European Series race
Ranking, Snooker Headlines

European Series Race Heating Up

There are still two players in with a chance of landing the bumper bonus.

Mark Selby kept up the pressure in the race for the European Series title after beating Ken Doherty in the Gibraltar Open on Thursday.

The Englishman trailed Doherty by two frames early on before battling back to level the match and eventually seeing off the 1997 world champion in style with consecutive century contributions.

Selby remains £6,500 behind leader Judd Trump in the European Series race, which is in its last leg of six ranking events on the calendar.

The player with the most earnings from those six tournaments after this week will receive a whopping £150,000 bonus that is sponsored by BetVictor.

Selby and Trump could meet in the semi-finals this weekend, which would represent an exciting winner-takes-all clash for the prize.

World number one Trump, the reigning Gibraltar Open champion, reached the third round after a 4-1 triumph against Sunny Akani – helped by a brace of 124 breaks.

Several other players advanced to the last 32 of the competition in what has been a slow-moving event so far.

Jack Lisowski continued his fine recent form with a 4-1 ousting of Jak Jones, while last year’s runner-up Kyren Wilson thrashed Fan Zhengyi 4-0.

Tom Ford, who has featured at the business end of a couple of competitions in 2021, edged Jamie Jones 4-2 and was joined in the next round by Ricky Walden, Joe Perry, and Anthony Hamilton.

Among the others to safely negotiate their second hurdles were Matthew Selt, Hossein Vafaei, Zhao Xintong, and Alexander Ursenbacher – the latter following an impressive 4-1 beating of Zhou Yuelong.

The first round also reached its conclusion on Thursday with Mark Allen, Luca Brecel, and Ireland’s Aaron Hill making it through.

Hill’s veteran countryman Fergal O’Brien had a harder time of it, losing in a decider to Ukrainian 15 year-old sensation Iulian Boiko.

The second round will be completed on Friday with the first matches from the round of 16 also taking place on the fifth day of action at the Marshall Arena.

Live coverage is on Eurosport and various other platforms around the world.

Click here to view the full draw. (Scheduled times in CET)

Featured photo credit: WST

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