While many eyes will be on the Masters today, last night saw the conclusion of the qualifiers for the 2013 China Open, another important ranking event on the main tour. Click below for a round-up of the main stories from Sheffield…
Having made it to his first PTC final just before Christmas, Scotland’s Anthony McGill maintained his good form in Sheffield to book his place at the last 32 of a ranking event for the first time since the 2011 German Masters. He did so with with comfortable wins against David Grace and Yu Delu in his opening match, before then upsetting former top 16 player Martin Gould 5-2, with top breaks of 102 and 93.
A player who has long been highly regarded in the junior ranks, it is good to see Anthony kicking on now and closing in on a place inside the world’s top 48.
Another man in strong form at the moment is Mark Joyce, who made it through to his third venue of the season with wins against Aditya Mehta, Gerard Greene and finally Dominic Dale, in what was a topsy turvy match. It was Mark who made the stronger start to lead 2-0, before Dale then turned the match in his favour by taking the next four frames to lead 4-2. Mark though was to have the final word, winning the last three in what was the final match remaining, to book his flight to Beijing.
Joining Anthony and Mark in the club of those coming through multiple matches to qualify were Jimmy Robertson and perhaps most impressively, Thailand’s Dechawat Poomjaeng, who saw off the likes of Fergal O’Brien and Cao Yupeng to make it to the venue.
There was also another good run for Jack Lisowski, who recorded an impressive 5-3 victory against Scotland’s Jamie Burnett to make it through to his second main tour venue in China.
Elsewhere, Ken Doherty survived a long match with Dave Harold last night to qualify, while Marco Fu, Michael Holt, Barry Hawkins, Andrew Higginson and Mark King were among the other top 32 players to qualify. A special mention also to Marcus Campbell, who trailing 55-0 to Xiao Guodong in the deciding frame of their match, cleared with 64 to ensure that he will also be in Beijing.
Earlier on in the week, Sean O’Sullivan continued his improvement with a career-best tournament break of 142, while there were also good runs for Robbie Williams and Chen Zhe.
The venue stages will take place between 25-31 March 2013.