Jack Lisowski looked good in his 6-2 win over Luca Brecel in the opening round of The Masters, conquering fears of the venue although the world champion admitted he turned in a ‘terrible’ performance in defeat.
Jackpot came out of the blocks fast at Alexandra Palace, making breaks of 70, 100, 96 and 69 to race into a 4-0 lead.
Brecel did find something after the interval and responded with efforts of 80 and 72, but that was as good as it got for the Belgian.
The Englishman knocked in a 63 and a 68 in the final two frames to book his spot in the quarter-finals against either Shaun Murphy or Zhang Anda.
‘I felt great,’ Lisowski told the BBC. ‘You never know what it’s going to be like coming out here, I started well straight away and felt like I couldn’t miss. Just in rhythm, had a bit of luck at the end, a really good break, brilliant.’
It has been a forgettable season so far for Lisowski, but he did play well to reach the final of an exhibition event in Macau over Christmas and he feels that the run helped him rediscover some form.
‘I think I found something in China,’ he said. ‘Thank god because I was really struggling. I was really scared to come here today, to be honest, because I didn’t know what Jack was going to turn up. I felt great, so I think something happened in China.’
The 32-year-old admitted that he can find the packed Alexandra Palace nerve-racking, but overcame his concerns quickly on Sunday afternoon.
‘I actually really enjoyed it,’ he said. ‘You can get really nervous coming into this, for me it’s the scariest tournament to play in and I just started well and it turns into a great place to play, I started enjoying it.
‘I felt really comfortable today and there was some good stuff.’
While it was all smiles for Lisowski it was anything but for the Belgian Bullet who is really struggling to find his best form since becoming world champion in May.
‘Yeah, terrible, if I keep playing like this you’ll see me in Q School 2025,’ he said bleakly, although he believes that a return to better performances are not too far away.
‘Yeah of course I can and I know I will, but at the moment just not good enough. Jack’s a great player and I’m happy for Jack,’ he said.
Speaking to Eurosport he said: ‘I didn’t feel good at all. Terrible game.
‘After the breaks I made to win the two frames I felt good actually, but then I missed a stupid red on 72 again.
‘I just need something like a maxi break or something like that. It will come, it’s okay, I’ve been there many times, everyone’s been there. Even Neil Robertson is struggling and he’s one of the best players to ever play the game. If he’s struggling then anyone can struggle. I’ll be back, I don’t know when though.’
Murphy and Zhang meet on Sunday evening with the winner taking on Lisowski on Thursday night.
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