We wondered how Judd Trump would cope with having a bad session at the Betfred.com World Championship and he coped extremely well as a much better performance last night left his semi-final against Ding Junhui poised at 12-12.

These long matches are effectively a series of matches, played over four sessions. Trump got over his disappointing display in the morning by producing some stunning shot-making in the evening.

This has been an absorbing, at times enthralling contest between two young stars of the game. For once, it's almost as if the semi-finals aren't long enough. I could watch plenty more of this one.

John Higgins, as usual, dug deep into his deep reservoir of reserves to stay with Mark Williams, who at 9-5 yesterday looked set to take complete control of their semi-final.

Williams produced some excellent snooker and could have led 10-5 but Higgins made a trademark pressure clearance and then won the last to trail only 9-7.

Both semi-finals look set to be close today, which is good for the tournament but not neccessarily for the players, who still have a two-day final to come.

But that's the test provided by the World Championship: it's a battle to be the last man standing.

And today looks set to be the most dramatic of the Crucible marathon so far.


Alex said...

seconded. what an awesome WC, diesel vs turbo in two matches

Anonymous said...

and here there were many blinded people who think the game is dead without Ronnie.

Long live the crucible
Long live the worlds there
Long live daves blog

kildare cueman said...

Great tournament this year. Two virgin semi finalists and two veterans. I think the experience of Williams and Higgins in long matches should counteract any "freshness" issues regarding playing the second semi.

Its so hard to call the finalists. Trump and Ding, I feel, will be decided by who holds their nerve best. They are both capable of meltdown under pressure, but are also capable of raising their game if things go their way. Think it might come down to run of the balls and that first long red going in or not.

The other semi is also impossible to call. The victor will be a very short favourite in the final, but that in itself may make it more difficult. Remember Thorburn/Davis in the 86 semi final. The unofficial final it was being dubbed, until Davis, having come through an arduous battle, got trounced by Joe Johnson in the final.

Whoever emerges from the Ding/Trump tussle will have all expectation and a lot of pressure removed. Their main goal will be to perform, win as many frames as they can and put on a good show. They wont have to think about winning or losing until Monday night. How much of a difference will this make?

Anonymous said...

Brilliant to see players like Judd Trump doing well,he`s a great player to watch,and loads of his shots have been sensational,in fact,if they still did shot of the championship,I reckon he would fill all 10 slots! Great to see,and very refreshing.Good luck to him.

Anonymous said...

Why did they do away with shot of the championship? Like goal of the month, it was fun and was appealing to the casual fan. Bring it back. Im sure it is better than watching ex players mucking about with spectators on the table in the foyer.

Anonymous said...

The so called safety shot Williams played in 24th frame was utter lunacy. I've seen plenty of silly shots over many years but this one really does take the biscuit. I'm well aware his head has been in a jam jar for the last few frames and it looked like his confidence had plummeted. Sorry to say there is still no excuse to not play the simple shot that was required. Especially after what happened in the UK. Hope this does not cost him dearly as I would love to see him in the final.

Anonymous said...

Judd's victory was simply sensational. What a story!!

Betty Logan said...

This is going to be a great final: the best player in the world against the most exciting on current form.

Anonymous said...

and to think that guy @snookerlegends tweeted the other day that the tournament was worse off for losing ronnie.

everyones entitled to an opinion, but this tournament has been excellent and ronnie has played a part in it, but far from a major one.

good luck both finalists


Hi David. Another great day, snooker.

Ding .v. Trump - 4th and final session. Resuming at 12-12, This was a session in which both players held advantages at different times. Trump went 14-12 up with great pots and breaks. Ding was to respond, taking 3 in a row. The second of the three, with a superb and high quality clearance, to level at 14 all, then going 15-14 up with athe help of a century break. The Juddernaught, then played great, to win the next three, to win 17-15, become the second youngest player, after Steohen Hendry, to make it to the final, and the third qualifier in history, to do so. Well played, both players.

Higgins .v. Williams - Session 3. 9-7 to williams, on the resuption. Average standard, at top level, as the first four frames were shared, 11-9 to Williams. With, Again, grit and tanasaty, and good play is parts, Higgins somehow won the last four frames of that session, to go from 9-5 down, to 13-11 ahead, going into the final session.

4th and final session. Williams neded a good start. A superb 147 maximum break attept from him ended on 105, 13-12. Agreat standard thoughout this session. Higgins was more consistant nar the end, although He did miss a chance to go 16-13 up. Higgins won in he end 17-14. A touching moment at the end, when ,He pointed o the sku, im memory of his Father. I am sure John Senior, will be proud, and in his own way, willing His Son on.

Third time lucky for Higgins, as Williams won the two previous Semis between them at Sheffield. On that point, David, I would like to reflect on a series You wrote, called "CRUCIBLE STORIES: HEADACHES AND HANDSHAKES," which, in part, rcalled those other semi-finals, from 1999 and 2000. You said You would not mind more of that kind of drama this year, We had some. I loved it.

Well done to all players in today's sessions.

I can not wait for tomorrow's final.

Anonymous said...

Excellent finish from Higgins again, against Williams this time.
He did very well to salvage only 9-7 behind, when williams was 9-5 up, and looked as if 11-5 was on the cards.
Williams was all over the place in the secons mini-session in this mornings session, and Higgins exploited this to win session 6-2.

Very exciting this evening, and why was Williams constantly looking up into the crowd where the heckler moron was when Higgins was at table.?
Williams was still looking up there and smirking even after the interval........?

I think Higgins MUST be one of the best All-Round players ever, he just didnt give up and kept trying.

In most of all the epic,, dramatic matches of the past few years, it seems John Higgins is a the centre of most of them, and he is winning a high percentage of them as well.

Very interesting to see how this final is going to go..........

Anonymous said...

I feel Judd trump is going to win this. And it's going to be the biggest most significant victory since the 1990 world final. Snooker people should not underestimate the scale of this final. I have never been this excited about a world final that Ronnie wasnt in (I love Jimmy but I was a little too young when he was in all those 90s finals!)

Come on Judd!

Anonymous said...

No mention of Higgins being heckled?