Jack Lisowski was happy to get through his opening test at the Duelbits World Grand Prix on Monday.
The Cheltenham cueist is on home turf this week and didn’t want to disappoint his local fans while competing at the Centaur.
The world number 12 dug deep from 3-1 down to prevail in a first-round decider, but the 31 year-old admitted that it was tough knocking out his close friend, Rob Milkins.
“I’m very, very happy,” Jack Lisowski, a semi-finalist in last week’s Masters, told the World Snooker Tour.
“Obviously it’s my hometown, so at 3-1 down I was thinking that I’ve got my friends and all that there, so let’s try and make a game of it.”
“Luckily for me, Rob missed on 40 or 50 when it looked like he had a chance to win the match, and from there I cleared up.
“I then made a hundred in the next frame and 80 in the last frame, so I turned the match around. I would have been gutted to have lost first round.
“Rob played fantastic tonight, and it took everything I had to beat him.
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“It’s just horrible at the end. Because I win, I should feel great, and I do. But then I’ve got to see him, and it’s hard playing your friends. It’s really tough.
“I’m just apologising at the end, and I’m sure he would have been the same if he’d have beaten me.
“I guess we’ve sort of gotten used to it over the years, but you can never get used to it – it’s always horrible.
“But it’s snooker, it’s an individual sport, and if I want to win the title this week I’ve got to beat my mates.
“Rob was class at the end, he was really nice. I’m sure we’ll have a practice game next week and no hard feelings.
“The way I play, I’ve sort of learned things off him over the years and copied him. He’s so great to watch.
“I love watching him play and he’s had a big impact on my career for sure. I’ve spent so much time with him travelling all around the world.
“He has given me some really good bits of advice over the years that I think have helped my game mature.
“My game’s not very mature and he definitely wants to help me, so he’s given me a lot of tips.
“It’s horrible having to play him like I said, but a great guy and great friend and great snooker player.
“(The Masters) is definitely more positives than negatives. I still haven’t quite worked out what happened against Williams.
“My first instinct is that he played very, very well. But I’ve got to figure out what went wrong and go again.”
Lisowski, nicknamed Jackpot, will play Zhou Yuelong in the last 16 hoping again that this will be the week where he’ll be able to land the top prize and a maiden trophy.
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Zhou, meanwhile, scored heavily in a 4-3 defeat of Thepchaiya Un-Nooh while the other results on the opening day saw Mark Allen beat David Gilbert and Xiao Guodong upset Neil Robertson.
The Duelbits World Grand Prix continues on Tuesday with the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Mark Selby, and Ding Junhui entering the fray.
Live coverage of the event is on ITV Sport, Eurosport, and Matchroom Live.
Featured photo credit: WST