Three Welshman, two Scots, two Englishmen and an Australian will contest the quarter-finals of this year's Betfred.com World Championship.

With just eight men left standing, the fight for the title has intensified.

I think Ronnie O'Sullivan played the best snooker in the second round and is justifiably the title favourite with sponsors Betfred.

It seems by drawing Peter Ebdon in the first round O'Sullivan came to Sheffield with his mind highly focused on the job in hand.

However, anyone is beatable when the pressure is on. Mark Williams didn't put him under much pressure but Neil Robertson surely will.

Robertson is a terrific big match player with the skills to frustrate O'Sullivan. This could be a classic and I think the winner of the tournament will come from this quarter-final.

Ali Carter's recovery against Judd Trump must have been a very satisfying victory for a player who has struggled all season with health issues.

Carter has always been a feisty competitor and he dug deep to pull off what must rank as one of the best wins of his career.

Both players went out of their way to stress there hadn't been any needle out there. I must have been watching a different match. But snooker is the sort of game in which it is hard to keep emotions inside.

Never mind the Crucible, go into any snooker club and you'll see all manner of reactions and gesticulations, things said and untoward behaviour. It's easy to be well behaved watching on the TV.

Hats off to Jamie Jones for the way he reached the quarter-finals on his Crucible debut last night.

10-6 up to Andrew Higginson, the early part of the session saw him clearly tense and it was almost as if he needed it to go 10-10 to start playing well. And it did and he did.

His 135 for 12-10 got the confidence flowing and he killed it off well. What a ride the young man is on. And against Carter he will be the underdog - not a bad position to be in.

Matthew Stevens has form in these parts. He's through to his ninth Crucible quarter-final but first in five years.

At the PTCs he shares a room with Ryan Day. If either were sat at home they'd be supporting the other.

Playing a close friend is tough but there's a big prize at the end of all this: a place in the one-table set up.

Stephen Hendry used to be a certainty for this stage but he starts second favourite against Stephen Maguire, who is the favourite to reach the final from the top half.

Maguire spent long hours picking out balls for Hendry as a teenager in the club but learnt from the master.

As I said right at the start of the tournament, Maguire is due a good Crucible. He's having one.

Hendry has pulled up several trees already but will need to play his best to go further.

Can it happen? I wouldn't write the great man off, but at this stage of the championship players really need to produce the goods.


Anonymous said...

The world final is just about to start. I'm looking forward to this!

Anonymous said...

david you just put that pen away and stop helping joe j off mic to get his calls better.

hes absolutely shocking as a commentator.

nice guy, was a great player.

terrible commentator. cnt tell if anything goes and says sorry more times than "red".

before you go there, saying its not that easy. i know its not easy, but he makes it look impossible.

you and alan apart, es commentators are garbage

Big Tam said...

Sorry to see one of the great characters of the game, Steven Hendry getting completely stuffed.

Williams and Hendry were true characters but sadly look to be on the wane. Those still in the tournament have about as much charisma as a drunk jakey.

Anonymous said...

Hope Jamie Jones garottes Carter after his pathetic comments about Trump and his unprecedented hand-clapping of Trumps shot. For a bloke of 32 and an aircraft pilot he acted like a 13 year-old spoiled brat.


Hi David.

Stat Of The Day -

Today, is 1-5-2012. On 1-5-2011, snooker's number 1 commentator, 'Whispering', Ted Lowe, passed away. It is amazing, to think, that exactly one year, to the day, has passed since this happend. Today, is the first anniversary of this.

I am sure the he will be watching the snooker, fro above.

R.I.P. Ted Lowe.

My thoughts, regards, and best wishes, are with his family and friends, today.

Another great day's play, in my view.

Maguire .V. Hendry - First 2 sessinos. Sssion 1 - Maguire started well, to lead 2-0. Hendry missed an easy pink, 3-0. Maguire led 6-0. Hendry, made it 6-1. Maguire, with great stuff, led 7-1.

Session 2 - Maguire won 4 in a row. 11-1. He won 13-2, with a session to spare. Great stuff.

Stevens .V. Day - first 2 sessions - Session 1 - Both stated well. 2-all. Day led 5-2. Stevens reduced this, to 5-3.

Session 2 - With superb play, and Day errors, Stevens won 8 in a row, in this session, 9 in a row, in total, to lead, 11-5, over-night. a whitewash, in favour, of Stevens, in session 2.

Robertson .V. O'Sullivan - Session 1 - Entertaining. Century breaks, from each player, Misses. O'Sullivan should have made it 4-all. Robertson, with O'Sullivan help, won frame 8, on the black, to lead, 5-3, over-night.

Carter .v. Jones - Session 1- Carter led, 2-0 and 4-2. Carter laeds, 5-3, over-night.

I can not wait for tomorrow's play.

Anonymous said...

What is going on with Trump? I think Neil Robertson slightly over-reacted at the UK, but I could see why he was pissed off. Carter's comments that he is "simple minded" and about inflicting a "mental scar" seem to be slightly more than a bit of banter between rivals.