Cazoo World Championship: Rookie Liam Pullen Shines in Qualifying Victory

In his debut at the Cazoo World Championship, newcomer Liam Pullen secured his first-ever match victory with a commanding 10-3 win over Ukrainian player Anton Kazakov during the qualifying rounds held at the English Institute of Sport.

Pullen obtained his professional status last year at Q School, overcoming the setback of losing in the WSF Junior Championship final to Stan Moody. Since then, he has displayed glimpses of his immense talent, notably reaching the round of 32 in the International Championship in Tianjin, which included a thrilling 6-5 victory over Thailand’s top-ranked player, Noppon Saengkham.

Today’s match saw Pullen dominate the morning session, posting breaks of 96, 73, 88, and 93 to establish an 8-1 lead by the end of the session. While Kazakov mounted a partial comeback by claiming two of the first three frames in the evening session, a decisive break of 66 from Pullen in the 13th frame sealed the victory. Unfortunately for Kazakov, this defeat relegates him from the World Snooker Tour.

Pullen now gears up to face his close friend and practice partner, Sanderson Lam, whom he lost to in Crucible qualifying last year. Reflecting on his performance, the 18-year-old Pullen expressed satisfaction but acknowledged some nerves towards the end of the match. Nonetheless, he remains optimistic about his chances and aims to deliver strong performances to secure a spot at the Crucible.

In other matches, Mohammed Shehab of the UAE secured a 10-6 victory over Stan Moody to advance to the second round. Shehab, who previously had stints as a professional in 1996 and 2006, will return to the World Snooker Tour next season after clinching victory in the Q Tour Global Playoff.

Meanwhile, China’s Gao Yang defeated India’s Ishpreet Singh Chadha 10-6, and Ashley Carty claimed a 10-4 win over Liam Graham. In the afternoon session, Jimmy White found himself trailing 7-2 against Liu Hongyu, while Jimmy Robertson established a commanding 7-2 lead over Liam Davies.

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