Thursday, 22 November 2012

Maximums and more...

Two maximum men have lit up this week's UK Championship qualifiers.

Andy Hicks and Jack Lisowski have both produced 147 breaks as the game's professional tally of perfect frames edges closer to the magic 100.

Picture by Monique Limbos
Devon's Hicks is a star of yesterday, but mustered a timely reminder of his remarkable talent with his maximum. Many consider Andy to be on the sport's biggest under-achievers.

He's played in semi-finals of all the big events; the UK Championship, the Masters and the World Championship. This record is better than many who have played the game but still a disappointment for a player who in his early 20s had so much promise.

Certain readers of my blog compared Hicks with Jimmy White earlier this week as far as talent goes. At his best, he was fluid and a pleasure to watch. Many believe his progress was stunted by interference from coaches. As a result, he will always be regarded as one of the game's 'nearly men'.

Lisoswki on the other hand is a star of tomorrow and has the whole of his career in front of him.

No-one can doubt Jack is a brave young lad. He may only be 21 but he already has a successful fight against cancer behind him, which is bound to give anyone courage.

He is rapidly beginning to realise his massive potential. He reached a PTC final earlier this season, but this could be just the start. Fans who watch the matches before the televised stages of events reckon Lisowski is a sure top 16 player and ranking event in the making.

Hicks and Lisowski have potted their way into the headlines already this week, but who else could come out of Sheffield having made the snooker world talk?

Luca Brecel looks more and more likely of capping off what would be an amazing 2012 with one final flourish. He has already bravely battled his way through the qualifiers this year by progressing to the Crucible. He's been at it again this week. Victories against Scott Donaldson, Peter Lines and Liu Chuang mean he's just one match away from a famous double. Peter Ebdon is his final hurdle en route to York.

The Belgian Bullet isn't the only one to have come through every round so far this week. Ian Burns is eyeing his first major venue. He's enjoyed wins against Michael Leslie, Kurt Maflin and Anthony Hamilton but now faces a final test against Dominic Dale. Then there's Thepchaiya Un-Nooh. He's knocked down Passakorn Suwannawat, Barry Pinches and Jamie Jones in a blistering run and looks to finish the job against Michael Holt.

Steve Davis is no stranger to the plaudits. His 6-5 victory against Pankaj Advani from 4-0 down showed his notorious gumption. If he can beat Jamie Burnett he'll be back in front of the TV cameras to the delight of his legion of fans.

Bring on the final day.

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget Cao Yupeng who's going for his fourth venue of the year and trying for the Worlds, International and UK treble.