Ben Woollaston made what he described as the best clearance of his career as he beat Yu Delu 4-3 on the opening day of the Indian Open.
Woollaston was runner-up to John Higgins at the Welsh Open last month – his best run in a ranking event – and kept his purple patch going with a fine win over China’s Yu to reach the last 32 in Mumbai.
After sharing the first four frames, Yu made a break of 72 to lead 3-2, then Leicester’s Woollaston responded with a run of 100 to set up the decider.’;
Yu compiled a break of 66 then potted another red to lead by 67, with 67 points on the table. Woollaston had a scoring chance, but it seemed unpromising, with four of the reds at the baulk end. But he picked off each red, and each time managed to find position on the black, clearing the table to force a respot. Yu attempted to double the black to a baulk corner, but missed his target and left Woollaston to pot it to a centre pocket to secure victory.
“I didn’t think it was possible to clear up when I came to the table, but once I got to the second-last red I knew it was on,” said world number 26 Woollaston. “It’s got to be the best clearance I’ve ever made. The pot on the respotted black wasn’t that difficult, but all of a sudden it seemed tough because I had a chance to win, so I was just happy to see it go in.
“It would have been a blow to come all this way for one best-of-seven match. I feel a lot more confident about my game after what I did in Wales and I don’t think I would have made that clearance otherwise. Before I was happy winning a couple of matches and getting to a last 16, but now I want to be getting to semis and finals and I believe I am good enough. I’m still a long way off the top 16 but my target is to get in there within the next year or 18 months.
“The (Grand Hyatt) hotel here is superb. I haven’t had a chance to see any of Mumbai yet but now I can do that later today.”
Jamie Jones impressed in a 4-2 win over Liang Wenbo, coming from 2-0 down to win four frames in a row with a top run of 73.
Gerard Greene top scored with 69 in a 4-2 defeat of Matthew Stevens while Sam Baird beat wild card Brijesh Damani 4-1 with a top break of 69.
Thailand’s Thepchaiya un-Nooh took just 44 minutes to beat wild card Neeraj Kumar 4-0, his best break 101.