Thursday, 28 March 2013

Jack the lad

Jack Lisowski has enjoyed an excellent week so far at the China Open – with his wonderful talent coming through for all to see in Beijing.

The 21-year-old has beaten wildcard Zhou Yuelong, close friend Judd Trump and veteran Mark Davis to reach his first major ranking event quarter-final and seems to evolve as a player every time I watch him play.
Picture by Monique Limbos

He was superb against Trump and, in fact, is very similar to his best pal on the circuit. He plays the balls as he sees them, always looks to attack and likes to keep his matches flowing.

Their tie was a great advert for the sport and their rivalry looks like becoming one of the great duels of the future. They are both young, exciting players that have a hunger to win. Together, they could help to attract new people to the game of snooker.

Judd has taken centre stage for the past two years but now Jack is coming to the fore. He has a likeable personality and is clearly inspired by the success Judd has already enjoyed. He has been talked about as a rising star of the baize for some time. Earlier this season he reached the UKPTC1 final in Gloucester, but his run here in China and recent victory against Mark Selby at the PTC Grand Finals in Galway shows his talent is now really coming to fruition.

Beating Judd would have given Jack a great confidence boost. He took that into his second round match against Davis to score arguably an even more impressive victory. This result came against a veteran of the tour who tested the durability of his game.

Again, Lisowski passed the test and proved his many qualities. He has impeccable timing of the cue ball and can score smoothly and heavily, but he's also made of stern stuff.

He's showing that on the table, but his battles off it are living proof of his bravery. Jack has come a long way to where he is today.  At the age of 16 he won his fight against cancer, which I dare say will help to fuel his desire to rise up the snooker ranks.

Right now, he is sitting pretty. He is being talked about with high praise and is enjoying a good run of form which could fast develop into his breakthrough spell.

His timing could hardly be better. His adventure in Beijing is not over yet and next up is the World Championship, which he is not only good enough to qualify for, but to make a lasting impression at as well.

Lisowski is still a young and fearless player. He is a pleasure to watch and will only get better. These feel like big moments in an exciting career ahead for Jack. I am sure he will go on to enjoy great success.

Jack looks like a multiple-ranking event winner and a top-eight ranked player in the making.

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