Much was done of Ronnie’s last 32 exit at the hands of Gary Wilson in a high quality match that went the distance but actually such alleged “shocks” are commonplace in those short format events. The outcome of the last 32 and last 16 rounds show just that.
Here are the reports by WST:
Last 32 – Wednesday Evening
The evening saw the last 32 get underway and Gary Wilson scored a significant first ever win over World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, prevailing by a 4-3 scoreline.
Wilson had come up short in all of his prior meetings with the Rocket, suffering losses at German Masters, World Championship and Shanghai Masters in 2017.
Wallsend’s Wilson crafted breaks of 72 and 82 during the tie, before a match winning 73 in the decider. Next up he faces either Yan Bingtao or Hossein Vafaei for a place in the quarter-finals.
“Of pretty much all of the top players on the tour, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Williams were the only two I haven’t beaten before. I think there’s only Mark left now. It’s nice, you don’t want to keep playing someone and not winning. It is good to tick that one off and get a result,” said 37-year-old Wilson.
“I don’t ever really feel comfortable with my game generally. It is hard to block out when you feel that way. On the very rare occasion I feel confident and good about my game it doesn’t matter who I’m playing.”
Anthony McGill won an all-Scottish clash with Scott Donaldson 4-3 to make the last 16. He now faces 2010 World Champion Neil Robertson, who beat Joe Perry 4-1.
Last 32 – Thursday Afternoon
Jones Fightback Stuns Higgins
Jamie Jones came from requiring snookers at 3-1 down to stun home favourite John Higgins and win 4-3 in their last 32 clash at the BetVictor Scottish Open in Edinburgh.
It’s the first time that Welshman Jones has beaten four-time World Champion Higgins in ten years. The last time he prevailed against the Scot was at the 2012 PTC Grand Final.
Jones has already enjoyed success in this event, having made the semi-finals back in 2020, when it was contested behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. Next up he faces Thepchaiya Un-Nooh for a spot in this year’s quarter-finals.
Defeat for Higgins ends his quest to get his hands on the Stephen Hendry Trophy for a first time. The 31-time ranking event winner was runner-up to Marco Fu in the inaugural event back in 2016 and to Luca Brecel last year.
Higgins is also left stranded in 74th position on the live one-year list. The Glaswegian must put in a strong showing at the English Open to stand any chance of reaching the World Grand Prix, where only the top 32 qualify.
Jones found himself needing two snookers to stay in the match at 3-1 down this afternoon, but dramatically got them and clinched the frame on the black to remain alive 3-2. He came from behind to win the sixth and then controlled the decider to run out a 4-3 victor.
“When I won the fifth frame I thought to try to get a foothold in the match. We were both missing and I just thought that if I could miss a little less than him I could get over the line. I did well,” said 34-year-old Jones. “He is one of my idols. Just to be playing out there with him is great, but to beat him is going to give me confidence.”
Higgins said: “When I walked in today I was talking to an old lady with lung cancer. She said it was brilliant to get to see me and she hasn’t got long to live. You just have to tell yourself that you have lost one game of snooker and there are other people going through a hell of a lot worse. I am disappointed, but I live to fight another day and I live to fight another thousand days probably on the snooker table. That is the way life is.”
Thailand’s Un-Nooh put on a supreme performance to beat UK Champion Mark Allen 4-1. He fired in breaks of 61, 85, 58 and 87 on his way to victory, averaging just 15.5 seconds per shot.
Jack Lisowski produced a blitz of breaks to edge out Ali Carter 4-3. He compiled runs of 139, 101 64 and 137 en route to victory. The six-time ranking event finalist now plays Mark Selby this evening.
Kyren Wilson dumped out Scotland’s Stephen Maguire 4-2 and faces Zhou Yuelong for a place in the quarter-finals.
So, after the last 32 round, none of the guys in the poster were still in the tournament, and both the 2022 UK Championship finalists were out too. That’s what can happen in short formats especially when a shambolic calendar has prevented most players to properly “build-up” their form.
Last 16 – Thursday Evening
Selby Books Robertson Clash
Mark Selby set up a blockbuster quarter-final showdown with Neil Robertson at the BetVictor Scottish Open, beating Jack Lisowski 4-2 in Edinburgh.
