Welsh Open quarter-finals
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Welsh Open: quarter-finals draw, preview, and schedule

The 2024 BetVictor Welsh Open is down to its final eight contenders with the quarter-finals on Friday at the Venue Cymru in Llandudno.

The players have recorded four wins each to reach this stage of the competition, but a further three victories are required to claim the Ray Reardon Trophy on Sunday.

There is a top prize worth £80,000 on offer, with the subplot of qualification for next week’s Players Championship also on the agenda for some.

Let’s take a look at the four Welsh Open quarter-finals.

Gary Wilson vs Anthony McGill

(Friday, 7pm UTC)

Gary Wilson triumphed the last time there was a Home Nations series tournament on the calendar.

The Newcastle potter successfully defended the Scottish Open in December to land a second career ranking crown.

Wilson hasn’t been at his best this week but has overcome the likes of Jack Lisowski and reigning Welsh Open champion Robert Milkins en route to the last eight.

Anthony McGill will be the 38 year-old’s next opponent after the Scot edged Ricky Walden in a 4-3 thriller.

McGill is also a two-time former ranking event winner, but the last of his glories at this level was way back in 2017.

Wilson and McGill have faced each other only four times on the main tour, with the latter leading the head-to-head count 3-1.

Mark Allen vs John Higgins

(Friday, 12pm UTC)

Unequivocally the best tie of the Welsh Open quarter-finals is the showdown between Mark Allen and John Higgins.

As the world number three, Allen represents the highest-ranked competitor in the draw, while Higgins is a record five-time champion of this event.

The duo emerged from contrasting last-16 affairs on Thursday to prolong their stays in the tournament.

Allen wrapped up his commanding 4-0 defeat of Robbie Williams with a 110 century break, whereas Higgins came through a nail-biting deciding frame with Matthew Selt.

Allen and Higgins have shared many battles over the years, and they have in fact played each other twice in 2024 already.

Higgins beat Allen in the German Masters earlier this month, just a few weeks after the Northern Irishman won a 6-5 belter at the Masters.

The overall head-to-head reads 14-12 in Allen’s favour.

Dominic Dale vs Elliot Slessor

(Friday, not before 2pm UTC)

Dominic Dale is the sole surviving challenger representing Wales in this year’s edition of the long-running ranking event.

The 52 year-old’s excellent run continued with two victories on day four – a 4-1 win over Stan Moody before a 4-0 drubbing of countryman Jak Jones.

Aside from the unpredictable single-frame Shoot Out, it marks Dale’s first appearance in a ranking quarter-final since 2016 and only the second time he’s gone this far in his home event.

Elliot Slessor is next up after the 29 year-old ousted Fan Zhengyi 4-3 in the fourth round.

Neither Dale nor Slessor would have expected to face one another at this latterly stage of the week, making it a huge chance for both to reach the last four.

Somewhat bizarrely, considering they have both been professionals for a long time, they have never played each other before on the main tour.

Martin O’Donnell vs Luca Brecel

(Friday, 7pm UTC)

Luca Brecel promised that he had returned to the practice table, and there has certainly been evidence of that this week.

The Belgian has endured a disappointing season as world champion so far, but there is still time for all that to change.

Brecel ousted Graeme Dott and Tom Ford on Thursday to reach the Welsh Open quarter-finals, which will represent his first appearance at this stage of a ranking tournament all campaign.

Martin O’Donnell stands in Brecel’s way of a spot in the semi-finals, the Londoner having recorded back-to-back 4-2 victories over Anthony Hamilton and Marco Fu.

Strangely, O’Donnell has become somewhat of a bogey player for Brecel, with the 37 year-old enjoying a 100% winning record from their three prior fixtures.

The Minister of Defence has only ever reached one other ranking semi-final, indicating that the pressure of the occasion will likely favour Brecel’s chances.

Race to the Players Championship

Next week’s Players Championship lineup will boast the top 16 players from the one-year rankings list.

Of the octet involved in the Welsh Open quarter-finals, only Gary Wilson, John Higgins, and Mark Allen are guaranteed their places in that draw.

The remaining five cueists need to go all the way in Wales and claim the £80,000 winner’s cheque if they are to qualify for Telford.

2024 Welsh Open draw

Round of 128 (bo7)

Robert Milkins 4-3 Jamie Jones
Allan Taylor 4-2 Haydon Pinhey
David Gilbert 4-0 Ken Doherty
Oliver Lines 4-3 Michael White
Jack Lisowski 4-2 Oliver Brown
Liam Pullen 4-0 Rebecca Kenna
Gary Wilson 4-1 Mark Davis
Iulian Boiko 4-0 Ishpreet Singh Chadha

Long Zehuang 4-1 Andy Lee
Anthony McGill 4-1 Manasawin Phetmalaikul
Sanderson Lam 4-0 Baipat Siripaporn
Mark Williams 4-2 John Astley
Matthew Stevens 4-3 Louis Heathcote
Ricky Walden 4-2 Andy Hicks
Stuart Carrington 4-2 Reanne Evans
Neil Robertson 4-1 Jackson Page

Mark Allen 4-3 Cao Yupeng
Ma Hailong 4-2 Rory Thor
Si Jiahui 4-2 Stephen Maguire
Andrew Pagett 4-2 Mink Nutcharut
Ding Junhui 4-2 Jenson Kendrick
Robbie Williams 4-0 Peng Yisong
Adam Duffy 4-0 Zhou Yuelong
Jamie Clarke 4-3 James Cahill

David Lilley 4-0 Victor Sarkis
Ryan Day 4-3 Mostafa Dorgham
Tian Pengfei 4-0 Rod Lawler
John Higgins 4-0 Mohamed Ibrahim
Ross Muir 4-2 Stephen Hendry
Matthew Selt 4-3 Sam Craigie
Alexander Ursenbacher 0-4 Liam Davies
Duane Jones 4-2 Liam Highfield

