Well the best of 17s certainly came into their own last night as Shaun Murphy produced a quite remarkable comeback to beat Ali Carter 9-8 from 8-4 down.
This was as good as anything Stephen Hendry could have produced in his heyday: positive, attacking snooker with long pots flying in, big breaks being made and plenty of guts being displayed.
Murphy was simply sensational. His attack-first approach had always been his great strength – it’s how he played in 2005 to become world champion – and he clearly always believed he could still win the match.
It’s a very bitter pill for Carter to swallow. He had played well to lead 8-4 but turned a couple of pots down. Of course, he may never have potted them. He tried to keep things tight but Murphy played like a man possessed and forced openings from unlikely positions.
This was world class snooker and Murphy can enjoy his day off watching Mark Selby against Mark Davis.
Today’s UK Championship semi-final is the biggest match of Davis’s 21-year professional career. He has been a late bloomer. Up until this season he hadn’t been in a ranking tournament semi-final. He is now in his third.
Davis himself has commented on the fact that he isn’t as used to the one table set up as the other semi-finalists in York but he is playing well and needs to remain positive.
Selby is tough as old boots, as he proved with his comeback win over Neil Robertson, and is capable of mixing attack and defence with the best of them.
His only other UK semi-final came five years ago when Ronnie O’Sullivan made a maximum in their deciding frame. Selby has made slow starts in his last two matches, falling 3-0 and 4-0 behind, but this is a longer match.
He starts as favourite but Davis is full of confidence and another close finish appears likely.