Selby is aiming to pick up the Stephen Hendry Trophy for a third time this weekend, having claimed the title in 2019 and 2020, his first two appearances in the event. However, to do that he will have to overcome an unenviable recent record against Robertson.
Selby has lost the last six meetings with the Melbourne cueman, with his last victory coming in the quarter-finals of the 2020 World Championship.
Lisowski’s hunt for a maiden ranking crown continues, despite enjoying blistering form which saw him make the semi-finals at the recent UK Championship. The six-time ranking event finalist made three century runs during his 4-3 win over Ali Carter this afternoon, but was unable to carry that momentum into tonight’s match.
It had appeared to be a straightforward evening for Selby when he took the opening three frames to lead 3-0. However, Lisowski hit back to pull within one. Selby wasn’t to be denied and a typically steely run of 86 booked his place in the quarters.
Selby said: “Jack and Mark Allen seem to be the men of the moment. Obviously Mark is winning tournaments, but as far as performances go Jack is playing as well as anyone. I’m really happy to get over the line there.
“I always look forward to playing against Neil Robertson. We are great friends, he is a great player and a great ambassador for the sport. It is going to be another tough match and a good game.
“I know that he has beaten me the last few times. I wouldn’t go into the match thinking I need to win this one. He is a class player and every time I have played him lately he has played at the top of his game. When he plays like that he beats anyone, so hopefully tomorrow he’s not at the top of his game.”
Unfortunately for Selby, Robertson certainly was at the top of his game this evening, beating the only remaining Scottish player Anthony McGill 4-2 in a fiercely contested encounter.
Robertson, who won the Scottish open in 2017, fired in breaks of 88, 117, 90 and 61 on his way to victory. The 2010 World Champion crosses cues with Selby tomorrow evening at 7pm.
World number three Judd Trump put on a battling performance to come from behind and beat Xiao Guodong 4-2.
The Ace in the Pack has already enjoyed a moment of success this week, making the eighth 147 break of his career during his last 64 tie with Mitchell Mann.
It was Xiao who started fastest with runs of 95, 60 and 61 to clinch the opening two frames and lead 2-0. However, Trump claimed a 35-minute third and that proved to be a turning point in the tie. He dug deep to take the next three and make it four on the bounce to emerge a 4-2 victor. Despite the battling nature of the win, Trump wasn’t impressed with his performance.
Trump said: “It was awful. I’m surprised any of you are still awake and you haven’t all gone home. That was so bad. He gave me that in the end. He was 2-0 up and looking good. He was getting all the best chances and handing me in all of the time. I needed four or five chances every single time.
“Every round that I get through there is always a chance that I could turn it on. I am just waiting, maybe if I get in the semi-final with a new cloth I’ll find it a bit easier. I am struggling a little bit with my tip. I think I need a really reactive table to help me out.”
Trump now faces the quick-fire Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, who held off a Jamie Jones fightback to come through by a 4-3 scoreline.
The match started at a blistering pace, with the pair conjuring three consecutive century breaks. Un-Nooh made runs of 106 and 109 to lead 2-0, before Jones pegged him back with 129. They traded the following two frames and Jones then took the sixth on the black to force a decider. It was Un-Nooh who prevailed in the final frame to claim his quarter-final slot.
Kyren Wilson earned his place in the last eight with a 4-2 win over Zhou Yuelong. He now faces Gary Wilson, who edged past Iran’s Hossein Vafaei 4-3.
Ricky Walden and Joe O’Connor face off in the other quarter-final. Walden eased through with a 4-1 win over Sam Craigie, while O’Connor defeated three-time World Champion Mark Williams 4-3.
The Trump v Xiao match was truly awful. I’m not sure what happened to Xiao but he really should have won this match and won it easily. For some reason, he completely lost his game after two frames. It was bizarre and unsettling.
Contrary to Csilla’s somber prediction Gary Wilson didn’t go out in the last 16. He won another hard-fought match, beating Hossein Vafaei by 4-3.
Of course, there is no word in WST report about the end of the Craigie v Walden match. The last frame ended on a 29-1 to Walden. A visibly frustrated Craigie had gone for a wild shot, leaving his opponent in the balls and, after Walden played only two or three of shots, Craigie got out of his seat and shook his hand. Without knowing what’s going in in Craigie’s life, I don’t want to comment but he will almost certainly be fined.