Mark Selby has lost in the Home Nations Scottish Open for the first time in his career after a 4-3 defeat to Anthony McGill on Thursday in Llandudno.
The Englishman only first entered the tournament two years ago and proceeded to win back-to-back editions of the Home Nations event in 2019 and 2020.
Three victories this week at the Venue Cyrmu for Selby extended his winning streak in Scottish Open matches to 17, but the Jester’s run has finally come to an end.
The world champion was the heavier scorer but lost two close frames to trail 3-0 early on, and even though he responded with a brace of centuries and a contribution of 79 to force a final frame, the comeback proved to be in vain.
McGill will instead feature at this stage of his home event for the first time and will face countryman Stephen Maguire for a berth in the last four, with the irony being that this year’s Scottish Open is in fact being played in Wales.
Maguire overcame Ben Woollaston with a 4-1 scoreline, while UK Championship runner-up Luca Brecel and Matthew Selt are also still in the top half of the draw.
Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins are the two favourites in the bottom half of the draw, with the pair set to face Li Hang and David Gilbert in the last eight respectively.
O’Sullivan triumphed in a deciding frame for a second successive encounter this week, ousting Jamie Jones in a topsy-turvy tie, while Higgins dispatched of Martin Gould in the last 16.
Li’s victory over Martin O’Donnell means the Chinese player remains in with a shout of dislodging Gould in the top 32 of the one-year rankings list, from which qualification for next week’s World Grand Prix is determined.
Gilbert, meanwhile, withstood a late rally from Judd Trump to prevail in another close fixture that lasted the distance, with the Angry Farmer clinching it on the final black.
The quarter-finals take place on Friday over the best-of-nine frames, with the remaining players now three additional wins away from securing the Stephen Hendry Trophy.
Live coverage continues on Eurosport, Quest, and Matchroom.Live (selected territories).
Click here to view the draw (times: CET)
Featured photo credit: WST