Nine members of the top 16 (including Jamie Cope, who was seeded 16th) have made it through to the last 16 of the Roewe Shanghai Masters.

Matthew Stevens was dealt two devastating blows by Shaun Murphy, first when he lost 18-16 to him in the 2005 world final and second when Murphy came from 12-7 down to beat the Welshman 13-12 in their 2007 Crucible quarter-final and thus relegate him from the elite top 16.

Stevens did get one over on Murphy at last season's Welsh Open.

Mark Williams and Graeme Dott are two former world champions who rediscovered their best form at the World Championship last season.

Dott played some of the best snooker of the tournament but seemed done in by his exhausting 17-14 semi-final defeat by Mark Selby.

Williams was my tip before the Shanghai event began, which makes it all the more surprising he beat Ricky Walden in the first round.

I've seen Mark start slowly before, scrap out a couple of wins and then suddenly hit top gear to secure the silverware. Dott, though, represents a seriously tough challenge.

Local hero Ding Junhui only just came through the first round, 5-4 against Jin Long.

Ding still looks a little rusty to me having not competed in any of the PTCs during the summer. Rustiness against Jamie Cope could cost him dear.

Selby faces Martin Gould, whose defeat of Stephen Hendry sent the seven times world champion down to 12th in the latest rankings with the danger he may fall further depending on how the rest o0f the week pans out.

Ali Carter and Stephen Maguire will be favourite to get past Stuart Bingham and Mark Davis respectively but I suspect neither match will be cut and dried.

Jamie Burnett and Andrew Higginson each have reason to be grateful Ronnie O'Sullivan didn't travel to China with the big prize of a quarter-final place up for grabs.

I don't expect Peter Ebdon v Mark King to be quick.

So here's my prediction for the quarter-finals...

Higginson v Maguire
Williams v Ding
Carter v Stevens
Selby v Ebdon

What could possibly go wrong?


shaun said...

alas snooker on the table rather than the politics off it.today i will give my kiss of death to 2 players.firstly bingham to win on the basis he played outstanding against allen in last round and higginson has he seems to be hitting a bit of form and i also fancy williams for the tournement

kimball said...

A lot apparently :-)

Dave H said...

1 out of 4 so far!

shaun said...

my tipping was worse than daves today so i will keep stum on this afternoons games lol

Anonymous said...

Oh Dave, I love how you keep making picks. People know from experience not to take your advice to the bookies!

Thanks anyway sir.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

I hope you don't start plugging BetFair with all your tips again ;)

Thanks, Joe

Anonymous said...

"If I hear one more person claim it was a 'cover up' I'll scream. It was an independent tribunal chaired by an independent QC."

Indeed. But that independant tribunal and indendent QC were not allowed to the match fixing charges were they? So maybe that is where the 'cover up' angle is?

Anonymous said...

Will someone tell Joe Johnson that O'Sullivan is almost as good with his left hand as his right, and has been for some years now. Matthew Stevens is quite proficient too.
The vast majority of the snooker audience know this, so there is no need for Joe or any other commentator to keep mentioning it every time they switch.

Anonymous said...

339 i dont think RON is anywhere near as good with his left hand as he is with his right AT SNOOKER.

i think he is very good with both, but to say "almost as good" suggests theres not much difference and IMHO id say there is.

Anonymous said...

Well! Stevens managed this time-5:2!

Anonymous said...

ronnie never plays hard shots with his left hand. only straight forward stuns and stuff.

Dave H said...

3 out of 5!

I blame the Russian mafia

Anonymous said...

Did the russian mafia really make you pick the two losers Dave, or was it undercover reporters from NOTW masquerading as erm.... journalists.

Anonymous said...

The question has to be asked as to why the News Of The World attempted to entrap John Higgins?
With the Pakistan cricketers there had been suspicioun surrounding them before.

João said...

In Soviet Russia you don't throw away frames, the frames throw you away!

Sheriff said...

Good point Anonymous 6.01PM, I thought at the time they were working on a tip off.

Does anyone know what was happening at the end of the Robertson/Ebdon match? I saw Neil get up and shae the ref's hand but refused to shake Ebdons hand. Ebdon said some words to Robertson which I could not hear.

Anonymous said...

It seems that Jaroslav has ventured onto bigger and better things.
Who will be next I wonder?

Matt said...

My picks were shocking too so I can sympathise!