Lisowski’s Time to Progress

Jack Lisowski has qualified for the Shanghai Masters after seeing off Matthew Stevens 5-3 in Barnsley.

Jack Lisowski at the Antwerp Open - photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.
Jack Lisowski at the Antwerp Open – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

It was the third tight contest of a tricky week for Lisowski but one in which he finally didn’t require all nine frames to progress.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the 23 year-old advanced the hard way by twice coming from 4-3 down to prevail in tense deciders with Michael Georgiou and Cao Yupeng.

Lisowski managed to avoid what would have been a taxing hat-trick but was still forced to dig deep by coming from 2-0 and 3-2 down against a formidable foe in Welshman Stevens, a former UK and Masters champion.

Many believe that Lisowski will feature at the business end of those tournaments and perhaps even the World Championship at some point in his career, such is the pedigree that he possesses.

Yet, since his brilliant breakthrough as a rookie in the 2010/11 campaign, Lisowski has often failed to deliver on a consistent basis.

The talent was unquestionably there, as a maximum 147 break in 2012 UK Championship and a run to the China Open quarter-finals shortly afterwards would prove.

But too often Lisowski, who won his battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a teenager, found himself falling to surprise defeats in forgettable encounters that damaged his reputation as an up-and-coming star.

At the beginning of each of the last three seasons, Lisowski’s name has been bandied around as a name to watch but on each occasion the Englishman¬†has failed to deliver.

It was important therefore that the Cheltenham cueist began to realise his potential this season and in doing so make a concerted rise up through the rankings.

That Lisowski has so far failed to break into the top 32, despite having hovered just outside of that bracket for a long time now, must be a disappointment to both him and his fans, of which there are many.

The signs, though, are looking more positive than ever before.

Following today’s victory, Lisowski has qualified for each of the opening three ranking events and will go on to face defending champion Ding Junhui in China in an intriguing last 32 affair.

Lisowski wont be under pressure to win that encounter but a strong performance, contrary to a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Shaun Murphy in the Australian Open, would help prolong the momentum he is working hard to build up.

People are rightly excited by this young player’s potential.

He boasts an exciting style of play that will fill arenas and soar TV ratings, not to mention his boyish good looks helping to attract a young female audience much to the same way Paul Hunter was able to achieve more than a decade ago.

With only Judd Trump – a close friend of Lisowski – Ding and Mark Allen aged under the age of 30 of those ranked inside the top 16, snooker could do with the likes of Lisowski and Kyren Wilson making their charge at a more rapid pace.

The latter’s progress might take a little more developing, but the signs are beginning to show that this could be the season that the Lisoswski predictions finally bear fruit.

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