2023 Crucible – Kyren’s 147, Judd’s exit and Si in the building and kicking

Three more matches concluded yesterday: Kyren Wilson beat Ryan Day, (10-5) scoring a 147 in the process, Anthony McGill got the better of Judd Trump (10-6) and Jack Lisowski beat Noppon Saengkham (10-7).

Kyren Wilson’s 147, probably the highlight of the day, was shared by Eurosport on their YouTube Channel:

This was Kyren’s 4th maximum, his first at the Crucible, the 188th in professional snooker and the 13th at the Crucible.

Here is WST report on the Kyren Wilson v Ryan Day’s match:

Wilson Makes Five Tons In Day Rout

Maximum man Kyren Wilson became only the third player to make five centuries in a first round match at the Crucible at he beat Ryan Day 10-5 at the Cazoo World Championship.

On what he will remember as one of the best days of his career, Wilson joined the elite Crucible 147 club, which has just eight other members, by making a maximum in the fifth frame. And the Kettering cueman joined Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Allen as the only players to register five tons in an opening round tie.

Wilson is in a purple patch of break-building form, having made six centuries in match of the same length at the recent Tour Championship, where he reached the final before losing to Shaun Murphy. His biggest goal in snooker is to win the world title and no one has played better over the first few days in Sheffield this time.

The world number seven now faces a potentially titanic second round clash with four-time champion John Higgins. That starts on Sunday and concludes on Monday afternoon.

Day trailed 6-3 going into tonight’s concluding session, and took the first frame with a break of 52 to pull one back. But there was little he could do as Wilson surged 9-4 ahead with runs of 120, 108 and 94.

In frame 15, Wilson had a chance to clear from 58-1 down, but missed the last red to a top corner, allowing Day to pull one back. But European Masters champion Wilson soon sealed the result with a 102 in frame 15.

The 147 was absolutely unbelievable,” said five-time ranking event winner Wilson. “I usually try not to get carried away and keep things under wraps. But this morning I was beaming, it’s so nice to be a part of snooker history, that’s something money can’t buy. It’s one of the greatest achievements of my short career and something I will look back on when I’m an old man. To join that short list of players who have made a 147 at the Crucible is amazing.

My wife Sophie told me our two kids were allowed to watch it at school and then they both came running out and gave her a big hug. It’s awesome for them because they are really getting into snooker.

I have been very consistent for the last few months and I have managed to hold on to that form and to bring it here. I always really enjoy playing John Higgins, he is a proper snooker player and competing with him tests every part of your game.

Welshman Day said: “Kyren played great. I don’t think I made all that many mistakes, but he punished any that I made. My season had good parts –  winning British Open was great, it got me to a lot of big events and back up the rankings – but there were lots of not so good bits as well.”

And Hector Nunns, writing for The Sportsman report more – and amusing – details …

Wilson said walking off after the first session: “I’m absolutely buzzing, I am so happy with that.

You know, I have said for a long time now that I have children I would love to leave a legacy, I’d love to leave something for them to watch back when they have kids. That is going to be one of those moments.

Absolute honour to make a maxi at the prestigious Crucible Theatre.
Stuff dreams are made of! 
Thank you everyone for your messages!

It’s definitely a bucket-list thing to try to do, make a 147 at the Crucible. There is no pressure like it to be honest. I am absolutely buzzing.

I under-hit the black with two reds left. So, I left myself on a red where I had to leave a high black. I had to play it with loads of right-hand side to get across for the last red.

That was a tough shot, let alone to get the positioning right. I was short on the last red as well.  I had to throw in some left-hand side.

I hit a good yellow, a good green, a good brown, just overcooked the blue and before I went down to it, I noticed everybody piled into the corner, all the press, with their cameras ready. I got a little bit distracted.

I played a good pink with loads of right-hand side as well. I turned into Alan ‘angles’ McManus.

I have had some maximums before in exhibitions. The amount of people that have come to me afterwards and said they have been snookers fans all their lives and that was an amazing thing to see live. So for the fans at the Crucible to see that live, I am sure it will live long in their memories.

Without a doubt, that is one of the best things I have ever done in my career. I got down for the pink and I couldn’t feel my right arm. The black was perfect. Happy days.”

Both my kids got to watch the 147 at school. My older son Finlay was in PE and they stopped it. And my younger son Bailey had his teacher Miss Palmer streaming it.

If a protester had jumped on the table during the 147 I’d have judo chopped them with my cue and gone all Jackie Chan.”

Wilson went on to complete a 10-5 win over Day last night – and set up a last-16 clash with four-time world champion John Higgins.

The Warrior equalled a record held by Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Allen of making five centuries in a Crucible first-round match with runs of 133, his magical 147, 120, 108 and a closing 102.

