04 march 2021 publish date
All matches of the first round of the Giblartar Open 2021, the last tournament of the BetVictor Series, have been finished. Judd Trump is a ranking leader of six events of the runs and the main contender for £150,000 top prize.
The main surprise of the tournament was legendary Stephen Hendry’s come back to the professional tour, who faced his friend Matthew Selt at the Round One. In spite of additional pressure because of increased numerous media and fan attention, Hendry succeded to improve his own record making the 776th century in his career. Selt won the match 4:1, and it may seem strange but he looked more experienced in the encounter than his opponent, but Stephen Hendry proved that he could compete and demonstrate his best skills.
Close attention of Ukrainian fans was given to the match between Iulian Boiko and a tour veteran, 48-year-old Fergal O’Brien.
After losing the first frame, the Ukrainian scored 80 with two approaches of 54 and 26, equalizing in the second frame. The Irishman won the third frame – he led 1:2 with a run of 99 , and went ahead for the second time. Iulian equalized the score again with clearance on a pink in the fourth frame. For the first time Iulian led in the next frame, getting through the tactical pressure from O’Brien, who looked for snooker on last red balls. Reaching 32 in the sixth frame, Iulian gave the initiative to Fergal, who made a run of 62 and safety on a yellow. Iulian went to look for 2 snookers, but after a long run of safeties, the match came down to a decisive frame which was as a real snooker thriller.
After a risky long-range shot, Iulian potted a red accidentally! However, after playing a pink, the Ukrainian champion didn’t pot next red ball and left it near the pocket – playing an opening red, Fergal won it back. Boiko had got the second chance to attack due to a missed long-range shot made by O’Brien – Iulian potted a great red in the middle pocket, but missed a green! The winner of 1999 British Open O’Brien managed to score 40 this time and won the safety. Iulian Boiko got a chance to made a break for the third time, but the run was stopped, after a few direct shots was safety again. Iulian potted the opening red in the middle pocket for the fourth time by an incredible trick shot from the close cushion!
Reaching the victorious run, Iulian made a mistake on last blue ball, which was a match-ball – what a drama! In the result of safeties, the youngest professional in the snooker history before potted a blue, then a pink and won the first victory in his career!
Tommorow, Marrch 5 at 10:00 CET Iulian Boiko will meet Mark Allen who whitewashed Jamie Curtis-Barrett.