Alfie Davies 4-1 Liam Graham
Dominic Dale 4-1 Jimmy White
Jordan Brown 4-3 Lyu Haotian
Stan Moody 4-2 Sean O’Sullivan
Zhang Anda 4-1 Ahmed Aly Elsayed
Jak Jones 4-3 Liu Hongyu
Hossein Vafaei 4-1 Scott Donaldson
Julien Leclercq 4-3 Alfie Burden

Dylan Emery 4-1 Fergal O’Brien
Noppon Saengkham 4-1 Himanshu Jain
Andrew Higginson 4-2 Xing Zihao
Ali Carter 1-4 Elliot Slessor
Ben Mertens 4-0 Hammad Miah
Fan Zhengyi 4-2 Joe Perry
Aaron Hill 4-0 Anton Kazakov
Mark Selby 4-2 Yuan Sijun

Shaun Murphy 3-4 Barry Pinches
Daniel Wells 4-2 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Marco Fu 4-1 Stuart Bingham
Zak Surety 4-2 Mark Joyce
Kyren Wilson 4-3 Ashley Carty
Anthony Hamilton 4-0 Andres Petrov
Chris Wakelin 4-0 Jimmy Robertson
Martin O’Donnell 4-3 Ryan Thomerson

Ian Burns 4-2 Lukas Kleckers
Tom Ford 4-3 Ben Woollaston
Xiao Guodong 4-3 Ashley Hugill
Barry Hawkins 4-0 He Guoqiang
Wu Yize 4-1 Sydney Wilson
Graeme Dott 4-3 Pang Junxu
Joe O’Connor 4-3 Xu Si
Luca Brecel 4-3 Jiang Jun

Round of 64 (bo7)

Robert Milkins 4-1 Allan Taylor
David Gilbert 4-2 Oliver Lines
Jack Lisowski 4-2 Liam Pullen
Gary Wilson 4-2 Iulian Boiko
Long Zehuang 1-4 Anthony McGill
Sanderson Lam 3-4 Mark Williams
Matthew Stevens 3-4 Ricky Walden
Stuart Carrington 3-4 Neil Robertson

Mark Allen 4-0 Ma Hailong
Si Jiahui 4-2 Andrew Pagett
Ding Junhui 2-4 Robbie Williams
Adam Duffy 4-0 Jamie Clarke
David Lilley 2-4 Ryan Day
Tian Pengfei 1-4 John Higgins
Ross Muir 1-4 Matthew Selt
Liam Davies 1-4 Duane Jones

Alfie Davies 3-4 Dominic Dale
Jordan Brown 3-4 Stan Moody
Zhang Anda 1-4 Jak Jones
Hossein Vafaei 4-1 Julien Leclercq
Dylan Emery 4-2 Noppon Saengkham
Elliot Slessor w/o Andrew Higginson
Ben Mertens 2-4 Fan Zhengyi
Aaron Hill 4-2 Mark Selby

Barry Pinches 1-4 Daniel Wells
Marco Fu 4-3 Zak Surety
Kyren Wilson 1-4 Anthony Hamilton
Chris Wakelin 1-4 Martin O’Donnell
Ian Burns 2-4 Tom Ford
Xiao Guodong 3-4 Barry Hawkins
Wu Yize 2-4 Graeme Dott
Joe O’Connor 0-4 Luca Brecel

Round of 32 (bo7)

Robert Milkins 4-0 David Gilbert
Jack Lisowski 3-4 Gary Wilson
Anthony McGill 4-1 Mark Williams
Ricky Walden 4-2 Neil Robertson
Mark Allen 4-1 Si Jiahui
Robbie Williams 4-2 Adam Duffy
Ryan Day 1-4 John Higgins
Matthew Selt 4-1 Duane Jones

Dominic Dale 4-1 Stan Moody
Jak Jones 4-2 Hossein Vafaei
Dylan Emery 1-4 Elliot Slessor
Fan Zhengyi 4-1 Aaron Hill
Daniel Wells 2-4 Marco Fu
Anthony Hamilton 2-4 Martin O’Donnell
Tom Ford 4-1 Barry Hawkins
Graeme Dott 1-4 Luca Brecel

Round of 16 (bo7)

Robert Milkins 0-4 Gary Wilson
Anthony McGill 4-3 Ricky Walden
Mark Allen 4-0 Robbie Williams
John Higgins 4-3 Matthew Selt

Dominic Dale 4-0 Jak Jones
Elliot Slessor 4-3 Fan Zhengyi
Marco Fu 2-4 Martin O’Donnell
Tom Ford 1-4 Luca Brecel

Quarter-Final (bo9)

Gary Wilson 5-0 Anthony McGill
Mark Allen 2-5 John Higgins

Dominic Dale 3-5 Elliot Slessor
Martin O’Donnell 5-3 Luca Brecel

Semi-Final (bo11)

Gary Wilson 6-4 John Higgins
Elliot Slessor 5-6 Martin O’Donnell

Final (bo17)

Gary Wilson 9-4 Martin O’Donnell

Featured photo credit: WST

One Comment

  1. Higgins appearing in his 15th Welsh Open quarter-final. He’s never lost a semi-final in this event.

    I’ve not looked into it closely but was thinking how many cueists have played in every Welsh Open (including qualifying stages) since the first edition in 1992. Anthony Hamilton, Jimmy White and Ken Doherty are the three I would pick.

    O’Donnell may have a good record against Brecel due to his methodical style at odds with Brecel fluid and aggressive snooker.

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