Bizarrely Wilson is the only one of the three joint record-holders who went on to win the match.

Well, well, well … protesters you have been warned! 😂😂😂

Anthony McGill beat Judd Trump by 10-6, and, after yesterday’s display this didn’t surprise me at all.

Here is the final frame, shared by Eurosport on their YouTube channel:

The Crucible always inspires McGill, who, in the past, has admitted that he sometimes struggles to find 100% motivation for smaller events, often played in uninspiring environments. He’s a big occasions player and, on the big scenes, he performs at his best and is very dangerous.

Here are the quotes by both players as reported by WST:

It’s an amazing scalp for me, I have so much respect for Judd,” said 32-year-old McGill. “He has got everything – he can tough it when he needs to and he’s got all the shots. I was never going to go out and beat him 10-3, I was expecting him to come back at me so I didn’t panic when he got back to 6-5. I managed to hold it together.

It’s a privilege to be here. Everyone still left in the draw is world class and can win it. Jack has got the game to entertain but he has also improved the weaknesses in his game. He has been in the top 16 for a good few years and it feels like he is never going to drop out, he is one of the top players and I’ll need to play well.”

Trump, who was runner-up to O’Sullivan last year, said: “I missed too many easy balls. I had more than enough chances, even from 6-3 down. Today I still felt that if I played half decent I’d have a good chance. It didn’t turn out that way. You can’t expect to play like that in the World Championship, it’s just down to myself really.

I just seemed to be falling out of position too often and finishing a little bit awkward. I always felt under pressure. Anthony scored when he got in, but I still felt that most frames I had my chances. There were a lot of careless shots and easy misses.

I feel a lack of match sharpness. A lack of tournament play has probably cost me over the last two or three months since the World Grand Prix. A lot of the time I’m just practising on my own, so when I’m out there I’m not feeling that comfortable. Maybe next season I need to play against a few more top players in practice and just get that sharpness back.”

And this was the Eurosport pundits, Alan McManus and Jimmy White, thoughts on Judd’s first round exit, as reported by Eurosport:

alking in the Eurosport studio, McManus and Jimmy White dissected Trump’s display and his preparation.

Should he be going on holiday 10 days before playing at the Crucible?” McManus said. “In my opinion, no. He’s a grown man, he’s a world champion, he’s won everything there is to win.

I thought that was a mistake quite frankly, I just don’t think that’s the way to go. He clearly does, that’s fine.

When he’s sitting in his chair in between frames, he looks a bit lost out there at times.”

McManus also gave his view that Trump has an issue with his cueing that needs to be rectified, after saying Trump is “not the same player” he was when he won the World Championship 2019.

It pains me to say it, but Trump, in the last two-and-a-half years, has won one ranking event. That’s a fact. In the previous two years or so, he won umpteen ranking events.

I hate to say it, but there is a flaw in his technique, I don’t know how much he’s taken that on board.

It might be the case that it’s getting progressively worse. I hope it’s not the case, but he’s not the wrecking ball he was four years ago when he played the match of history in dismantling John Higgins in the final here.”

Looking back over some of Trump’s errors in his match with McGill, White added: “Average club players don’t miss those shots. So he is struggling with his confidence and his technique.

BBC repeatedly showed Judd Trump slumped in his chair, looking dejected, lost and utterly miserable. I’m not a Judd fan at all, I profoundly disliked the arrogance he showed in the past, although he has grown up past that in recent years, but I didn’t like to see him like that at all. In fact I hated seeing him like that, just as I hated seeing Ronnie being tortured by Ebdon in 2005. Of course, McGill wasn’t using any Ebdon’s dirty tactics, he was just doing his job properly, he was playing well and winning his match. But still … seeing another human being in pain will NEVER be “compelling view” for me and I can’t understand how anyone can enjoy watching this, unless they have a serious sadistic streak.

Finally, Jack Lisowski defeated Noppon Saengkham by 10-7. I didn’t watch much at all of that match, but here is WST report:

‘Panicking’ Lisowski Holds Nerve To Beat Saengkham

Jack Lisowski admitted he almost “collapsed” at the end of his Cazoo World Championship battle with Noppon Saengkham, but recovered in time to win 10-7 and reach the last 16 at the Crucible for the third consecutive year

There were nervous moments for Lisowski as Saengkham came from 9-4 down to 9-7 and had a chance to close the gap further. World number 13 Lisowski has not always shown a killer instinct at the business end of matches but this time he was able to edge over the line to book a second round meeting with Judd Trump or Anthony McGill.

Gloucestershire’s Lisowski reached the quarter-finals for the first time a year ago, notably knocking out Neil Robertson before a narrow 13-12 defeat against John Higgins. Coming through another tough test today will boost his confidence as he looks towards his next assignment which starts on Saturday.

