamie O’Neill.
Here are the other results:
Tian Pengfei defeated Ian Burns by 4-0. Ian scored on 69 points all match, Tian finished with breaks of 61 and 78.
David Grace beat Lei Peifan by 4-2 in a match that featured a break over 50 in every frame expect the last.
Hammad Miah beat James Cahill by 4-2; he had a 53 in frame 1, and a 61 in frame 6.
‘People are not happy’ – Mark Allen voices growing concerns over World Snooker Tour calendar
Phil Haigh Sunday 28 Aug 2022
Mark Allen feels there are growing concerns among professional players over the gaps on the snooker calendar, as the World Snooker Tour struggles to return to its pre-Covid schedule.
World Snooker Tour did brilliantly to continue putting on events during 2020 and ’21, but they have not yet been able to restore the calendar to the state it was in before Covid hit.
This is largely down to China previously hosting a string of big-money tournaments and it still being impossible to travel to the country to play as Covid restrictions remain in place.
That is accepted and no blame is attached to anyone for that, but Allen says he and other players are concerned about how long China will remain off the table and what is being done to fill the void it has left.
‘Unless they start coming up with some new events, bigger prize money, then I’ll always be sceptical,’ Allen told Metro.co.uk. ‘It seems that they’re papering over cracks at the minute.
‘The Championship League is on for a month, but you’re only playing for a couple of those days and the money isn’t great unless you win it.
‘We appreciate how hard it has been through Covid, but it seems that this season in particular has been a massive step back. The past two seasons felt busier.
‘China’s obviously being very strict, so that’s not World Snooker’s fault, we can accept that. But how long do we wait? If they shut the country down at every new variant, how long do we wait?
‘We need to find new venues, new countries, new tournaments. It would be great if we could get some extra events and then China can come knocking and say they’re ready. The calendar would be full again and that’s what everyone wants.’
There have been new tournaments added to the calendar this year, but both the Hong Kong Masters and World Mixed Doubles only feature eight players, so the vast majority of the tour are not involved and that has caused more frustration.
The world number 14 explained: ‘Adding events in Hong Kong and the Mixed Doubles that make the calendar look busy, but there’s only eight players in those events.
‘They’re putting events on but they’re not keeping the tour happy. There’s a lot of rumblings behind the scenes and people are not happy.
‘It just seems that they’re papering over cracks. Even in the Home Nations, not 128 at the venue, streaming qualifiers, it’s not beneficial to players, just World Snooker.
‘Playing qualifiers with two tables, it makes the calendar look busy when it’s not really. I think they’re being quite clever with it but the players see through it. Just two tables, your guests there. It’s quite depressing times.
‘I didn’t qualify for the European Masters which is my fault, but from July to September I’ve got nothing because I didn’t qualify for that, it’s a long, long time to wait and not something we’ve become accustomed to under Barry [Hearn].’
Steve Dawson replaced Hearn as WST chairman last year and Allen admits there have been rumours that the former chairman stepped aside as he saw things going downhill for the tour.
The Northern Irishman does not believe that himself, but would like reassurances that things will improve in the near future.
‘Maybe some more communication with the guys on the tour would be good,’ he said. ‘We don’t hear much when it comes to new events and then you start thinking, “What’s going on here? Has Barry jumped ship at the right time?” That’s a bit of the talk amongst the players.
‘I can’t see that being true. Barry’s not that type of guy, and what I know of Steve I don’t think he’d accept that. But people are sceptical.’
An example of the lack of communication to the players is the scheduled Six Reds World Championship in Thailand, which is widely known to be cancelled, but remains on the calendar for 5-10 September.
Allen says the confusion is frustrating, as he explained: ‘I saw an email from the organiser to a player saying the event was off.
‘I contacted someone on the Players’ Board asking why we haven’t been told. He said we’d hear something. The players got an email not even saying it was off, just not to book anything because they were still working on it.
‘But I’ve seen it in black and white from the promoter that the event was off, he’d refunded the flight money. Silly things like that are frustrating.’
WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson has been working hard on keeping the calendar going and trying to restore it to former glories throughout the pandemic and he sympathises with Allen’s view, but assures him that things will improve and they hope to return to China in the not too distant future.
‘I do know that there are gaps on the calendar at the moment, but it’s mainly due to post-Covid times and not being able to get back to China,’ Ferguson told Metro.co.uk.
