Anthony McGill of Scotland came up with his best ever performance to pick his first major title in the circuit when he outplayed England’s Kyren Wilson 5-2 in the final of the third Indian Open world ranking snooker tournament at HICC-Novotel here on Saturday.
The 25-year-old McGill, a quarterfinalist in the 2013 edition of this Open, showed his class straightaway in the first frame itself with a measured display — blending attack and safety play — to precision.
But, to the delight of the fans, Wilson, the Shanghai Masters champion, upped his game in the second frame after he was presented with a huge opportunity by way of a foul from his opponent. The way the Englishman opened up the cluster of reds even while getting the red in was a treat to watch. With McGill again missing the red along the cushion on top of the table at 16-23, Wilson targeted the black to wrap up the frame and level the scores one-all.
Then, it was the turn of Wilson to miss a red in the centre which saw McGill raise the bar in the third frame and come with a break of 43 to take the lead again.
Soon, Wilson did well to level the frame scores two-all.
The fifth frame saw the table official ask for a re-framing as it was obvious both the players had no chance to break the stalemate. Despite a useful break of 25, Wilson missed a difficult black on top of the table in the right corner to give just the kind of opening McGill was looking for and the Scottish player came up with an impressive break of 96 to make the frame scoreline read 3-2 in his favour.
The start of the sixth frame saw McGill pushing the opponent on the defensive and then notching up a break of 35. Then Wilson missed a red on top left of the table only to soon see his opponent widen the lead.
The seventh frame was the longest as it lasted close to 40 minutes with both struggling. It was obvious the way the two played that one who made fewer mistakes would clinch the frame and McGill was equal to the task with a gritty display as once Wilson missed the red at 39-16, the former never looked back. Potting a difficult red (the only red on the table) and then cleaning up the table, McGill emerged a clear winner.
“It is a fantastic feeling to win the title. It is the result of a lot of hard work. There was pressure certainly being the final and seeing the trophy there on the table,” McGill remarked later.
For his part, Wilson confessed that he struggled a lot, felt the pressure too. “I think the difference this evening was McGill made up the mind much quicker,” he added.
Earlier in the semi-finals, Anthony McGill knocked out 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy of England 4-2 after losing the first two frames. Kyren Wilson got the better of 50-year-old veteran Nigel Bond of England 4-1.
Final : Anthony McGill (Scot) bt Kyren Wilson (Eng) 86-28, 16-88 (65), 83-27, 49-61(50), 97(96)-25,60-12, 50-39.
Semi-finals : Kyren Wilson (Scot) bt Nigel Bond (Eng) 72-8, 44-87(79), 74(70)-38, 121(72, 49)-0, 60-19; Anthony McGill (Scot) bt Shaun Murphy (Eng) 11-75, 0-87 (86), 62-50, 79 (65)-1, 77(53)-0, 64-61.