19 march 2021 publish date

The first four finalists of the WST Pro Series 2021

Ali Carter topped Group One in the second phase of the WST Pro Series to progress to Sunday’s final stage in Milton Keynes.

The Captain won six of his seven matches today, scoring victories against Louis Heathcote, Sunny Akani, Martin O’Donnell, Ben Hancorn, James Cahill and Lyu Haotian. Carter’s only defeat came 2-0 at the hands of three-time World Champion Mark Williams, who claimed second spot.

Carter, a winner of four ranking titles, has shown signs of strong form recently. He reached the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open, before having to pull out due to illness ahead of a potential blockbuster clash with Ronnie O’Sullivan. Back to full fitness, the world number 24 has since progressed through two Pro Series groups and was the first player to clinch his spot in Sunday’s finale.

Welshman Williams won five out of seven games, but lost 2-1 against Akani and O’Donnell. He crucially recorded a 2-0 win over Cahill in the final game to pull through ahead of O’Donnell on frame difference.

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Kyren Wilson won a crucial deciding frame to beat Stuart Carrington 2-1 and top his group in the second phase of the WST Pro Series, earning a place in the final group.

Wilson finished the day with five wins out of seven and a frame difference of plus six, exactly the same record as Xiao Guodong, with Wilson topping the group having won the head-to-head game against Xiao. Ben Woollaston also won five matches but finished third with a frame difference of plus four.

An exciting group came down to the seventh and last round of matches, with Wilson, Xiao, Carrington and Woollaston all tied on four wins from their first six.

Four-time ranking event champion Wilson faced Carrington, with the winner sure to finish among the top two. Kettering’s Wilson took the opening frame with a break of 51, then Carrington levelled with a superb 137. The decider lasted 33 minutes, Wilson taking it with a match-winning run of 44.

China’s Xiao faced Lu Ning in his final match and won 2-0 to secure his progress. That result ended Woollaston’s hopes, even though he beat Robert Milkins 2-1.

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World number six Wilson and number 39 Xiao go through to Sunday’s final group, joining Mark Williams, Ali Carter and four more players. The winner of that group will be crowned champion of the world ranking event on Sunday night.

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The article is based on WST.TV