‘We can’t just put events on top of events that might happen, so we need to leave a certain number of gaps on the calendar.
‘I understand and share the players’ frustrations. They’re preparing for events and wanting to compete, because that’s what they do as sportspeople. But we have to ease out of this Covid environment carefully, and contractually carefully.
‘It will improve, there will be more events added, this calendar that is out is the worst case scenario. Players see a gap here and a gap there, actually they are not all gaps on our desk, it’s potential this and potential that.
‘I’m as frustrated as anybody because I’m working on this all the time, it would be a lot easier for me if it was full, believe me. Watch this space is all I can say on that one.’
Ferguson expanded on why the Hong Kong Masters and World Mixed Doubles have been put on with small fields, with the reasoning that they should lead to bigger and better things for more players.
Specifically in Hong Kong, the eight-player tournament is all that can be done now in Asia, but it will hopefully be the start of a return to mainland China, which would end many of the problems players are currently facing.
‘To put a major ranking event on is a massive thing,’ said Jason. ‘Take Hong Kong. It’s a small number of players which was agreed on by both sides very early on. We’ve been negotiating and trying to get an event on in Asia for quite some time.
‘We’re hoping that event will set the precedent and set the processes of how we can get back into mainland China with major ranking events. That’s what it’s there for.
‘It will be a great event, I’ve no doubt about it, and it benefits a small number of players, but it is there for all the players. Hong Kong could take a major ranking event in the future, so we’re really keen to get this on.
‘Flights in and out are limited, the amount of sportspeople allowed in and out are limited. We’ve had to design this event around the protocol which is available.
‘But we’re doing it for everybody, not just the few players that benefit this time. Players will look at it and be frustrated, but we’re fighting the good fight to get major events on for everybody.’
The World Mixed Doubles, which features the top four players on the world rankings and the women’s world rankings, is stemmed from a different motivation, but Ferguson says it is still beneficial to all in a wider sense.
‘The Mixed Doubles is interesting, it’s great to see snooker coming back onto ITV1,’ he said.
‘Snooker on ITV is part of a multi-event, multi-broadcast arrangement and we had the chance to bring something in over a weekend. It’s just a weekend.
‘Women’s sport is going so well, look how well the football went, there’s clearly demand. We’ve designed the systems to allow women to compete on the main World Snooker Tour, it’s time to showcase that now.
‘Let’s not forget, the better the sport looks, the more we showcase our great message, that benefits everybody on tour, the sport is more valuable.’
WST and the WPBSA are certainly trying to get the calendar back to its pre-2020 pomp and Ferguson says that any criticism is warranted if they cannot add more events to the schedule by the end of the current campaign.
‘If big gaps stay in the calendar between now and the end of the season, if we don’t fill them, then we deserve some stick,’ he said.
Jason Ferguson can say what he wants, Mark Allen certainly has a point. He has nothing to play in for the next 6 weeks… and he’s going to play some pool instead!
Mark Allen has also revealed that he’s working hard on getting fitter. He’s lost a lot of weight. It all started with a conversation with Ronnie after their match at the Crucible.
Mark Allen reveals Ronnie O’Sullivan chat has led to four stone weight loss
Mark Allen has lost almost four stone after a lot of hard work over the summer and plans to lose more weight as his dieting continues, which all stemmed from a chat with Ronnie O’Sullivan in Sheffield.
The Pistol has been on a strict diet since May and has seen excellent results, shedding a huge amount of weight and feeling much better for it.
The world number 14 wants to keep going in the same direction and is aiming to lose another two stone by the British Open next month.
While it was something he was aware he needed to do beforehand, it was a conversation with O’Sullivan after their World Championship match in April that helped kick Allen into action.
The Rocket beat the Pistol 13-4 in the second round in Sheffield, but far from just shaking hands and going their separate ways, they had a lengthy chat back at the hotel and it has helped Allen with his impressive weight loss over a long summer, which saw him take 11 weeks off playing snooker.
‘I had a good chat with O’Sullivan after we played in Sheffield,’ Allen told Metro.co.uk. ‘I sat in his hotel room for about an hour, talking about snooker and all sorts of things, he really helped me, it was good.
‘He gave me a few pointers. For my health more than anything just to lose some weight, if it helps your snooker so be it, but if it doesn’t it will help your mindset off the table, you’ll be better round your family, round your daughter and he was absolutely right.
