Jack Lisowski one win away from World Championship return

Jack Lisowski moved to within a win of a return to the Crucible Theatre after thrashing Liu Hongyu 10-4 in the World Championship qualifiers.

The Englishman missed out on an automatic spot at the venue stages of this year’s competition by just £6,500, with Robert Milkins snatching the 16th seeding instead.

Lisowski can only have himself to blame after a disappointing 2023/24 campaign in which he has reached only one ranking semi-final.

The 32 year-old has participated at every World Championship since 2018, with a quarter-final run in 2022 representing his best performance to date.

He had no problems dispatching Liu in the penultimate round of the preliminaries, compiling a hat-trick of century breaks in taking the opening five frames.

The remainder of the contest was more evenly matched, but Lisowski ultimately coasted to the winning line and wrapped up the victory with a superb 142 total clearance.

Lisowski will encounter two-time World Championship runner-up Matthew Stevens in the final round on Tuesday.

The latter, who once regularly challenged for the sport’s blue-riband title, ousted Jimmy Robertson with a 10-6 scoreline.

Among the others to qualify for Judgement Day were Ricky Walden, Dominic Dale, and Mark Davis.

This time last year, Davis lost a dramatic Judgement Day clash to Joe Perry on the final black that, at the time, consigned him to tour relegation.

But the veteran former six red world champion is back for another crack 12 months on after his 10-8 defeat of Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

Walden had too much for Ian Burns while Dale’s strong campaign continued with a 10-6 victory over David Grace.

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