Congratulations to Kyren Wilson who defeated Matthew Selt by 3-2 in the final yesterday evening to book his place in the Winners’ Group.
Wilson Wins Group Three
Kyren Wilson booked his place in the winners’ group of the BetVictor Championship League Invitational, by beating Matthew Selt 3-2 in a hard fought group three final.
The Warrior initially cruised through the group stage with four wins from six matches, before facing four-time World Champion and recent English Open winner Mark Selby in the play offs.
Wilson showed true grit and class, making three century breaks during a high quality 3-2 victory over Selby, the highest ranked player in the group.
It set up a group final against Selt, who had battled hard to get through. Selt initially booked his spot in the play offs with a 3-1 win over Robert Milkins, a result which snatched him fourth place in the group.
In his play off match against Ricky Walden, Selt quickly found himself 2-0 down. However, he displayed fighting spirit once again by winning three consecutive frames, to book his place in the group final against Wilson.
Wilson was made to work hard for his win against Selt, despite making a high break of 133 in the opening frame and then moving 2-0 up. Selt once again dug deep to force a decider.
The deciding frame was anything but nervy and closed out in a single visit from Wilson, who knocked in a classy break of 81 to complete 3-2 victory.
Speaking with Phil Yates after, Wilson said: “It was quite a tough day for me, having to play three matches in a row was hard. It was nice to have a break after and came back fresh to play really well against Mark Selby, making three century breaks in a best of five. I was hitting it well at that point and then made a great break in the decider against Matt Selt.
“I started the first day really well and then ended quite badly against Jordan Brown, the win against Mark tonight was great especially against a player of that calibre.
“Everyone seems really sharp at the moment and it is no surprise you’ve got some really good players in the winners’ group so far. It’s great to have another opportunity to play in something, there’s always that dangling carrot with the Champion of Champions too, so it would be great to get in that event.”
Here are yesterday’s results (minus the final)
As always the commentators digress at times and David Hendon confirmed that Hossein Vafaei will replace Zhao Xintong at the Masters. It now shows on WST website too.
He also spoke about another potential issue created by the current – frankly bad – structure of the calendar. Indeed both David Gilbert and Hossein Vafaei are due to play in the 2023 Welsh Open Qualifiers and those qualifiers overlap with the Masters.
Gilbert is playing in the six-reds qualifiers on January 8 and, possibly on January 9. He’s playing Mark Williams in the Masters on January 10, in the evening. That should be manageable. He’s playing Marco Fu in the Welsh Open qualifiers on January 13, evening. Should he win his first match at the Masters, he would play again on January 12, in the afternoon. Should he reach the semi-finals, he would play that match on January 14 in the afternoon. There are no actual clashes of dates but it’s certainly far from ideal. He will have to do a lot of traveling between matches.
Vafaei is not playing in the 6-reds qualifiers. His Welsh Open qualifying match in scheduled on January 12, in the evening and that is a real issue because, should he beat Mark Selby in the Masters first round, his QF match is scheduled at exactly the same time as his qualifying match for the Welsh Open. And, for the record, Vafaei has beaten Selby in the last two matches they played, both times over best of 11 frames, in the 2021 and 2022v UK Championship, so that “clash” scenario is a real possibility.
To me, WPBSA/WST should just have Vafaei’s and Gilbert’s qualifying matches in the Welsh Open played at the main venue.
It will not surprise anybody to learn that Stephen Hendry has withdrawn from the 6-reds World Championship (qualifiers).