‘I feel like that has changed my priorities over the summer and maybe why I took such a long break.
‘Everything he said has stood me in good stead and I’ve been working hard on it, and hopefully it’ll reap rewards on the table as well.’
It may be something of a surprise that O’Sullivan and Allen were chatting away for 60 minutes in a hotel room after their memorable clash at the Champion of Champions in 2020.
The Northern Irishman says that is all forgotten though, heat of the battle stuff, and he was really appreciative of the advice the Rocket gave him in Sheffield.
‘I’m not going to say anything about that, because whenever I’m out there I’m fiery, I want to kill people on the table,’ Allen said of the heated exchange from a couple of years ago.
But whenever it’s said and done, you walk away and you’re professional sportspeople. You go through similar things that people don’t realise.
‘So I had a good chat with Ronnie, sat in his hotel room for about an hour after the match. It was really good, he really opened up and I told him things that were personal to me. It was good, I really appreciated it.
‘Obviously someone like Ronnie doesn’t have to give anyone the time of day, he’s a busy man, I really appreciated that.
‘I wished him the best for the rest of the event, and I really took on board what he gave me.’
Allen explained that it has mainly been cutting down on food that has helped the pounds disappear and staying disciplined is no easy task.
‘Just really, really watching what I’m eating,’ he said. ‘Cut down portions, just really retraining my brain, get in a different mindset and hardly eating anything.
‘It’s coming up on four stone I’ve lost, so we’re going in the right direction, but I’d love to get another couple of stone off before the British Open, that would be great.
‘I’ve been trying hard, it’s been tough, a lot harder than I thought it would be but it’s something I’ve been needing to do.’
The loss to O’Sullivan which produced the life-changing conversation for Allen was another disappointing result for the Pistol in South Yorkshire.
A run to the semi-finals in 2009 remains his best result at the Crucible and he has only been to one quarter-final in the last 11 years.
He expects much more of himself on the sport’s biggest stage and is hoping that getting into shape will help him fulfil his potential at the World Championship.
‘I expect to do well myself, you get one chance a year and unfortunately I haven’t done it yet,’ he said.
‘I have aspirations of doing it, I know I’ve got the game, I’ve beat every player in the game over a decent length of format, so Sheffield shouldn’t be any different.
‘I think losing weight and being mentally fitter should help me in the long run, I think that’s something that’s been against me in the past.
‘You look at the ones that have done well in Sheffield consistently, none of them are overweight or have the issues I have. That’s something I have to work on and I have been working on lately.’
The 2022 IBSF Youth World Championships in Bucharest, Romania, concluded yesterday and Liam Davies was the star of the event as he managed to win all three “main” events: the under-16 event, the under-18 event and the under-21 event. This had never been done before.
Liam beat Antoni Kowalski from Poland in both the under-18 and the under-21 final. He had beaten Bulcsú Révész in the under-16 final. Bulcsú Révész had made it to the semi-finals in the under-21 event as well. So those three were, by far, the best players in those youth championships. The fourth semi-finalist in the under-21 event was Florian Nüssle from Austria.
The Women’s game is conquering new territories.They are competing in the USA for the first time. Today is the last day of the event, and here is what happened so far:
Seattle Set for Final Day
Just eight players remain at the inaugural US Women’s Snooker Open following the conclusion of the group stages with the winner set to be crowned on Sunday at Ox Billiards, Seattle.
The historic ranking event is the first ever World Women’s Snooker Tour competition to be held in the United States, with players from the US, Canada, England, Germany and China among the field.
It has been a strong start to the competition for the European contingent, with all five players having progressed to the knockout rounds. Top seeded trio Rebecca Kenna, Emma Parker and Jamie Hunter secured progress without the loss of a frame, while Mary Talbot-Deegan and Germany’s Diana Schuler also reached the last eight as group runners-up.
Joining the five currently ranked players in tomorrow’s final rounds are Jing Liu (who was born in Beijing and relocated to Seattle in 2013), as well as Frances Tso and Mary Avina of the United States. Both Tso and Avina advanced as the two best third places, with the latter having defeated Marissa Du in a dramatic single frame play-off to seal the final place in the quarter-finals.
The quarter-finals are due to begin at 11am, to be followed by the semi-finals from 3pm and the title match from 6pm local time.
The tournament concludes on Sunday, with the semi-finals and final to be live streamed via the Ox Billiards Facebook, YouTube and Twitch channels.
