Anthony McGill won his first ranking title by beating Kyren Wilson 5-2 in the final of the Indian Open in Hyderabad.
Recognised for several seasons as one of snooker’s rising stars, McGill has now captured his first piece of silverware after a series of superb performances, winning seven matches during the tournament to land the £50,000 top prize. He started the event 29th in the world rankings and now climbs to a career high of 18th.
Glasgow’s 25-year-old McGill beat the likes of Stuart Bingham, Stephen Maguire and Shaun Murphy to reach the final before seeing off Kettering’s Wilson, who was appearing in his second ranking final having won last season’s Shanghai Masters.
Today’s contest showcased snooker’s finest young talent as it was the first ranking final between two players age 25 or under since the 2011 UK Championship when Judd Trump beat Mark Allen.
McGill’s previous finest hour was a run to the quarter-finals of the 2015 World Championship when he knocked out Maguire and Mark Selby at the Crucible, proving his ability to compete on the biggest stage. He struggled to reproduce that form last season, though he did make the last 16 again in Sheffield. This week he went beyond the last eight of a ranking event for the first time and ended up lifting the trophy – surely the first of many.
The first four frames of the final were shared, Wilson making the better breaks with 65 in the second and a 50 clearance in the fourth. McGill then took control after the interval as a run of 96 put him ahead and he controlled the sixth frame to lead 4-2.
Both players had chances in the 39-minute seventh frame and it came down to the last red. McGill potted the red to a centre pocket to initiate a match-winning clearance which included an excellent green to gain position on the brown.
Victory for the Scot also earned him a place in the Champion of Champions tournament in Coventry in November.
Wilson earned £25,000 and moves up one place on the ranking list to 15th.
Earlier in the semi-finals, McGill came from 2-0 down to beat Shaun Murphy 4-2, clinching victory with a superb 64 clearance in frame six. Wilson saw off veteran Nigel Bond 4-1 with a top break of 72.
“It feels amazing,” said McGill, who turned pro in 2010. “The standard wasn’t that great in the final, there were a lot of mistakes. But I got to five first so I don’t mind too much. I played better after the interval and I started getting the run of the balls. And in the end I made a nice clearance to win.
“I have known Kyren since we were about 12, we played in all the same junior tournaments. He’s had an unbelievable year because he won a ranking event then he followed it up with a lot of quarter and semi-finals. He has shown that he is here to stay and I hope I can keep up.
“I don’t have any plans for the money, I’ll just put it in the bank. Sorry to be boring but I’m not the type to buy things for the sake of it!
“I’ll be back practising when I get home and I’ll go to the World Open in China later this month full of confidence.”
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