What an intriguing quarter-final line up we have at the Shanghai Masters.

Steve Davis becomes the first fifty-something to appear at this stage of a ranking event since Doug Mountjoy at the 1994 British Open.

If he wins today he'll be the first player of such an age to get through to a ranking semi-final since Rex Williams at the 1986 Grand Prix.

The last time Davis played Ricky Walden it proved a painful experience. Steve banged his head on a thick steel door at the 2005 China Open in Beijing, became dizzy during their match and had to withdraw during the third frame.

Later that day I banged my head on the same door and I can confirm that it was not pleasant.

A year later Davis was due to play Walden to qualify for the final stages of the same tournament but didn’t realise and so Walden had another walkover.

Does Ricky have the hex over him? We’ll find out shortly.

He’s a player with a great talent and it’s good to see him finally doing something in a ranking tournament.

Mark Selby and Marco Fu played a frame of 77 minutes at last season’s UK Championship – the longest ever on TV until Shaun Murphy and Dave Harold beat it by 16 minutes at the China Open.

Fu would be a popular winner for local fans but Selby has arguably played the best snooker of the tournament so far and will take some beating.

Stephen Maguire is looking to become the first person to win two ranking titles in China in the same year following his Beijing success last March.

But he has his work cut out to contain Ryan Day, last year’s runner-up, who has really found his feet in the last 18 months.

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Williams have between them won five of the nine world titles contested in the current decade.

Ronnie made his latest 147 against the Welsh left-hander at the Crucible last season but was in a funny mood during his match with Joe Perry and could be vulnerable.

Williams is a good traveller. He won the 2002 China Open in Shanghai and the 2006 edition in Beijing.

He has also won three ranking titles in Thailand and is due another victory.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Would love to see Marco win. His career has never fully reflected his talent, nor indeed his work ethic.