Jack Lisowski looks to reach his second successive Masters semi-final when he plays Shaun Murphy at Alexandra Palace on Thursday.
‘Jackpot’ arrived in London last year having failed to win a match in his three previous appearances at snooker’s most prestigious invitational event.
However, he stopped the rot with victories over John Higgins and Hossein Vafaei before running into an inspired Mark Williams, who ran out a commanding 6-0 winner.
Lisowski built on that in the opening round of this year’s event. Indeed, he made a break of 100 – the 300th century of his career – and further runs of 96, 70, 69, 68 and 63 on the way to a 6-2 victory over reigning World champion Luca Brecel.
The six-time ranking event finalist will now seek his fourth successive win over Murphy, who had prevailed in each of their five previous encounters.
Champion here in 2015, Murphy was also a 6-2 victor in round one, with contributions of 89, 86, 71, 65 and 51 helping him past debutant Zhang Anda.
The Magician is gearing up for his 13th Masters quarter-final – moving level with Steve Davis – as he looks to extend his 20th appearance at the event, where he has become the seventh player to hit that tally.
The two players produced a high-quality contest when they last met at the British Open earlier this season. Both hit two centuries as the contest went down to the wire, with Lisowski’s sublime 63 clearance countering Murphy’s earlier 62 and snatching a dramatic 4-3 victory on the final black.
Neutrals will certainly be hoping for another exciting attacking display from the two competitors, with Ronnie O’Sullivan awaiting the winner in this year’s Masters semi-finals.
Play gets under way at 7pm GMT on Thursday and will be contested over the best of 11 frames at Alexandra Palace.
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