And some images shared on social media
Matt Huart has shared many more photos on social media, notably on Facebook.
I watched a bit of the action. The event has a really good vibe. The standard of the American players is not very high, and this was to be expected. They are however very enthusiast and positive. The whole idea is precisely to motivate existing players to improve, and new players to start playing and an event like this one is exactly what is needed. Bex Kenna is the only professional player who made the trip and she deserves a lot of praise for that because she had no rest time whatsoever after playing in the Northern Ireland Open qualifiers. She had to rush but she is in Seattle, playing and commentating. Well done Bex!
Julien Leclercq won a match for the first time since turning professional earlier this year, beating Stuart Carrington 4-1 to qualify for the final stages of the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open.
Belgium’s 19-year-old Leclercq underlined his potential when he won the WPBSA Q Tour play-off in May to earn a two year tour card, and he can now look forward to his first appearance in the final stages of a knockout ranking event in Belfast in October. Carrington made a break of 136 in the second frame for 1-1, but Leclercq took the last three frames with a top run of 85.
BetVictor Welsh Open champion Joe Perry made four breaks in the 50s as he won a hard-fought battle with Matthew Stevens by a 4-3 scoreline. Mark King made breaks of 79 and 88 in the last two frames as he came from 3-2 down to beat Oliver Lines 4-3.
Daniel Wells lost to Adam Duffy in the final round of Q School earlier this year, but the Welsh amateur took some measure of revenge in a rematch today with a 4-0 win.
Pang Junxu, Rookie of the Year in 2021, fired runs of 75 and 97 in a 4-2 win over Steven Hallworth, while Anthony McGill eased to a 4-1 success over Peng Yisong.
Julien played a very good match against a player who is never easy to beat and is very experienced. He managed to find the rigth balance between attack and “hard match play”. This is very encouraging. Julien will play Anthony McGill at the venue. It won’t be easy but I fancy his chances especially Anthony often struggles to produce his best in smaller events.
Two matches are missing from the report: Elliot Slessor beat Zhang Jiankang by 4-2 in the afternoon and Matt Selt beat Duane Jones by 4-1 in the last match of the day.
David Gilbert avoided a shock defeat against amateur Ross Muir in the qualifying round of the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open, making a century in the decider to win 4-3.
The next few tournaments are crucial for Gilbert as he is in 17th place in the Race to the Cazoo Masters so needs to climb into the top 16 of that list by the end of November’s Cazoo UK Championship in order to book a place at Alexandra Palace in January. So today’s result gives the Tamworth cueman a boost, but it was far from plain-sailing for the former Crucible semi-finalist.
From 2-0 down, he won three frames in a row with top breaks of 104 and 89, but then missed several match-winning opportunities in frame six. Muir made it 3-3 but then went for a risky long red at the start of the decider and failed to convert, handing Gilbert the chance to make an excellent 125.
Sam Craigie won a 62-minute decider to edge out Ryan Thomerson 4-3. Noppon Saengkham top scored with 84 in a 4-0 win over Ben Mertens while Jamie Clarke won three frames from 64, 44 and 43 points behind as he beat Marco Fu 4-2. Robert Milkins top scored with 118 in a 4-1 win over Jason Kendrick.
Again I didn’t see much. I only watched the Noppon Saengkham v Ben Mertens match. It was disappointing. Not because Ben lost, because he didn’t play well at all and Noppon could have played better himself too. It was a bad day in office for Ben whose long potting went missing. It happens to all players and it’s part of growing as a pro to learn and bounce back from such defeats.
Oceania “nominees” have often been poor and largely absent in the past but Ryan Thomerson seems to be a very decent player and determined to make an impact on the tour.
That Jamie Clarke had to come from far behind in three of the four frames he won shows how competitive he is, it also shows that Marco isn’t playing badly at all. He’s surely not back to his best just yet after such a long break but the signs are good IMO.
And, again, some matches are completely ignored.
David Lilley did beat Andres Petrov, but it wasn’t easy: the match went to a decider. Andres will get nothing for his efforts alas, except experience. He’s a 25 years old rookie from Estonia. It was a great effort really.
Gerard Greene beat Barry Pinches by 4-2 in abattle of veterans.
Aaron Hill beat Zhao Jianbo by 4-0 in the last match of the day. Zhao replaced Stephen Hendry who withdrew.