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Ashley Hugill Triumphs in WSF Open

Ashley Hugill claimed the WSF Open title on Friday with a 5-3 victory over Iulian Boiko in Malta – thus regaining his professional tour card.

Hugill edged the 14 year-old Ukrainian in a topsy-turvy final that could have went either way.

After winning the opening two frames with breaks of 113 and 56, Hugill was pegged back and the teenage challenger duly overturned the deficit with a three-frame winning burst.

Hugill, who was relegated from the Main Tour at the end of last season, responded with a break of 65 to restore parity and set up a dramatic climax.

Both players had opportunities in the seventh frame but it was the 25 year-old who moved to within the brink of victory with a run of 50, before a final contribution of 89 confirmed his status as the world amateur champion.

Hugill, who reached the last 16 of the Scottish Open in 2017, was a professional for just two seasons so will be hoping for a better stab at the big-time during his second stint on the circuit.

The Yorkshireman tweeted that it was an “unbelievable feeling” with the hashtag “#BackWhereIBelong” attached.

Hugill had counted Allan Taylor and up-and-coming Welsh star Dylan Emery as a couple of his victims from the earlier rounds.

In all, there were more than 150 participants in the WSF Open at the Malta Snooker Academy.

The global amateur event was being staged for a second time, remodelled after the inaugural World Snooker Federation Championship from 2018.

In 2019, the tournament was supposed to be staged in the UAE before complications led to it being scrapped entirely.

That disappointment hindered the WSF’s emergence as the dominant amateur organisation after a rather public feud with the International Billiards and Snooker Federation.

The IBSF traditionally boasted the most sought-after world amateur prize but, with tour cards only being awarded to the winners of the WSF version, that honour of prestige definitely now lies with the latter.

Hugill, who follows Luo Honghao as a winner of the tournament, will be hoping his victory acts a springboard for greater successes in the future.

Last week, 15 year-old Gao Yang claimed the WSF Junior Open crown, which also resulted in a two-year tour card for the Chinese youngster.

Click here for more information on the 2020 WSF Open


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