Oliver Lines was snooker’s Rookie of the Year last season
World number one Mark Selby stormed into the last 32 of the Betway UK Championship with a 6-0 whitewash of Oliver Lines, but squandered an opportunity for a maximum break.
Selby lost 6-4 to promising teenager Lines when they met in the International Championship last season, but his time there was no mistake from Leicester’s finest as he eased through to a third round clash with Jamie Jones or Xiao Guodong. Selby is seeking his first title of the season and second UK crown having lifted the trophy in 2012.
He started off in fine fashion today with a break of 133 in the opening frame and went on to take the next three with a top run of 48. Selby’s 78 in frame five brought him to the brink of victory at 5-0. In the next he potted 12 reds with blacks and the balls were nicely placed for a possible 147 which could have earned a £44,000 bonus. But after potting the 13th red, Selby missed the black off its spot to a top corner.
“I just took my eye off it,” he reflected. “I was in two minds about what shot to play, and in the end I played neither. I made a maximum here two years ago so I had that in my mind and perhaps I got ahead of myself.
“I started the match well today and put Oliver under pressure. It’s early days yet, it’s only the last 32, but I’m happy with the way I’m playing.”
Judd Trump continues to suffer from a heavy cold but ground out a 6-3 win over Stuart Carrington. He was hauled back from 2-0 to 2-2 but won the next two frames with a top break of 101 and, after sharing the next two, sealed the result in frame nine with a run of 52.
“It was scrappy and I really struggled to concentrate. I missed a lot of easy balls,” said Trump, who won this title in 2011. “When matches go scrappy it doesn’t suit me and I know I have to battle more. It wasn’t enjoyable but I’m pleased to be through and hopefully I’ll feel better in my next match.”
Trump now meets practice partner Liang Wenbo and added: “He’s the best player I’ve ever seen in practice and I’m surprised he hasn’t won more.”
Mark Allen, targeting his third final in a row having won the Bulgarian Open and finished runner-up at the Champion of Champions, saw off Michael Georgiou 6-2 with top breaks of 73, 66 and 102.
“My results have been good lately, I’ve won a lot of matches and got to the latter stages of a lot of events but now I need to keep that going,” said the Pistol. “You’re always only one result away from going on a bad run. It’s up to me to just go out and play the way I’ve been playing. If I just keep putting the work in on the practice table I’ll get results. Whatever happens happens I’m a firm believer in that.”
Ali Carter top-scored with 95 in a 6-3 win over Daniel Wells to set up a match with John Higgins.
Ryan Day’s hopes of gaining a top 16 spot in time for the Masters were dealt a blow as he lost 6-2 to Thailand’s Dechawat Poomjaeng, whose top break was 88.
Mark Joyce saw off Sydney Wilson 6-2 with a top run of 74 while Michael Holt came from 2-1 down to beat Chris Wakelin 6-2, closing with a break of 108. Matthew Selt came from 3-2 down to beat Sean O’Sullivan 6-4.