Hugill Wins WSF Open To Secure Main Tour Return

Hugill Wins WSF Open To Secure Main Tour Return

Ashley Hugill has defeated Iulian Boiko 5-3 to win the World Snooker Federation Open title in Malta this evening.

The victory sees the 25-year-old succeed Luo Honghao as champion and will also see him earn a two-year tour ticket to the World Snooker Tour from the start of the 2020/21 season.

Hugill was previously on the professional circuit from 2017-19, reaching the last 16 of the Scottish Open and is currently second on the Challenge Tour ranking list having won Event Four in Bruges last season.

The Englishman emerged from a difficult round-robin group which included Junior Open finalist Sean Maddocks and fellow former professional Chris Totten, before winning five knockout matches to progress to the final.

Awaiting him was Iulian Boiko from Ukraine, who at just 14-years-old had lit up the tournament by taking the scalps of players including Sean O’Sullivan and Ross Muir, both among those favoured to take the title.

It was Hugill who would assert himself upon the final in its opening stages, a clearance of 113 and a further run of 56 enough to give him a 2-0 lead in their best of nine frames final.

The attacking Boiko – who earlier in the tournament had dispatched Sean O’Sullivan 3-0 in under 27 minutes with an average shot time of just 13.58 seconds – responded in style by taking three frames in a row, a break of 62 enough to put him into the lead for the first time at 3-2.

It was Hugill’s turn to raise him game however as he countered with breaks of 65, 50 and finally 89 to claim his own hat-trick of frames and seal a 5-3 victory.

“It is an incredible feeling to claim this title,” said Hugill who hails from York. “The thing that made it better was my family being here. It would have been the best day of my career if they weren’t here and to have them here to see it was perfect.

“I felt really calm all the way throughout the tournament. I was most nervous in the quarter-finals against Allan Taylor but I was just in the zone tonight. I felt great, even at 3-2 down I hadn’t made that many mistakes. I just couldn’t get in around the black spot during those frames.

Having left as the last man standing from a high-quality field of over 150 players, Hugill added that he had arrived at the event with confidence and now feels that he is well-placed to return to the professional circuit as a better player.

“I came here both expecting to win and I was hoping to win,” said Hugill. “You don’t come here to lose in the final and after I beat Kuldesh [Johal] in the first knockout round I hardly missed a ball and I knew I was in a good place to win it.

“It was awful not getting through Q School. I had a tough second year on the tour especially and I went into Q School with low confidence and I was devastated to be off the tour. What turned it around was my maximum break at Challenge Tour in Leeds. That gave me the confidence and the belief that I was good enough to earn a living at this game.

“Without a doubt I am better equipped for the main tour now. I have learned a lot more about the mental side of the game, controlling my mind and thinking clearly under pressure. That’s almost more important than your cue action.”

Hugill also had words of praise for his opponent, who despite defeat leaves with a number of new fans around the globe who have followed his progress during the event, as well as the event as a whole.

“He is an incredible talent,” added Hugill. “When his game develops further in respect of shot selection and safety, he can go as far as he wants in the sport and I told him that after the match.

“This has been a superb venue including the TV table and facilities at the Academy where we have also played are fantastic. I am sure that Malta will see some great young players coming through the ranks with those facilities.”

Full information about the WSF Open including results and standings can be accessed HERE.

 

Top Amateurs To Contest Knockout Rounds In Malta

Top Amateurs To Contest Knockout Rounds In Malta

The WSF Open is now down to the knockout stages following the conclusion of the group stages in Malta yesterday evening.

The prestigious event which has seen over 150 of the world’s best amateur snooker players compete across 38 groups during the past four days is now down to just 76, with the champion set to be crowned on Friday evening.

Many of the most established names have won their way through to the last 76, including local hero and former world number 10 Tony Drago, who will take on former Ruhr Open champion Rory McLeod in a mouth-watering clash this evening (Wednesday).

The highest break of the competition so far has been made by former World Championship quarter-finalist Jamie Jones, the Welshman having compiled a 132 clearance en route to topping his group to set up a match with fellow former professional Steven Hallworth in the last 64.

Other players to have broken the century barrier include Brian Ochoiski of France, home favourite Brian Cini, Ukraine’s Sergey Isaenko, Belgian junior Ben Mertens and English quartet Ashley Hugill, Sanderson Lam, Jamie Curtis-Barrett and Mark Lloyd.

The tournament continues with the last 76 and last 64 rounds on Wednesday, followed by the last 32, last 16 and quarter-finals on Thursday before the semi-finals and final are completed on Friday as this year’s champion is crowned.

Full tournament information is available via https://snookerscores.net/tournament-manager/2020-wsf-open

Glory For Gao at WSF Junior Open

Glory For Gao at WSF Junior Open

Gao Yang has defeated Sean Maddocks 5-2 to claim the inaugural WSF Junior Open title earlier this afternoon in Malta.

The15-year-old Chinese talent becomes the first winner of the prestigious new junior event and will earn a two-year main tour ticket to the World Snooker Tour from the start of the 2020/21 season. The competition saw 55 of the best young snooker players in the world aged 17 or under compete over six days to become champion.

Gao, who previously competed at the WSF Championship in 2018 and recently appeared as a wildcard at the 2019 World Open in Yushan, qualified from a tough group in second place before surviving deciding-frame encounters against Scotland’s Dean Young and later his compatriot Yi Ze Wu to progress to the final.

Awaiting him in the final was England’s Maddocks, who starred in the groups dropping just one frame before reaching the title match with victories against Bradley Tyson, Antoni Kowalski, Jovan Todorovic and Irish prospect Aaron Hill.

