17 march 2021 publish date
World number 13 Mark Williams won six out of seven matches to top Group P and secure progression to the second phase of the WST Pro Series in Milton Keynes.
The Welshman produced quickfire snooker throughout the day, averaging as little as 15.1 seconds per shot in one of his wins and no more than 17.6 seconds in any of his encounters. Williams fired in century breaks of 108 and 102 on his way to progression.
The three-time Crucible king will now return for the second phase, where he will hope to continue to build his form ahead of next month’s Betfred World Championship. Despite failing to qualify for the upcoming Cazoo Tour Championship, Williams showed glimpses of his best form in reaching the semi-finals of the recent BetVictor Welsh Open.
Williams scored 2-0 wins over Oliver Brown, Florian Nuessle, Gao Yang, Robbie Williams, Nigel Bond and Alex Clenshaw. His only dropped frames came in a 2-0 defeat to Robert Milkins. It’s Milkins who joins Williams in the second phase, having won six of his seven matches.
Mark Selby won a crucial final game with Matthew Selt 2-1 to earn his place in the second phase of the WST Pro Series in Milton Keynes.
The pair came into the last match knowing that the winner would be assured of progression. Selt knew defeat would definitely end his hopes of a top two place.
They were locked level at 1-1, after a century run of 142 from Selby followed by a contribution of 75 by Selt. The deciding frame lasted 30 minutes, but eventually three-time World Champion Selby emphatically clinched it with a break of 83, ensuring he topped the group.
Selby won six from seven matches throughout the day, scoring victories against Daniel Womersley, Lukas Kleckers, Eden Sharav, Stuart Carrington and Joe O’Connor, as well as his defeat of Selt. His only loss came 2-0 at the hands of Iranian Soheil Vahedi, who was pipped to second place.
Vahedi faced Carrington in the final match where, following Selby’s win, the victor was set to seal second spot. It was Carrington who held his nerve to secure a 2-0 win and progress to the second phase. Today’s success continues a fine run of form for world number 51 Carrington, who reached the semi-finals at the recent Gibraltar Open.
World number 120 Ben Hancorn stunningly topped Group I, with World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan bowing out, at the WST Pro Series in Milton Keynes.
English Amateur Champion Hancorn, who gained his professional status at the start of this season, lost his opening match 2-1 against Tom Ford. However, from there the 38-year-old embarked on a six-game winning streak to secure his place in the next phase.
Hancorn scored a 2-1 victory against 37-time ranking event winner O’Sullivan in his following game and added further wins over Jamie Wilson, David Lilley, Chen Zifan and Mark Joyce to seal a place in the top two heading into his final match. Hancorn faced Lyu Haotian, who was also assured of progression, winning 2-0 to secure top spot.
It was an unfruitful day for Crucible king O’Sullivan, who failed to string together the required results, only managing two wins from his seven matches. The Rocket did register an eventful win over Joyce. After falling a frame behind due to arriving late, he fired in breaks of 98, 48 and 50 to win 2-1 in a match which lasted just 13 minutes and 56 seconds.
Both Hancorn and Lyu will now join Mark Williams, Ali Carter, Louis Heathcote, James Cahill and Sunny Akani in Group 1 of the second phase on Wednesday.
World number one Judd Trump booked his place in the second phase of the WST Pro Series by topping Group O in Milton Keynes.
Trump won his first six matches of the day to ensure progression. He defeated Sean Maddocks, Steven Hallworth, Jimmy White, Barry Pinches, Jamie Jones and Ryan Day, before losing his final match 2-0 against Hossein Vafaei. That result did no harm to Trump, who still topped the group.
The Ace in the Pack remains in the hunt to beat his own record of most ranking titles won in a single season. Trump has notched up five wins so far this season, with the Pro Series, next week’s Cazoo Tour Championship and Betfred World Championship to come. He set the current record of six in a single campaign last season.
Four players had a chance of capturing second spot going into today’s final set of matches. Day, White, Jones and Hallworth all went into the concluding ties level on 12 points, with Day holding a slight edge on frame difference. In the end, Day defeated Hallworth 2-0 to ensure he progressed, rendering Jones’ 2-1 win over White academic.
Trump and Day now join Stuart Bingham, Oliver Lines, Mark Selby, Zhou Yuelong, Dominic Dale and Ricky Walden in group 4 of the second phase, which takes place on Saturday March 20th.
The Phase Two of WST Pro Series will play March 17-20 in 4 groups:
The article is based on WST.TV