Jack Lisowski and Anthony McGill will face each other in the second round of the 2023 World Snooker Championship in Sheffield.
This season for Jack Lisowski
Another season and another year in which we are still wondering when Jack Lisowski is going to get his hands on some silverware.
How a player of his talent is unable to force his way beyond that final hurdle is a mystery that continues to baffle many within the game.
Although in many respects, it isn’t really a mystery. It’s Lisowski’s continued inability to hold his nerve in the bigger moments that has held him back.
The 31 year-old from Cheltenham should have won semi-final battles in the UK Championship to Mark Allen and the German Masters to Tom Ford this term.
He lost in deciding frames in both and was bagelled in another last-four clash in the Masters to Mark Williams, meaning he participates in this year’s edition of the World Championship with that monkey still firmly glued to his back.
This season for Anthony McGill
It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of form Anthony McGill finds himself in – he’ll be at the Crucible Theatre regardless.
The 32 year-old from Scotland is back for a ninth consecutive appearance since reaching the quarter-final on his debut in 2015.
This season, McGill reached the semi-finals of the Northern Ireland Open and the last eight at the World Grand Prix.
Apart from that there hasn’t been much to talk about, but the Glaswegian has repeatedly demonstrated in the past his pedigree at the Crucible.
McGill was denied a place in the 2020 final after a thrilling deciding-frame classic with Kyren Wilson, and he reached the quarter-finals again the following year.
What happened in the first round?
Lisowski’s encounter with Noppon Saengkham in the last 32 was littered with abysmal safety play and unforced errors.
The seeded player was ultimately able to rely on his superior class to get the job done, but it was an unnecessarily taxing 10-7 outcome.
McGill’s tie against Judd Trump was billed by many as the tie of the round with the Scot representing arguably the most dangerous competitor to emerge from the qualifiers.
So it proved, as the former Indian Open champion generally controlled the affair to complete a deserved 10-6 defeat of the 2019 world champion.
Jack Lisowski and Anthony McGill head-to-head
At similar ages, Lisowski and McGill will have been aware of each other for a long time and well before each of them even turned professional.
Since being on the Main Tour, the latter has enjoyed the advantage with three victories from their four meetings against one another.
That includes their most recent clash at the 2020 World Snooker Championship when McGill overcame Lisowski in a first-round decider en route to the last four.
If Lisowski’s tactical awareness is as sloppy as it was against Saengkham, he’s going to be in deep trouble here.
Thailand’s Saengkham wasn’t able to sufficiently punish, but Lisowski is unlikely to be so fortunate against McGill.
The Scottish cueist has an all-round game that is suited to the World Championship, and he’ll be more than ready to take advantage of Lisowski’s average B-game.
Things may turn out differently if Lisowski turns up with his free-flowing attacking A-game, which is a match for anybody on the circuit, but there were few signs of that during his opening bout.
McGill, by contrast, looked intent on making the most of his qualification from the English Institute of Sport this year.
Prediction: Anthony McGill 13-11 Jack Lisowski
Saturday, April 22nd – 10am
Sunday, April 23rd – 2:30pm
Monday, April 24th – 7pm
Featured photo credit: WST
I tend to agree that McGill’s all round game and Crucible composure give him the edge in a match where Peter Ebdon is in both player’s corner. Prediction: McGill 13-9 Lisowski