- What: The second round of the 2022 World Snooker Championship
- Who: Two selected matchups in the second round of the 2022 World Snooker Championship: Mark J. Williams vs. Jackson Page & Stephen Maguire vs. Zhao Xintong
- When: Thursday, April 21, 2022
- Where: The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England
In what has already been a thrilling tournament, the 2022 World Snooker Championship pits the world’s best against each other at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. In what is the 46th consecutive year the World Snooker Championship has taken place at the Crucible Theatre, fans are well aware of its prestige. With 2021 champion Mark Selby still in the mix, it still remains to be seen who can win the world title. In this article, MTS will go over two highlighted matchups in the second round of the tournament and who will be victorious in each battle.
Below, MTS takes a deeper dive into each competitor, how they have been faring thus far and if they indeed will move on during the World Snooker Championship.
|Snooker World Championship Second Round||The Pick|
|Mark J. Williams vs. Jackson Page||Williams ML||-672||-672||-672|
|Zhao Xintong vs. Stephen Maguire||Zhao ML||-225||-225||-225|
First Matchup Spotlight: Mark J. Williams vs. Jackson Page
What to look for from: Mark Williams
A cagey competitor from Wales, Williams is a three-time World Champion, having last won in 2018. After a 10-3 dismantling of Michael White of Wales in the first round, “The Welsh Potting Machine” is off to another great start at the tournament. Described as perhaps one of the greatest long potters in the history of snooker, the Welsh athlete is also coming off a win in the 2021 British Open. This will be an interesting contest for the favorite Williams as he will be facing a player in Jackson Page that was not even born when Williams won his first World Championship in 2000.
What to look for from: Jackson Page
One of the youngest competitors in this year’s tournament, Page is the former European U-21 champion and one of the best young players in the world. Also recognized as the Under-18 World Snooker Champion as well, Page will be looking to slay the dragon when he matches up with Williams in the second round. Coming off a 10-7 victory over Barry Hawkins in the first round, Page has surprised the snooker world with his focus and discipline. This was a particularly impressive win given the fact that Hawkins was the runner-up in the Masters in 2022.
Prediction: A very interesting battle given the age disparity, look for Williams to pull away here, but not by much.
Second Matchup Spotlight: Stephen Maguire vs. Zhao Xintong
What to look for from: Stephen Maguire
A savvy veteran in the snooker world, Maverick is angling for his first appearance past the second round of the World Championship since 2019. After having some struggles in the late 2010’s Maguire rebounded with a win at the 2020 Tour Championship. During that same 2019-20 season, he was also able to win the Six-red World Championship. A former world No. 2 player, Maguire is a prolific break-builder and has compiled over 450 century breaks during his long career.
What to look for from: Zhao Xintong
The No. 7 ranked snooker player in the world, according to the latest World Snooker Tour rankings, Zhao is considered one of the best young stars in the game. He won his first ranking and Triple Crown title at the 2021 UK Championship, knocking off Luca Brecel 10-5 in the championship final. After that, he continued his hot streak by winning his second ranking title less than two months later when he shut out Yan Bingtao 9-0 in the final to win the 2022 German Masters. Nicknamed “The Cyclone” for his relentless assaults, Zhao is one to watch in 2022 and beyond.
Prediction: This will be another interesting battle of young vs. old, but look for youth to prevail here as Zhao continues his winning streak.
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