World champion Ronnie O’Sullivan got his WST Classic campaign up and running with two sparkling centuries in a 4-2 win over Egypt’s Mohamed Ibrahim on Friday in Leicester.
The world No. 1 needs to win the inaugural event and £80,000 first prize at the Morningside Arena to keep alive any prospect of qualifying for the eight-man Tour Championship in Hull at the end of the month (March 27-2 April).
O’Sullivan produced breaks of 53, 137, 70 and a closing 104 to secure a meeting with Ryan Thomerson or David Grace in the last 64. Grace stunned O’Sullivan 4-3 in the last 64 of the Northern Ireland Open in October.
World No. 117 Ibrahim threatened a decider by winning two frames from 3-0 behind before being closed out of matters in the sixth frame.
Elsewhere, Masters champion Judd Trump dropped the first frame to former World Seniors champion David Lilley before reeling off the next four to secure a meeting with teenager Wu Yize in the last 64.
The 2019 world champion Trump made his 900th century break in the sport with a superb 113 in the third frame before adding 65 and his 901st century with a closing 131 in the fifth frame to advance.
Trump turned professional in 2005 and only O’Sullivan (1,198) and John Higgins (928) have weighed in with more centuries in the sport. Neil Robertson (893) remains a close fourth on the all-time list.
He will certainly be wary of 19-year-old Wu, who showed his class to run out a 4-1 winner against Ashley Hugill.
Jimmy ‘Whirlwind’ White continued his impressive form as he recovered from trailing 2006 world champion Graeme Dott 2-0 to complete a 4-2 success.
Dott opened with 130 and 51, but watched six-time world finalist White claim the next three frames before concluding with a match-clinching 56 break.
After reaching the last 32 of the UK Championship and last 16 of the German Masters this season, White will hope to continue his potting renaissance period when he meets Joe Perry in the last 64.
Perry compiled four 50-plus knocks in a 4-0 whitewash of Duane Jones.
Luca Brecel will not be competing at the Tour Championship after he lost 4-2 to amateur Haydon Pinhey, who hit two tons in an upset win.
Three-time Crucible winner Mark Williams was pushed all the way against world No. 109 Sean O’Sullivan, who hit a pair of 72s in defeat.
Williams enjoyed runs of 50, 88 and 51 before sealing a last-64 spot courtesy of a closing 74.
The Welshman will next meet friend and compatriot Jackson Page after he edged Anton Kazakov 4-3.
British Open champion Ryan Day has already nailed down his trip to the Tour Championship and occupies fifth place on the one-year list.
But he will not look back fondly on his 4-1 loss to amateur Steven Hallworth, who produced 59 and 72 to set up a meeting with former Scottish Open finalist Cao Yupeng after a 4-3 win against Craig Steadman.
WST Classic: Friday’s first round results
- Gary Wilson 4-0 Lei Peifan
- Yuan SiJun 4-0 Andy Lee
- Ryan Day 1-4 Steven Hallworth
- Cao Yupeng 4-3 Craig Steadman
- Jordan Brown 1-4 Allan Taylor
- Luca Brecel 2-4 Haydon Pinhey
- Zhou Yuelong 4-3 Julien Leclercq
- Graeme Dott 2-4 Jimmy White
- Elliot Slessor 4-0 Himanshu Dinesh Jain
- Mark Williams 4-3 Sean O’Sullivan
- Wu Yize 4-1 Ashley Hugill
- Kyren Wilson 4-1 Dean Young
- Jimmy Robertson 3-3 Lukas Kleckers
- Jackson Page 4-3 Anton Kazakov
- Judd Trump 4-1 David Lilley
- Joe Perry 4-0 Duane Jones
- Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2 Mohamed Ibrahim
- David Grace 0-0 Ryan Thomerson
- Sam Craigie 2-3 Hammad Miah
- Jamie Jones 2-0 Rory McLeod
– – –
Read the full article here
Leave a Reply