Jak Jones, currently ranked 52 in the world, has continued his dream debut at the Crucible Theatre by defeating world number six Neil Robertson 13-7 to reach the quarter-finals of the Cazoo World Championship. Jones has had a difficult journey to reach this stage of snooker’s most prestigious event, having beaten 2013 Crucible runner-up Barry Hawkins 10-8 in a tough Judgement Day encounter before overcoming two-time World Championship finalist Ali Carter 10-6 in the opening round.
Jones’ guaranteed £50,000 prize money for reaching the quarter-finals far surpasses his previous career-best of £13,500 for reaching the last 16 of the 2019 International Championship. The Welsh qualifier now faces Mark Allen, who has been the player of the season so far, for a place in the single table semi-finals. Their quarter-final match is set to take place on Tuesday morning at 10am.
Meanwhile, Robertson’s struggles at the Crucible continue, as the Australian has not made the semi-finals since 2014, despite being a 19-time ranking event winner. Jones held a 10-6 lead going into the final session and looked set to extend his advantage until he missed a red to the centre pocket on a break of 53 in the first frame of the day. Robertson took advantage with an 83 clearance but missed a mid-range yellow when leading 50-41 in the 18th frame, allowing Jones to make an impressive clearance to move 11-7 ahead.
In the 19th frame, Robertson led 33-15 before missing a difficult red to a top corner. Jones responded with a break of 47 and held on to win the frame and move to a commanding 12-7 lead. The Welshman then sealed a memorable victory in style with a 138 total clearance, the highest break of the match.
Reflecting on his win, Jones said, “To beat Neil in the World Championship, in such a venue and in front of such a crowd is a big win. I felt calm since the beginning and enjoyed it. Mark is the best player of the season and he is playing extremely well. They are all very difficult matches, whoever I play. I will just try my best and see where it takes me.”
Robertson acknowledged his opponent’s impressive performance, saying, “He did all the simple things really well. His safety was incredible throughout the match. I couldn’t create the chances to make the frames open. Today he was there for the taking, that’s what is disappointing. He held himself together well and made a great break in the last frame. He will be a tough match for Mark Allen if he plays the way he did yesterday.”