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’Conner defeated three-time World Champion Mark Williams 4-3.
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