Luca Brecel Eyes World Number One Spot at BetVictor English Open

Luca Brecel is in contention to attain the prestigious world number one position in addition to his existing World Champion status at the ongoing BetVictor English Open. He significantly improved his prospects by convincingly defeating Muhammad Asif 4-0 in the third round.

This marks a potential first-time ascent to the top of the official rankings for Brecel, contingent on him advancing at least to the semi-finals in Brentwood and outperforming the current top-ranked player, Ronnie O’Sullivan. The intriguing possibility of a face-off between the two looms in the semi-finals on Saturday, provided they both advance through two more rounds.

Despite a highest break of 54 against Asif, Brecel displayed a strong sense of control throughout the match, setting up a meeting with Ding Junhui on Thursday night.

On the other hand, O’Sullivan staged a comeback after a slow start, defeating Crucible semi-finalist Si Jiahui 4-2. Si, from China, made an impressive 101 in the opening frame and initially took a 2-1 lead. However, crucial missed opportunities in frames four and five proved pivotal, allowing O’Sullivan to take charge and win 3-2 before sealing the victory with a 78 in the sixth frame, earning a match against Zhang Anda.

In a dominant performance, Ali Carter from Chelmsford secured a 4-0 win against Jenson Kendrick. Additionally, three Chinese players had comfortable victories, with Zhou Yuelong defeating Sanderson Lam 4-0, Zhang overcoming Elliot Slessor 4-1, and Ding displaying top form with a score of 69 in a 4-2 victory against Gary Wilson.

Mark Williams, the reigning Cazoo British Open champion, extended his impressive winning streak to 11 matches. He showcased his skill with breaks of 111 and 81 while defeating Dylan Emery 4-2. Liu Hongyu also displayed resilience, coming from behind at 3-1 to edge out Chris Wakelin with a score of 4-3.

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