Mark Allen sends message to Jack Lisowski after UK Championship 'heartbreak'

November 20, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

2022 Cazoo UK Championship - Day 7
Mark Allen edged out Jack Lisowski in a brilliant UK Championship semi-final on Saturday (Picture: Getty Images)

Mark Allen hopes Jack Lisowski learns from his heart-breaking defeat in the UK Championship semi-final, saying he needs ‘that bit extra’ than his immense talent to win the biggest matches.

Allen bounced back from 5-3 down to beat Lisowski 6-5 at the Barbican, York, winning the final frame on the black to book his spot in the final against Ding Junhui.

Lisowski had been superb in the tournament until Saturday and produced excellence at times against the Pistol, but faltered when it really mattered, especially after being handed a tremendous chance to win the match late in the final frame.

Jackpot is still looking for his first ranking title, and a first Triple Crown final, and Allen wants to see him get there, but says he must learn how to get over the line and try to match his toughness to his talent.

‘Hopefully Jack will learn from that because that will be a heart-breaking defeat for him to take, he was much better than me tonight,’ Allen told Eurosport.

‘These tournaments aren’t easy to win and these big matches aren’t easy to win. He has to find a way to learn to do it, he hasn’t quite done it yet.

‘He’s lost a lot of heart-breaking ones and talent only gets you so far, you need to have that bit extra and that’s something that I back myself to have all the time.’

He added: ‘I always felt there was a chance he would miss. His time will come but this will be a sore one for him. He was the better player tonight and probably deserved to win.

‘You only play your best a handful of times in a season, so you have to win when not at your best, like Selby, Higgins and Robertson do regularly. I’m in such a good place mentally which helps me get through these matches.’

Allen’s fine season continues after winning the Northern Ireland Open and reaching the final of the British Open, now he fancies his chances of a first UK Championship having fallen short in two previous runs to the final.

‘I need to improve tomorrow,’ he said. ‘But I’ve done better than 142 of the players who started this tournament. I’m doing lots of things well, just not well enough. As long as I’ve got my cue in my hand and breath in my body, I’ll be giving it everything. It would mean so much to lift the trophy, these are the type of tournaments I want to win in my career.’

2022 Cazoo UK Championship - Day 8
Jack Lisowski reached his first UK Championship semi-final this week (Picture: Getty Images)

Lisowski enjoyed his best run at the UK Championship to date, but sounded devastated to miss out on the final, critical of his own performance at the death.

‘Last frame I was pretty poor. I think I made a really good break to get back into it. Don’t know, I was rubbish at the end, I guess,’ he said.

‘I didn’t really play very well today at all. I don’t know why, I just wasn’t good enough today. Hats off to Mark, he beat me, played better at the end, back to the drawing board.

‘It’s definitely been a step in the right direction, first semi-final, was it too much at the end? I don’t know what happened.

‘Just lost my concentration, started stabbing the ball a bit, not striking it well. Just gutted, juts not good enough I guess. But close, knocking on the door, I’ve just got to keep my head up, you can’t give up now, I’ve got to stand back and learn what I can from that, come back next year and have another stab at this tournament.’

Ding is in his first final since winning the UK Championship three years ago in York, suffering a slide down the rankings during the pandemic, but he appears to be back to somewhere near his best this week after whitewashing Ronnie O’Sullivan in the quarter-finals and beating Tom Ford in the semis.

2022 Cazoo UK Championship - Day 7
Ding Junhui is set to climb the rankings once again after his impressive run in York (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I have confidence to win,’ said the 35-year-old, who has won this event three times before. ‘I’ll keep my eye on the shots and concentrate fully. I’m enjoying it and feeling good.

‘Tomorrow is a different day but I think it helps that I have played in the final three times before. I know how to play in a final. Jack and Mark are both great players, they are quick and attacking.

‘It’s been tough for me in the last three seasons. My fans are waiting for me to win a tournament – and so am I. It’s a great chance.’

The best of 19 frames final is played over two sessions at 1pm and 7pm on Sunday, with the winner picking up an increased top prize of £250,000, while the runner-up will get £100,000.

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