It was Maddocks who made the stronger start to the final, taking two of the opening three frames to lead 2-1 as he looked to go one better his performance at Q School last year which saw him narrowly miss out on joining the professional ranks.

The fourth frame would however prove to be a key turning point as trailing 54-26, Gao cleared the table in two visits to draw level at the mid-session interval. This would prove to be the start of a four-frame winning run as he hit the front for the first time with a match-high break of 72 on the resumption of play, before adding the next two to secure victory.

The snooker continues in Malta with the start of the WSF Open from tomorrow (10th January), with over 150 players set to battle for the second professional tour card on offer this week. View more information online HERE.

Malta 2020: Event Information

Malta 2020: Event Information

The WSF Junior Open and WSF Junior Open tournaments run from 4-17 January 2020 and important event information can be found below.

Venue Information

Both tournaments will be played on eight tables across the following two venues:

  • db San Antonio Hotel + Spa: Triq it-Turisti Saint Paul’s Bay, SPB 1024 (1 table)
  • Malta Snooker Academy, Marija Assunta Complex, Hamrun (7 tables)

A shuttle bus service will run between the San Antonio Hotel and the Academy in accordance with the timetable HERE. Please note that it remains the responsibility of the players to be at their table in time for the start of their match.

WSF Junior Open – 4-9 January 2020

Tournament Format and Progression

The format for the Junior competition is as follows:

  • All group matches will be the best of 5 frames.
  • The top three players in each group will progress to the knockout rounds
  • All knockout rounds up to and including the last 16 will be the best of 5 frames
  • The quarter-finals and semi-finals will be the best of 7 frames.
  • The final will be the best of 9 frames.

WSF Open – 10-17 January 2020

Tournament Format and Progression

The format for the Open competition is as follows:

  • All group matches will be the best of 5 frames.
  • The top two players in each group will progress to the knockout rounds
  • All knockout rounds up to and including the last 16 will be the best of 5 frames
  • The quarter-finals and semi-finals will be the best of 7 frames.
  • The final will be the best of 9 frames.

Contact us

Should you require any further information us please contact us through our website HERE or via social media.

We look forward to seeing you soon in Malta and hope that you enjoy the tournament.

WSF Junior Open / WSF Open 2020 – Draws Released

WSF Junior Open / WSF Open 2020 – Draws Released

The group stage draws have today been released for the WSF Junior Open and WSF Open tournaments to be played in Malta from 4-17 January 2020.

Organised by the World Snooker Federation (WSF), together with the Malta Billiards and Snooker Federation (MBSA), the prestigious tournaments have attracted over 200 entries from players of 40 nationalities.

To be staged across two venues, the db San Antonio Hotel and the Malta Snooker Academy, each open competition has a diverse field including former professionals, future stars, players with disabilities and female players.

As well as the honour of becoming champion for 2020, the winner of each competition will also earn a coveted two-year card to the professional World Snooker Tour from the start of the 2020/21 season.

Jason Ferguson, WSF President said: “I am delighted by the level of entries that we have received from players across the globe for our upcoming tournaments in Malta.

“In the junior competition we see young players who are the future of our sport and it is crucial that we are able to provide opportunities such as this to allow them to qualify for the professional circuit and achieve their dream. Several of these players have already begun to make a name for themselves in important tournaments and I am excited to see who will emerge victorious.

“The Open tournament also as an equally intriguing field which includes a mix of familiar and new faces. Whether it is a former professional hoping to earn another chance at the main tour, or a new winner such as our previous champion Luo Honghao, who has since gone on to make an impact at the highest level, this year’s winner in Malta will have fully earned their opportunity.

“I would like to wish all of the players competing the best of luck in Malta and also to thank our wonderful hosts at the MBSA for all of their hard work and support so far.”

Further information, including the full match schedule will be sent to players over the next few days.

World Snooker Federation Events 2020: Entries Open

World Snooker Federation Events 2020: Entries Open

Following the recent announcement that the World Snooker Federation (WSF) will return to Malta for two new competitions from 4-17 January 2020, we can today confirm that entries for both tournaments are now open.

Organised together with the Malta Billiards & Snooker Association (MBSA), the event will comprise two tournaments, the WSF Junior Open (4-9 January) and the WSF Open (10-17 January). The winner of each tournament will earn a two-year tour card to the professional World Snooker Tour from the start of the 2020/21 season.

Eligibility

The entry criteria for both events are as follows:

  • Both events will be open to players of all nationalities and genders
  • Players competing in the WSF Junior Open must be aged 17 and under up to and including 31 December 2019. Players of any age may enter the WSF Open.
  • National federations may nominate up to two players for each competition.
  • Both events are also open for direct entry by players who are a member of and in good standing with their national federation.

Entry Process

All entries must be received through the WPBSA Tournament Manager system at https://snookerscores.net/

National federation nomination

Representatives from each national federation will shortly receive two emails from us, containing entry instructions and a login to the entry system.

Open entry

Players who have not been nominated by their national federation can enter directly as follows:

  • Create an account HERE.
  • Select the WSF event that you wish to enter HERE.
  • Click ‘Enter tournament’ and complete the entry form.
  • Select your payment method and complete payment of your entry fee.

Entry/Payment deadline

The nomination/entry deadline for both events is 5:00pm GMT on Sunday 1 December 2019.

Payment of all entry fees must be made by 5:00pm GMT on Sunday 8 December 2019.

Further questions

If you experience any difficulties or have any questions relating to event entry please contact us via our website or Facebook page.