Crowd-pleaser Lisowski bidding to follow in the footsteps of the greats

Sportsbeat
·3-min read
Flamboyant left-hander Lisowski, 29, edged past Ali Carter in a Crucible thriller
Flamboyant left-hander Lisowski, 29, edged past Ali Carter in a Crucible thriller

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Jimmy White are providing the perfect ‘people’s favourite’ template for Jack Lisowski to follow, writes Will Jennings.

And the flamboyant Cheltenham potter says he’s relishing a last 16 ‘pot off’ against ‘man of the moment’ Robertson at the World Snooker Championship.

World No.15 Lisowski edged past Ali Carter 10-9 in a Crucible thriller on Tuesday.

The crowd-pleasing left-hander always tries to entertain and hopes taking inspiration from six-time world champion O’Sullivan and White – a six-time runner-up – can prompt more young people to pick up a cue.

The 29-year-old, who made gutsy breaks of 82 and 60 to battle over the line, said:

“Ronnie was the people’s favourite, Jimmy was the people’s favourite and they play the game a certain way.

“Me and Judd [Trump] have grown up watching them, so I think without really thinking about it we both realised that’s how we want to play. That’s how we’ve always based our styles.

“We’re just trying to get new players into it – it will be good if anyone’s watched that today and they think: ‘I’ll have a game of snooker because of that.’

“That’s not the aim – I’m just trying to win games and do a bit of entertaining and make it easy on the eye at the same time.

“It wasn’t great, but it was relieving. It was the first round and you just want to get through.”

Lisowski is a six-time ranking event runner-up and is still in pursuit of his maiden piece of major silverware on the World Snooker Tour.

He’s reached the final of the World Grand Prix, German Masters and Gibraltar Open this season but was unable to break his duck and kick-start his desired array of silverware.

The Gloucestershire ace cracked in breaks of 121, 75, 72 and 51 in the first session against Carter but was unable to pull away against the world No.23.

Carter, a two-time Crucible finalist, won the 17th frame to put him on the brink but brilliant half-century breaks from Lisowski hauled him over the line to book a tantalising last 16 clash with an in-form Robertson.

Australian Robertson, the world No.3, was crowned king of the Crucible in 2010 and has soared to UK Championship and Tour Championship glory this season.

Both he and Lisowski are renowned for their care-free potting flair and the mercurial Lisowski can’t wait for a baize bonanza with the ‘Thunder from Down Under.’

Lisowski, who lost 10-5 to Robertson in the first round of the Tour Championship, added: “Neil’s the man of the moment.

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“He won the last tournament, beat me in the first round and played some great stuff. I felt like I let a few chances slip early on in that game – but I’ve got to take them this week.

“Even though Neil is the much more experienced player, I think I’ll dictate the game how I play. If I play good, it could go close but if I play bad, it could be one-sided.

“You know what you’re going to get with Neil – he’s going to play well. But I never know what you’re going to get with me – great or terrible.

“I just pretty much go for it all the time – let’s have it, I guess. Let’s just have a pot off and may the best man win. I think he’s a great potter and I love watching him.

“I hope it’s a good game – and I win as well.”

Watch the World Snooker Championship live on Eurosport and Eurosport app from April 17- May 3