Top Seeds Fall In Leicester
Oliver Lines scored one of his best career wins at the WST Classic, beating Neil Robertson 4-3 in the second round to improve his chances of avoiding tour relegation at the end of the season.
There were several big names casualties on day four in Leicester as Robertson, Jack Lisowski, Mark Williams and Barry Hawkins all lost, while Ronnie O’Sullivan pulled out with an elbow injury.
Lines is currently 64th in the provisional end of season rankings, with only the top 64 sure of keeping their tour card after the Cazoo World Championship, so every result is important for the Leeds cueman. Breaks of 64 and 67 helped him get the better of Robertson today to set up a last 32 meeting with Lyu Haotian.
“To beat a player of Neil’s class is great,” said Lines. “It’s hard for the big boys here with no crowd but I’m not taking anything away from myself because I needed that win and I managed to get it. I love Neil’s cue action, it’s the best I’ve ever seen by a mile. I have lost a lot of first round matches this season so it’s nice to see the practice pay off and beat one of the top boys.”
Judd Trump needs to reach the final this week to qualify for the eight-man Duelbits Tour Championship later this month (click here for more on that race) and he kept his hopes alive with a 4-1 defeat of Wu Yize.
Masters champion Trump said. “It’s been a tricky season and I am not overly confident of doing anything. If I get through to the Tour Championship it’s a bonus, if not I could do with a break and then I can look forward to the World Championship. So I’m relaxed because I know I need a break, it has been a tough season for everyone. A lot of top players have struggled, but when we get to Sheffield the best players will come alive.”
Jackson Page scored a 4-3 victory over close friend Mark Williams, gaining revenge for their Crucible clash last season which Williams won 13-3. This time, Page came from 3-2 down to take the last two frames with breaks of 97 and 51.
The two amateurs in the field kept their runs going as Haydon Pinhey beat Elliot Slessor 4-1 and Daniel Wells made a 141 – new front runner for the £5,000 high break prize – during a 4-3 defeat of Xiao Guodong. Si Jiahui top scored with 123 in a 4-2 win over Lisowski while BetVictor Welsh Open champion Robert Milkins earned a 4-2 success over Mink Nutcharut.