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April 26, 2019

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Home » Sports » Snooker

Zhou claims prize scalp of seeded Allen at worlds

China’s Zhou Yuelong pulled off a notable giant-killing feat at the world snooker championships beating sixth seed Mark Allen to reach the second round in only his second appearance.

The 21-year-old managed to stave off a rally by the experienced Northern Irishman to win the best-of-19 encounter 10-7 and set up a clash with either Jack Lisowski or Ali Carter, both from England.

Zhou, ranked 35 in the world, said the win was the most satisfying moment of the season and he had been pleased by the manner in which he had not crumbled despite Allen rattling off five frames in succession to trail 7-9.

“Mark played very well from 2-9, he scored fast and heavily. I just had to wait for my chance and concentrate on every shot,” Zhou said on the tournament website.

“I think this was my best match of the season, especially yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) session (he took a 7-2 lead).

“I was happy to play against Mark, he’s one of the best players in the world. I enjoyed it.

“In snooker you just have to do your own job, concentrate on yourself.

“If you think about your opponent too much it has a bad effect on your own game. I just focus on myself.”

Allen — a semifinalist in 2009 and three-time quarterfinalist — said he had been all at sea mentally.

“The early and middle part of that match was really hard to be part of because I was struggling mentally,” he said. “I didn’t really know where I was.”

Zhou’s compatriot Li Hang fared less well, thrashed 1-10 by 2013 worlds finalist Barry Hawkins.

By winning a frame, Li, 28, and appearing in his first world championships, avoided the same humiliation as his compatriot Luo Honghao.

Luo was swept 0-10 by former world champion Shaun Murphy of England on Monday and also recorded the lowest amount of points in the championships history of just 89.

Hawkins has been down the same road as Li, the 40-year-old Englishman having lost his first ever match at The Crucible in Sheffield in 2006 by the same scoreline.

“It’s horrible when someone’s struggling, but at the world championships I’ll take it all day long,” said Hawkins.

“I’d rather win 10-1 and get through easily, relax for the next few days and watch everyone else sweat it out.

“You can’t feel sorry for your opponent too much. He’ll come back stronger for sure.”


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