Jack Lisowski relishing chance to extend impressive Mark Selby record

September 29, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

2022 Cazoo British Open - Day 3
Jack Lisowski is into the last 16 of the British Open, where Mark Selby awaits (Picture: Getty Images)

Jack Lisowski takes on Mark Selby in a brilliant tie in the last 16 of the British Open and Jackpot is feeling confident he can keep up his impressive record against the Jester.

Not too many players can boast a winning record over the four-time world champion, but Lisowski is one of them, leading the overall head-to-head 7-6.

The 31-year-old rates one of those wins among the finest of his career, thrilled with the 6-4 victory in the semi-final of the 2020 World Grand Prix, which saw him make five breaks over 70.

Both men appear to be in very decent form early in the season, with Selby impressing both at the World Mixed Doubles and so far at the British Open, so Lisowski knows it is a big task ahead of him but is feeling good, with that Grand Prix win still firmly in his mind.

‘That was probably one of my greatest wins,’ Lisowski told ITV4. ‘Mark, as we all know, is one of the greatest players ever, I think my record is pretty good against him.

‘I’ve got to sleep well, eat some good food tomorrow, come back, have a little practice and try to knock him out.’

2022 Cazoo British Open - Day 3
Mark Selby looks to be in impressive form at the moment after recovering from a neck problem (Picture: Getty Images)

While this appears to be a clear clash of styles between the attacking Lisowski and the more pragmatic Selby, Jack’s safety game has improved markedly and he now fancies his chances of taking on the Jester in this department as he hunts down his first ranking title.

‘I’m 31 and I need to start winning titles,’ he said. ‘It feels like it is coming, I feel more comfortable out there and I can see where I have to improve.

‘Against Mark tomorrow I can live with him on the safety side, but I’ll need to take my chances.’

Lisowski, remarkably, has lost in six ranking finals without winning one, but if he can oust the Jester on Thursday night then he will become one of the favourites to break his duck at the British Open.

Stephen Hendry reckons he should not be trying to test his safety skills against Selby and resort to his all-out-attacking principles.

‘I think his best chance of beating Selby tomorrow is attacking him, being aggressive and playing his natural game,’ said the Scot.

‘I don’t think you want to get into a tactical battle with Mark Selby, you want to just get in and pot all the balls.’

Hendry has been critical of Lisowski in the past, questioning his shot choices and why he has not turned his immense talent into silverware.

The seven-time world champion admits those questions will remain until titles come his way, but is full of praise for the skill of the popular star.

‘He strikes the cueball beautifully, no one can argue with the way he hits the cueball, he gets through it so nicely,’ said Hendry.

‘Obviously the jury is still out on whether he can go ahead and win titles, that’s always going to be the question until he actually does it.

‘He’s got all the shots in the game, the cue action, the touch, he’s got everything but the final ingredient is can he go ahead and convert?

‘It’s going to be a tough test for him tomorrow [Thursday] night.’

Betfred World Snooker Championship - Day Ten
Lisowski picked up a memorable win over Neil Robertson at the World Championship this year as he reached the quarter-finals for the first time (Picture: Getty Images)

Lisowski has been working with former world champion Peter Ebdon in recent months and the improvement in his game is clear to see after his best run at the Crucible earlier this year.

His work with The Force could be the final piece of the jigsaw as he continues his quest for titles and he feels the mental side of his game has gone up a level.

‘I normally lose all these late games because my concentration is normally pretty rubbish, so I’m just concentrating on concentrating,’ he said after beating Lu Ning in the last 32 on Wednesday.

‘I am enjoying working with Peter, it’s so much fun and this is the happiest I have been as a player.

‘I listen to everything he says because mentally he is the best ever. When he is there watching me, I feel as if I need to behave and do as I’m told, and not be the naughty kid! If my mind wanders during a match then I can lose everything, so his help gives me more composure.’

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