The first round of the WST Classic continues on the second day of the tournament on Friday, one which has another 20 matches taking to the baize over the course of three sessions inside the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
We saw the big names all make it through on the opening day of the competition on Thursday and on Friday the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump and Mark Williams are among the stars on show looking to emulate them.
As with the first day, we have two sets of matches in the morning session. The first of those is headlined by the British Open winner Ryan Day. The Welsh player will go up against the amateur Steven Hallworth for a place in the second round. Day isn’t the only tournament winner on show in the morning session. Gary Wilson won the Scottish Open earlier in the year and he’ll take on Lei Peifan. There is an all-Asian clash between Yuan Sijun and Andy Lee while Cao Yupeng meets Craig Steadman in the other match.
Luca Brecel will be on the main table in the second set of matches in the morning session. He has a meeting Haydon Pinhey to come through to make it into the next round. The other three matches in this part of the day all have appeal to them. Graeme Dott takes on Jimmy White in a clash of the veterans while Zhou Yuelong faces the Shootout finalist Julien Leclercq and the former Welsh Open winner Jordan Brown has a date with Allan Taylor.
Kyren Wilson is the leading ranked player on show in the first part of the afternoon session and he’ll be on the main table as a result of that. He has a meeting with the Scottish player Dean Young while on one of the outside tables Mark Williams will be on show. The Welsh star takes on Sean O’Sullivan. The other two matches sees Wu Yize meeting Ashley Hugill while Elliot Slessor will be looking to make progress when he goes up against Himanshu Jain.
Judd Trump is the star in the second part of the afternoon when he goes up against the former Seniors world champion David Lilley. Some seasoned campaigners are on show elsewhere in this part of the day. Joe Perry is one of those and he faces Duane Jones while Jimmy Robertson is another. Lukas Kleckers will be his opponent in the opening round. Jackson Page is also on show. He meets Anton Kazakov for a spot in the second round.
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There is just the one set of matches in the evening session and this one is all about the world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan. He has to win this tournament to be in the Tour Championship later in the month and this will give us an immediate sighter as to whether that is his intention or if he is just here for some fun. Mohamed Ibrahim will hope it is the latter. Sam Craigie also lines up in this session when he takes on Hammad Miah while David Grace faces Ryan Thomerson. Jamie Jones goes up against Rory McLeod in the other match.
There isn’t a whole lot that I like on Friday if I am honest but there is no form to speak of for Graeme Dott and so I will pay to see if the 12/5 on Jimmy White to beat the Scot is value. I have never really thought that Dott is suited by these best of seven sprints. He has always been about the major events and I suspect he might come into his own a little more at the World Championship qualifiers but the format is definitely a leveller here even allowing for how long it has been around for.
White has had one of his best seasons in quite a while. He came all the way through qualifying to make the UK Championship and then did the same at the German Masters where he went to the last 16 and played some really good stuff in both tournaments. All of that has given him confidence moving forward but it also means his ranking will take care of itself with him currently keeping his card on the one-year rankings. This is a chance to extend his advantage in that race and against an out of form opponent who isn’t at his best over this distance the 12/5 on the Whirlwind feels a little big.
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