Neil Robertson v Mark Allen could be a cracker: a display of long potting and break-building from two of the most attacking players in the game.

Allen, though he's done well so far, is still waiting for his big breakthrough title win.

Robertson was once in this position but, since winning his first title in 2006, has not looked back.

The pace of tonight's match between Peter Ebdon and Marco Fu may be a little more sedate. They played a dramatic World Championship semi-final in 2006, which Ebdon finally won 17-16 having led 15-9.

Fu went a little negative after playing well to build a 5-1 lead over Stephen Maguire in the previous round and had to survive a tension filled last frame to win 6-4.

Ebbo is, of course, granite, as he proved in crawling past Ali Carter and don't be surprised if he prevails in another midnight finish.


Betty Logan said...

This afternoon's match had the potential to be a tie between the world champion and the game's biggest draw; both Ronnie's and Robbo's previous matches were played during the afternoon as well. Why are the big names put on in the afternoon when most people are out at work? What sane mind gives the evening spot to Ebdon/Fu over Ronnie/Robbo?

All I can think of is that the BBC wants the big names for their main afternoon coverage, but it doesn't do the game any favours putting the main attractions on in the afternoon.

Dave H said...

The BBC put the best matches on in the afternoon because that's when they have their main live programme

Anonymous said...

well done the bbc-good thinking

Betty Logan said...

Rob Walker called today's match a "classic", but who is he trying to kid? Very workman-like performances from both players today with a bit of class from Allen towards the end, but ultimately the match was mediocrity personified. And is Allen really the favourite ahead of Ding—a multiple title winner—and the only player who has played like a potential champion so far?? The Masters is my favourite event usually because of the guaranteed quality, but this has been one of the worst tournaments I have ever seen in terms of the dearth of quality. Ding has this title in the bag I reckon, and the only man left in who has the game to derail him is Ebdon...

Anonymous said...

It's been a poor Masters, hasn't it, at least in terms of quality of play. There have been few frames won in a single visit. Scrappier matches can often make for a more exciting atmosphere but that seems to have been lacking too.

I think Ding is now favourite and all credit to him.

Anonymous said...

What happened to our favourite entertainer ?......Brannon.

Or is he too busy removing all the Ronnie posters from his bedroom wall ?

Could take a while then.

Betty Logan said...

It's a shame Jimmy didn't get a wildcard, I honestly believe he would have stood a chance this year.

Anonymous said...

The Masters has firmly displayed how closely matched most of the Top 16 are now.

The PTC series and increased tournaments has accelerated this process.

Whoever wins the event can consider it a breakthorugh moment in their careers.

Not fussed who wins.

Anonymous said...

Shame it's been such a poor tournament this year, thought with all the PTC's the match quality would have been a lot better but I guess this year will have to go down as a freak .


Betty Logan said...

Personally I think it was held too soon after Christmas and they should have put it back a week. John Higgins once said he needed a couple of weeks solid practise to be "match-fit" but some only got a few days following the New Year bank holiday. It's such an important tournament maybe they should go back to easing into the second half of the season with the Welsh Open like they used to.

If anything this just goes to show what a difference world class players make to an event. They grow stronger through a tournament upping their game, whereas those players just outside of that top tier (who are incidentally capable of beating just about anyone) start to find themselves out of their depth, and struggling with the occasion. As for all those people who say the top 8 shouldn't be automatically seeded—or worse they should have used the PTC order of merit to determine the Masters line-up—this event has shown just how much you need top 8 players at the business end.

A Ding versus Allen final could turn out to be pretty good though, so hopefully we'll still get a good finish.

southerner said...

So why aren't those top 8 players at the business end, then?

They had their chance.

jamie brannon said...

I think the BBC are right to show the best matches in their entirety, durring the afternoon broadcast.

Strangely, Robertson and Allen turned out to be a slow match. Didn't surprise me with Robertson, who likes to take his time over his breakbuilding, but unusual for Allen to be going slow by his regular speed average.

Can't believe Robertson, then called Allen the favourite for the title, when you have a two-time UK champion, like Ding left.

The Chinese number one is an even better player than Robertson, let alone Allen, who will be turned over by Fu today, I believe.

It has been a below-par week, no matter how it is dressed up, but I think a Ding v Fu final would be a cracker.

Correct me if I am wrong Dave, but I think it would be the first major final between two Asian players, which would be a fillip for the sports global reputation that needs enhancing.

Anonymous said...

good call on fu beating allen jamie
(i am one of the ones on here who regularly has "a go" at you)

ding is not better than robertson though. thats obvious to anyone with half a brain to engage.