It’s a cracking line up for the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters and a terrific atmosphere is guaranteed for the encounter between Ronnie O’Sulivan and Ding Junhui.

In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s the biggest match ever staged in China: the world no.1 versus China’s top dog.

O’Sullivan is a controversial figure in the UK and Europe. Many love him and may loathe him.

In China, they almost universally love him for the excitement he generates and entertainment he provides.

I tend to side with the Chinese on this. Although Ronnie sometimes does things that are not to be defended I find it impossible to dislike him.

The roof may come off the Grand Stage later today whoever wins their contest. Let’s hope the snooker matches the hype.

For the first time, there are two Chinese born players in the quarter-finals of a ranking event. Liang Wenbo faces Ricky Walden, who is aiming to become the first player to successfully defend a world ranking title since O’Sullivan won the 2005 Welsh Open.

That’s a tough match to call but the same applies to all of the quarter-finals.

Shaun Murphy will start favourite against Ken Doherty but the Irishman has enjoyed a resurgence so far this season and, oozing class as he does, is well capable of going even further.

John Higgins has beaten Ryan Day six times out of eight but will need to be close to the top of his game to contain the talented Welshman again.

It all adds up to a fascinating day of snooker as the new season cranks into life.

Picking a winner is nigh on impossible.


Anonymous said...

There are unusually high number of matches ended in 5:0 or 5:1. Does the atmosphere in China favour certain type of players?

jamie brannon said...

A s you know I love Ronnie, but there are a few that don't but what has he ever done that is so bad. He has made mistakes, but he is only human,if we all looked ourselves in the mirror especially us men then we would all have done bad things at one point or another. On Twitter you said Ding was looking good, but Ronnie is 4-1 up.

Anonymous said...

I've really enjoyed the tournament so far, even though the matches are a little too short for my liking. The online Eurosport coverage is excellent. I've paid just £3.99 and I get to watch full live coverage of both tables (simply switch between the two) without any interference from commentators (no offence Dave!). Superb!

Dave H said...

Ding was looking good when I wrote that

jamie brannon said...

Oh, well it seemed like a classic judging by Global Snooker Twitter feed. If you get a freeview box how much do you have to pay extra for EuroSport?

Anonymous said...

It's about time they moved more events to China. Packed houses and lots of buzz. The World Championships should be shipped out there rather than keeping it at some poky provincial theatre.

Anonymous said...

anyone know whats happened to World Series website. I tried to register today and it wouldnt happen?

Looking for WSS news?

Anonymous said...

hi there

me too, cannot register and i see that Sporting Bets have disappeared this reminds me of when the players association link disappeared along with the russian sponsor and Kremlin event. Lets hope its a webdsite refurb an not another lost sponsor?

Any news would be cool

Anonymous said...

Anybody thinking that the events in China are played to packed houses have been badly misled. With the exception of O'Sullivan and Ding where they do turn out in force, the audience watching the other matches is at best sparce, and in an arena that holds 2500 people, the cameras do very well in narrowing down on the few actually there.

There do need to be more tournaments, but Europe has to be given a crack before more tournaments are played in mobile infested venues of China.

Anonymous said...

Spot on anon 11:09pm Europe does need to be given a chance, Germany would be a good shout for one.