Jordan Brown shocks himself with Welsh Open final run and Stephen Maguire rout: ‘My God!’

Jordan Brown has stunned onlookers, and himself, by reaching the Welsh Open final (Picture: WST)

Jordan Brown admits that his run to the Welsh Open final has come as a shock, as did his superb 135 break in the opening frame of his superb semi-final win over Stephen Maguire on Saturday.

The Northern Irishman was appearing in his first ranking semi-final but you would never have known it after his stunning 6-1 win over the former Welsh Open champion.

There were no signs of nerves at all as Brown knocked in a monstrous break of 135 in the frame, setting the tone for the rest of the match to come as he surged to victory.

The Antrim Ferrari came through a gruelling 5-4 battle over Mark Selby on Friday, which went down to the final black, do the demolition of Maguire could scarcely have been any different.

He wanted to get off to a good start against the Scot, who had been in fine form this week, but even he was stunned by how good he began the match.

‘Contrast to yesterday, 5-4 on the black, it doesn’t get closer than that, it was a rollercoaster,’ said Brown. ‘But today, Stevie is a bit of a bully player I knew that I had to get off to a good start and stamp my authority on the match and show him I was there to play.

‘135 first frame, my God! You can’t get off to a better start and that, it settled me right down.

‘I was a bit nervous at the start but I’m pleased that I carried it through and I never took my foot off the pedal. I didn’t give Stevie much of a chance today.’

Brown only made his first ever ranking quarter-final last month at the German Masters and has now added a semi and final to his collection.

The 33-year-old turned pro for a second time in 2018 and had a quiet first two years on tour, but has found a new level this season.

He has been making encouraging progress, but even he admits that a Welsh Open final wasn’t pencilled into the calendar just yet.

‘I must admit it’s come sooner than I expected,’ said Jordan. ‘I set myself realistic goals at the start of the season. A quarterfinal, then a semi-finals, I didn’t believe I’d get to a final so soon, it’s come as a bit of a shock.

‘But at the same time I’m not surprised because I have the inner belief in my talent and to do things in the game.

‘I’m in the top 64 now, that was my goal after two seasons and I’ve already achieved that within one. I really don’t know how it’s all come together, but I’m glad it is.’

Jordan Brown

Brown turned in the performance of his career against Maguire (Picture: WST)

Brown’s two seasons as a pro from 2018 were so lean that he very nearly fell off tour in 2020, until a fine run through World Championship qualification saved him last summer.

He beat the likes of Hossein Vafaei and Ryan Day to make it to the Crucible and stay on tour and has managed to vastly improve his results from there on in.

‘I got used to the tour and I’ve become a better player,’ said Jordan. ‘I’ve always known my way around the table but that can only mean so much.

‘I was playing so well in practice and then felt like I couldn’t pot a ball in tournaments. I knew something needed to change so I’ve been working so hard, I got my coach Marty at home, I’ve got to thank him, he’s helped me so much.’

Wins over Selby and Maguire count as the two finest victories of Brown’s career, with his only previous wins over top 16 players coming against Stuart Bingham and Dave Gilbert, both far from ranking quarter and semi-finals.

‘I beat Stuart Bingham and I beat David Gilbert twice in one week,’ said Brown. ‘No disrespect to Stuart or Dave but they’re in a different league all together, especially Mark Selby. He’s the ultimate test, makes it hard for everybody.

‘The experience against Stuart and Dave stood me in good stead progressing last season and this season because I had the belief I could compete with and beat the top players. I’m glad it’s all coming together.’

The Antrim Ferrari has found top gear (Picture: WST)

Brown heads into his first ranking final against either Ronnie O’Sullivan or Mark Williams full of confidence after downing two of the games finest players.

A magnanimous Maguire also gave him his best wishes after being heavily beaten at Celtic Manor.

‘We get on really well off the table,’ Brown said of his friendship with Maguire. ‘He said to me when we were walking out at the interval, “Where did you find this form from?”

‘That’s Stevie for you, he told me at the end, “good luck and get stuck in.”’

Brown undoubtedly will get stuck in and is aiming big, saying he would rather take on O’Sullivan than Williams in Sunday’s main event.

‘If I play Ronnie it’s a fantastic, showpiece occasion for all my family and friends back home,’ said Jordan. ‘It’s just a pity they can’t be here, but I’m in the final that’s all that matters.’


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