Ryan Day Secures Players Championship Place in Gibraltar

Ryan Day edged Luca Brecel 4-3 to reach the fourth round of the Gibraltar Open, confirming his spot in the upcoming Players Championship in Llandudno.

Day is also hoping to secure a top 16 place in the world rankings and automatic qualification for the World Championship. Photo credit: World Snooker

The Welshman, who also beat Phil O’Kane and Michael Holt on Friday, had been holding on to the 16th and final qualifying spot on the one-year money list for the Players Championship.

Only Joe Perry and Mark Williams were able to catch Day, but their efforts became irrelevant when the latter moved out of reach in the standings with a run to the last 16.

It prolongs an excellent run of form for the 36 year-old, who in the last month has finished runner-up in both the World Grand Prix and the Championship League.

Day will play John Astley for a place in the quarter-finals on Sunday after the Englishman enjoyed victories over amateurs Andreas Ploner and George Pragnall, before a last 32 success against Ben Woollaston.

The standout performances came from friends Judd Trump and Jack Lisowski, though, who each compiled a hat-trick of tons en route to their third round triumphs.

Trump knocked in breaks of 129, 112, and 103 in ousting Matthew Selt while Lisowski’s display was arguably even better as he added a run of 83 to his trio of centuries in hammering the in-form Anthony Hamilton.

For Trump it was just another day at the office and arguably proves the worth of an event like the Championship League, which the 27 year-old has been competing in of late, for fine-tuning a player’s game.

However, Lisowski has struggled to replicate this kind of standard for a long period and, despite his well-heralded talent, has so far been unable to make any serious headway on the circuit.

Whether Liswoski, still only 25, can push on from here and enjoy a run to the latter stage of the event remains to be seen but his next challenge is a tricky one as he will prepare to battle Mark Allen in the next round.

Allen enjoyed a strong outing at the Rock, constructing a tournament-high 138 break in whitewashing Ross Muir, before adding a 135 and a 101 in respective 4-1 defeats of John Higgins and David Gilbert.

Trump’s next opponent possesses far less experience as Sanderson Lam superbly manoeuvred his way into the last 16 of a ranking event for the first time in his career.

The 23 year-old from Leeds earned victories over Wang Yuchen, Noppon Saengkham, and former world champion Peter Ebdon to set up the clash against the European Masters champion.

Finally, Neil Robertson praised the conditions on social media as he progressed with wins over Chris Wakelin and Rhys Clark.

The Australian, who has struggled somewhat during the middle months of the campaign, will play Jamie Jones after the Welshman put a firm end to Perry’s Players Championship aspirations.

On Saturday, the remaining half of the field will be whittled down to complete the last 16 line-up with the likes of Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy, and Anthony McGill entering the fray.

Coverage continues on Eurosport.

Click here to view the draw. (Times CET) 

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