This Betfred.com World Championship is beginning to take a rather unpredictable turn with a few shock results livening it up.
The great thing about sport is that, for all the predictions, talk of the form book and endless chatter which surrounds the actual action, until play happens nobody really knows what the results will be.
It’s clear the eight or nine players widely tipped to be in contention for the title are not all having it their own way.
John Higgins stuttered through while Mark Allen and Shaun Murphy have exited. Stephen Lee trails Andrew Higginson 5-4 overnight.
Cao Yupeng’s defeat of Allen was a big surprise. Jamie Jones’s victory over Murphy was perhaps less of one given his form coming into the tournament.
Jones had a great chance to win 10-7 but couldn’t take it. He missed match ball red for 10-8 before later knocking it in.
He couldn’t help himself and punched the air in delight. This may have looked unsporting but it was an instinctive and entirely understandable release of emotion.
Good for Jamie. He is known as a hard worker and this is the best result of his professional career.
The Ronnie O’Sullivan-Peter Ebdon encounter, which many felt was the tie of the round, at the moment looks like ending in a comfortable victory for O’Sullivan.
As I wrote before the tournament, O’Sullivan could be better mentally prepared this time, as opposed to 2005, because he knew what was coming.
The first frame seemed important. O’Sullivan won it on a re-spotted black. Had he lost it then it may have been a different story, but he looked solid and would be expected to come through from 7-2 up.
This morning Judd Trump enters the fray a year on from his Crucible heroics.
Again, most people are tipping him for success against Dominic Dale but he still has to produce the goods.
The soap opera that is the World Championship is not going to script so far. Even some of the biggest characters are in danger of being written out long before the final act.