You rarely get a surprise as the cream generally always rises to the top.
But last night Ashley Carty was the surprising package of the televised group in the 2020 Championship League as he had two emphatic wins over World No 2 Neil Robertson and former 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty.
It was an unexpected victory for Carty, as the Thunder from Down Under, donning a new lockdown haircut, could not reach the form he had produced prior to lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic.
Carty told WST: “I am over the moon,”and will face Gary Wilson, Luca Brecel and Mark Joyce in the next round.
He added: “I got off to a really good start against Neil, quite surprisingly beat him. I know I am capable on my day but fortunately for me he struggled. I should have beaten Maflin really, I had a few good chances, and then against Ken, I was in shreds towards the end. I don’t know how I missed the green, but fortunately for me, it didn’t matter.”
It went down to the wire in the last match as Doherty, who displayed some form of yesteryear needed to win to go through. But Carty held his own in the last to secure his place in the next phase.
Carty added: “My 87, it was against Maflin, and I missed an easy pink. I knew that would come back to haunt me, but thankfully I did the job in the end. I came here for a bit of practice leading up to the World Championships and never really expected to win the group but I have proved I can hold my own against the top players.”