Scotland’s Fraser Patrick ended defending champion Luca Brecel’s bid to retain the Stephen Hendry Trophy, earning a shock 4-3 win over the Belgian at the BetVictor Scottish Open in Edinburgh.
It’s only the fourth match win of the season for world number 86 Patrick, who had to pull out of last week’s BetVictor German Masters qualifying though illness.
Last season Patrick revealed he was balancing his professional snooker career with a job as an Amazon delivery driver. However, he is now fully focussing on his snooker and will hope that today’s win can act as a catalyst to improve his form.
Brecel exits at the first hurdle after a stunning victory 12 months ago. The 27-year-old defeated John Higgins 9-5 to capture the title on that occasion. He now turns his attention to the English Open before Christmas and will then begin preparations for the Masters in January, where he takes on Ronnie O’Sullivan in the first round.
Patrick took the opening two frames this morning to earn an early 2-0 lead. However, breaks of 49, 72 and 83 helped Brecel to turn the match on its head and lead 3-2.
A steely run of 93 saw Patrick force a decider. He then got the better of a tense 41-minute final frame to book his place in the next round. He now faces Sam Craigie in the last 64.
Patrick said: “I wasn’t expecting too much as I haven’t been playing. I’ve been under the weather and pulled out last week. I came here yesterday thinking I’d play and see what happens. I didn’t feel any pressure because of that.
“I don’t think I’ve ever won a game in Scotland, but I’ve lost to Marcus Campbell and Anthony Hamilton 4-3. To get my first win, on the main table and against the defending champion. It can’t get much better than that.
“I’ll try to get another few wins and have a wee run. I want to try and get a bit of confidence ahead of the New Year and you never know what can happen.”
Glasgow’s 31-time ranking event winner John Higgins booked his place in the last 64 with a 4-2 win over Anthony Hamilton.
Higgins is yet to capture the Stephen Hendry Trophy, despite having appeared in two finals. In addition to last year’s defeat at the hands of Brecel, Higgins also lost the inaugural final against Marco Fu in 2016.
The Scot made breaks of 55, 103, 55 and 74 on his way to victory this afternoon. He now faces China’s Cao Yupeng.
World number three Judd Trump eased to a 4-0 whitewash win over Sanderson Lam. The Ace in the Pack’s opponent in the last 64 will be Mitchell Mann.
Former Scottish Open champion Mark Allen sealed his progression with a 4-1 win over Andy Lee, while Mark Williams beat Andres Petrov 4-1.
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