McGill eases past lacklustre Wilson to wear crown

McGill eases past lacklustre Wilson to wear crown

McGill eases past lacklustre Wilson to wear crown
Reticent Anthony McGill clinched the third Indian Open, outwitting fellow rising talent Kyren Wilson in a chance-filled but mistake-ridden finale here on Saturday.

In a battle of two youngsters who went for broke in a clash that made for interesting viewing but bordered on the ordinary in terms of quality, McGill rode his luck and clinched the important points to grind out a 5-2 (86-28, 16-88 (65), 83-27, 49-61 (50), 97 (96)-25, 60-12, 50-39) victory at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre.

The 25-year-old McGill, who made the world take notice of his talent when he reached the quarterfinals of the World Championship last year, including a stunning win over the then defending champion Mark Selby, had been playing under the shadows of some big stars here. In a final that started well for him before swinging from one end to another as both attacked and missed continuously, McGill showed good nerves towards the closing stages of each frame to finally clinch his maiden ranking title.

“There were a lot of mistakes and I’m glad to have come through,” said a delighted McGill after laying his hands on the 50,000 pounds cheque. “This wasn’t my best performance but Kyren wasn’t in the best of forms either. I guess the pressure of the final got to me.”

 A tactically sound player, who does’t back off from an opportunity to step on the accelerator, McGill set the tempo when he conjured a break of 31 points to hit the front. That doesn’t count for much at the top level but luckily for him Wilson played and missed too many, just like for most of the final, to allow him to take a 1-0 lead.

Wilson, one year younger to McGill but already a ranking title winner (Shanghai Masters last year), bounced back in the second frame. Not in the best of form this entire week, the flamboyant Wilson smashed a 65-point break to level things at 1-1.

McGill, who has known Wilson since the juniors days, hit back in the third with a break of 43 points while Wilson made it 2-2 after out-smarting his rival in cat-and-mouse fourth frame. Things, however, just went McGill’s way post that as Wilson made one too many errors.

Known for fast potting, Wilson just couldn’t find his ‘A’ game. His frustration showed in the fourth frame when he bit the cue stick after missing a sitter. Every time he seemed like he was tuning in and would clear the rack, he fluffed his lines that eventually cost him a second ranking victory.

McGill, who too made plenty of errors on his side, luckily didn’t go home punished. He kept chipping away with the crucial pots and with Wilson, unable to put any sort of pressure on him, just held his own to claim a career-defining victory.

Results: Final: Anthony McGill (Sco) bt Kyren Wilson (Eng) 5-2 (86-28, 16-88 (65), 83-27, 49-61 (50), 97 (96)-25, 60-12, 50-39).

Semifinals: Kyren Wilson (Eng) bt Nigel Bond (Eng) 4-1 (72-8, 44 -87 (79 cl), 74 (68) -38, 121 (72) -0, 60-19); Anthony McGill (Sco) bt Shaun Murphy (Eng) 4-2 (11-75, 0-87 (86), 62-50, 79 (65) -1, 77 (53) -0, 64 (64 cl) -61 (61).
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