I was panicking a bit at the end because he looked like he really fancied it,” said the six-time ranking event finalist. “He was relaxed, and when your opponent is like that it’s tough. I wasn’t think about the scoreline all match, but then when I got to nine I though it would be over quickly. Then at 9-7 he looked good and I felt I was all over the place. I felt as if I was collapsing but I was also aware that it probably wasn’t as bad as that. That helped me, knowing I have won matches like that before and I could get out alive. It was a tough draw but it was an open attacking game which suited me.”

Lisowski led 6-3 overnight having made breaks of 102, 50, 78 and 58 in the first session. The opening frame today came down to a safety exchange on the colours, and Saengkham got the snooker he needed on the green, but then missed the free-ball blue into a top corner. A grateful Lisowski rolled in the green to go 7-3 ahead.

Frame 11 was another tense affair and was resolved on a respotted black. Lisowski played a series of loose safety shots, and after missing two opportunities at the black,  Saengkham potted it at the third attempt to pull one back. A run of 65 from Lisowski put him 8-4 up, and he dominated the next to go five ahead with six to play.

After the interval came Saengkham’s fight back as he took three in a row with breaks of 62, 47 and 130. And the Thai ace had a chance to win frame 17 but ran out of position with two reds left when he led 51-33. It came down to the blue and Lisowski showed tactical maturity as he got the better of a safety tussle before potting the blue which proved enough for victory.

I would prefer to play Anthony McGill next,” added Lisowski, who has reached the semi-finals of the Cazoo UK Championship and German Masters this season. “It’s hard to concentrate against (close friend) Judd. But Judd and I have had some cracking games. On paper, Judd is more dangerous, but then McGill comes alive here every year, he is a Crucible specialist. It will be tough either way. I have a few days at home now to be ready.

Jack got his wish fulfilled then… good luck Jack, go and win that second round match as well!

Finally … a word about a match that’s still underway. Si Jiahui was “allowed in the building” to play Shaun Murphy 😉 and is currently leading by 5-4 in their match. Si lost the first two frames and was clearly struggling with the conditions and the environment. He was 3-1 down at the MSI. There were quite a few writing him off at that stage and clearly rejoicing at the prospect of him getting beaten heavily. Someone even suggested that he regretted not betting on a 10-0 outcome when the lad was 2-0 down. It’s mean and I can’t shake off the feeling that that person would never have written such a thing if Si was British.

3 thoughts on “2023 Crucible – Kyren’s 147, Judd’s exit and Si in the building and kicking

  1. I feel sorry for Judd I actually think he’s a good likable guy, I hope he doesn’t drag himself down too much

  2. Murphy said he reassessed his views and changed his mind about amateurs and in any case Si Jiahui is a pro now, so all the previous reservations won’t apply.

    On the big news: if I had to name just one qualifier I didn’t want Ronnie to draw for the first round, it was McGill, so I’m not utterly surprised at the result, though the scoreline is surprising. I have to admit I’m not unhappy that Trump is gone from the competition, but for me the interesting issue is the technical comments on his cueing, if anyone with more knowledge cares to elaborate, I ‘d be grateful.

  3. Your last comment, about Si Jiahui. Most likely they have never seen Si Jiahui before, and didn’t know anything about him as a player. He does make mistakes, but he is able bounce back well. People often don’t know one Chinese player from another, perhaps as a result of the lack of background information and lack of interviews by the media. On the BBC, Rob Walker mentioned the UK Championship controversy, but said “they have kissed and made up”. Excuse me? There was no dispute between the players, the (severe) comments were all by Shaun Murphy in a succession of interviews. When Murphy says he ‘apologised’, I’m not sure he spoke to Si Jiahui directly, or just issued a ‘general sense of regret’. Of course, all the broadcasters will be desperate for Shaun Murphy to win (particularly the BBC, for whom he is the main commentator and pundit), so that they can have some post-match content.

    It seemed like the table conditions changed a lot in the second session, and the players struggled to control the cue-ball. This was probably due to the match on Table 2 (Kyren Wilson’s win) finishing, and the partition being opened. The conditions in this venue are always troublesome, and can change rapidly. This, a couple of crowd disruptions, and some back luck contributed to Murphy’s obvious frustration. In the end, he was a bit lucky to get 4-5.

    Kyren Wilson’s 147 topped a great performance. In fact, after his win over Ding in the Tour Championship, he actually moved to No.1 on my Elo Ranking list, mainly as a result in the collapse in form of other players. I had considered tinkering with the formula, to make it less swingy. But it could be a sign that he will be a major contender to win next week.

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