Professional Tournaments News – 03.03.2023

2023 Championship League Snooker Invitational – John Higgins is the winner again

John Higgins won the Invitational 2023 Championship League, earning his place in the 2023 Champion of Champions. It’s the fourth time that John wins this event. He actually has now won four of the last seven instalments played under the traditional format.

Congratulations John Higgins!

Here is the report by WST:

Higgins Beats Trump In League Final

John Higgins won the 2023 BetVictor Championship League Invitational, beating Judd Trump 3-1 in the final at the Morningside Arena, Leicester live on Matchroom.Live, Viaplay, DAZN and broadcasters worldwide.

The Wizard of Wishaw won the event for a second consecutive year and earned a place in the 2023 Champion of Champions, to take place in November.

In the final, he made a break of 62 in taking the opening frame before Trump levelled with a run of 100, career century number 899. But Higgins regained the lead with a 78 then got the better of a scrappy fourth frame to secure his first title since winning the same event 12 months ago.

It feels amazing,” said the 47-year-old Scot, who won a total of £26,500 from the tournament. “I played really well the last couple of days, I was delighted with the way I hit the ball. It’s a big tournament in its own right now. It gets you into the Champion of Champions. It’s brilliant to win it and hopefully, it can give me a bit of confidence. I got some work done to my cue, but I am going back to my roots with same size of cue. It seemed to work. It’s given me confidence. It’s all about confidence this game.

Earlier, in a dramatic semi-final, Kyren Wilson took a 2-0 lead over Higgins with breaks of 137 and 85, only for the four time World Champion to hit back with 86, 61 and 66 to win 3-2. Trump eased to a 3-0 success over Neil Robertson.

The 2023 Champion of Champions is set to take place at the Bolton Stadium Hotel, University of Bolton Stadium from November 13-19. 

Earlier this week, Xiao Guodong had won Group 7 (WST report).

Xiao Completes Winners’ Group Line-Up

Xiao Guodong came from 2-0 down to beat compatriot Lyu Haotian 3-2 in the final of Group Seven, booking his spot in Winners’ Group at the BetVictor Championship League Snooker.

China’s Xiao crucially won his last round-robin match 3-1 against Matthew Selt, which got him into the semi-finals. He then beat Graeme Dott 3-1 with a top break of 106, while in the other semi-final, Stephen Maguire failed to score a single point as Lyu won 3-0 with runs of 76, 58, and 100.

Lyu took the first two frames of the final with breaks of 63 and 128, only for Xiao to hit back and win three scrappy frames, taking the decider after a long safety battle on the final brown.

Xiao completes a strong Winners’ Group, joining Jack Lisowski, Stuart Bingham, Kyren Wilson, Judd Trump, John Higgins and Neil Robertson. 

Lyu Haotian who replaced Ronnie at short notice gave a very good account of himself.

WST has published the draw and format for the 2023 WST Classic

WST Classic Draw And Format

World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan will meet African Champion Mohamed Ibrahim in the first round of the new WST Classic in Leicester later this month.

Click Here For The Draw

Click Here For The Format

The world ranking event will run from March 16th to 22nd at the Morningside Arena with a field of 128 players and total prize money of £427,000.

Notable first round matches include:

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Mohamed Ibrahim – Friday March 17th, not before 6pm
Mark Williams v Sean O’Sullivan – Friday March 17th, not before 2pm
Judd Trump v David Lilley – Friday March 17th, not before 4pm
Graeme Dott v Jimmy White – Friday March 17th, not before 12pm
Jack Lisowski v Louis Heathcote – Thursday March 16th, not before 10am
Neil Robertson v Luke Simmonds – Thursday March 16th, not before 2pm
Mark Allen v Peter Lines – Thursday March 16th, not before 6pm
Stuart Bingham v Ng Onyee – Thursday March 16th, not before 12pm
Ding Junhui v Xu Si – Saturday March 18th, not before 12pm
Ali Carter v Dechawat Poomjaeng – Saturday March 18th, not before 10am
Shaun Murphy v Oliver Brown – Saturday March 18th, not before 4pm
Kyren Wilson v Dean Young – Friday March 17th, not before 2pm
Chris Wakelin v Reanne Evans – Saturday March 18th, not before 2pm
John Higgins v Michael White – Saturday March 18th, not before 4pm
Robert Milkins v Mink Nutcharut – Sunday March 19th, not before 10am
Mark Selby v Fraser Patrick – Saturday March 18th, not before 6pm

The WST Classic is the last counting event in the race to qualify for the Duelbits Tour Championship, and for those who don’t make it to Hull it’s the final event before the Cazoo World Championship.

The final day will include the quarter-finals at 10am, semi-finals at 2.30pm and final at 7pm. All matches will be best of seven frames, up until the semi-finals which are best of nine, and the final which is best of 11.

On paper, Ronnie is not in the more difficult section but the way this season has gone I’m not holding my breath.

8 thoughts on “Professional Tournaments News – 03.03.2023

  1. Our sport channel will show the whole snooker exhibition (each of the three sessions) from Monday to Wednesday. 1 day / 1 session.

    I’ll try my best to upload it.
    Monique, is it possible to write me an email (you can see my email?) and I’ll send you the links via email and it depends on you that you’ll post them.

  2. Why only the final day will be available for the fans in the WST Classic?
    Why banned them for the first 6 days?

  3. In fact, Ronnie has an ideal draw for that WST Classic, and I expect to see him in the Q-finals. But of course the early rounds are played behind closed doors, which may not inspire him whilst at the same time be easier for his opponents. It’s a particularly tough draw for Xu Si, who may be this year’s candidate to lose out to an amateur on the 1-year list.

    I just hope they don’t spend the whole tournament talking about qualification for the Tour Championship.

    Lyu Haotian did indeed play brilliantly in the CL Group 7, scoring 3 centuries to beat Graeme Dott. But predictably he failed to get over the line – still a problem for him.

  4. Meanwhile Reanne Evans conceded just 2 frames in 6 matches at the Women’s World Championship in Thailand and will now play Bai Yulu, a young Chinese talent, who conceded 3 frames.

    • Tremendous safety play and long potting at the Women’s World Cup and also at the Women’s World Championship which already would be good enough for the main tour imo.

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