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Gibraltar Open Snooker: Final Day Draw and Preview

After six days, the last eight contenders are finally known.

It’s been a laborious week of action but the Gibraltar Open snooker draw is finally at the quarter-finals stage in Milton Keynes.

For an event that began on Monday and incorporates a best-of-seven frames format throughout, it has felt like a long time in getting to this point.

But by the end of Sunday’s play at the Marshall Arena, the 2021 champion will be crowned.



Judd Trump vs Mark Allen

There are only three top-16 members remaining in the Gibraltar Open draw, but two of those snooker stars go head-to-head in what is undoubtedly the tie of the quarter-finals.

Reigning champion Judd Trump, through to the last eight of a ranking event for the ninth time this term, faces Mark Allen, who has remarkably embarked on a run to this hurdle for the first time this week.

Allen may have won the prestigious Champion of Champions invitational in November, but it has not been a particularly good season for the Northern Irishman.

Trump, on the other hand, is on course for a fifth ranking title of the campaign and the 31 year-old is already guaranteed to collect the £150,000 bonus for winning the European Series.

Interestingly, the Englishman does have an inferior record against Allen, including a defeat in their most recent meeting in the semi-finals of the Champion of Champions.

Trump will be a favourite regardless of those stats, but a match over this short sprint between two attack-minded competitors is always going to be difficult to predict.

Matthew Selt vs Chris Wakelin

Chris Wakelin brought a premature end to the European Series when he knocked Mark Selby out in the third round on Friday.

A day later, the 28 year-old subsequently disappointed Jimmy White’s legion of fans by knocking the Whirlwind out in the last 16.

While the prize money for the Gibraltar Open isn’t staggering, the guaranteed £5,000 that Wakelin has earned so far does help to protect his position inside the world’s top 64 in the rankings at a crucial juncture of the season.

Wakelin takes on Matthew Selt for a semi-final berth after the former Indian Open champion ended Soheil Vahedi’s best career display in the last 16.

Selt has won all three of their previous encounters, but the last of those took place almost five years ago.

Either way, it’s a great opportunity for one of them to make a rare appearance in the last four of a ranking tournament.



Stuart Carrington vs Xiao Guodong

The same could probably be said of the third tie between Stuart Carrington and Xiao Guodong.

The former is featuring at this stage of a ranking event for only the fifth time in his career, while Xiao has bettered all his previous performances from his campaign so far.

The pair clashed for the first time back in September at the European Masters, when Xiao prevailed with a 5-3 scoreline.

Ranked almost 20 spots above his opponent in the official rankings list, Xiao will be the favourite and does boast more experience at this level overall.

Jack Lisowski vs Lu Ning

The most likely to progress to the final from the bottom half of the draw is Jack Lisowski, though.

Having reached two ranking event finals recently, Lisowski is enjoying one of the best spells of form from his entire career.

Another showdown for glory with pal Judd Trump could be on the cards, but they’ll each have to negotiate their next two tests first.

Lisowski entertains Lu Ning, another player in some form after his run to the semi-finals of the UK Championship before Christmas.

Lu has failed in both of his attempts against Lisowski, but he is playing to a higher standard now compared to when he encountered the 29 year-old in the past.

A beaten finalist on five occasions, Lisowski has struggled to get over the winning line in ranking events but this best-of-seven format might just play into his hands.

Gibraltar Open Quarter-Finals Snooker Draw

Judd Trump (1) vs Mark Allen (9)
Matthew Selt vs Chris Wakelin

Stuart Carrington vs Xiao Guodong
Jack Lisowski (10) vs Lu Ning

Where to Watch the Gibraltar Open

There will be blanket Eurosport coverage provided across all of Europe, including Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Fans around the world will have various other options available to them, which you can find more details for here.

As has become the norm since last year, the tournament in its entirety will be staged behind closed doors.

Featured photo credit: WST



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World Rankings Top 16

World Rankings after the World Snooker Championship – won by Mark Selby.

1. Judd Trump
2. Mark Selby
3. Ronnie O’Sullivan
4. Neil Robertson
5. Shaun Murphy
6. Kyren Wilson
7. John Higgins
8. Ding Junhui
9. Stephen Maguire
10. Yan Bingtao
11. Mark Williams
12. Mark Allen
13. Barry Hawkins
14. Jack Lisowski
15. Stuart Bingham
16. Anthony McGill

Fin Ruane Snooker Academy