Another engrossing day at the Betfair Masters saw Judd Trump and Shaun Murphy join the quarter-final line-up with the first round to be completed today.

We saw some exemplary sportsmanship from Ricky Walden last night. After getting the snooker he needed in the tenth frame against Murphy he could force a re-spot but, on the blue, committed a foul on the black unseen by anyone else and owned up.

Murphy, who had led 4-1, potted the blue to ensure his 6-4 victory and a meeting with John Higgins in the last eight.

I was amused by the way Twitter seemed to think Murphy should be carried shoulder high around London for telling a security guard that the ‘press could wait’ while he signed autographs in the arena.

In fact, much of the press had already left having filed the story of the day – Trump’s victory over Barry Hawkins – hours earlier.

Good on Shaun for wanting to sign as many as possible but the arena is the wrong forum for autographs because it is unwieldy with lots of people clamouring without any control.

If players want to sign autographs World Snooker can set up a stand in the foyer where, in proper British tradition, people can queue up, 15 minutes or so after play, which would give the players time to fulfil their media commitments. This has happened at many venues down the years.

Trump wore a pair of fancy shoes which, inevitably, were unsuitable for playing snooker in and which he had to change after two frames.

He was in trouble trailing Hawkins 5-3 but, as Neil Robertson had against Ding Junhui on the opening day, toughed through. Indeed, like Robertson, Trump made a winning break from the Hawkins break-off in the decider.

This was a very classy finish and I think an important win for Trump’s overall confidence.

And so to today...

This match seems like a step back in time bearing in mind these Welshman played in the world final 13 years ago.

Neither has set the world alight of late and Stevens has in fact won only one match in the Masters since he won the title in 2000.

Williams, a twice champion, is looking for his first major title since capturing the 2011 German Masters.

I think this will be close and, if it is, I fancy MJW to prevail.

PREDICTION: Williams 6-5

Selby comes into the Masters, which he has won twice, as the man in form having won the UK Championship and the recent European Tour event in Germany.

Bingham was ill over the Christmas period, which affected his ability to practice. He was relegated from the second group of the Championship League last week.

However, Selby’s last two outings in the Masters have not been successful, losing first round to Mark King two years ago and in the quarter-finals to Murphy last season.

He will want to put that right tonight and has the confidence right now to do so.



Anonymous said...

Well done Murphy for your "press can wait" comment. Made me laugh over my beer. It might have been different if Hazel was waiting to interview him live, but BBC was interactive and not live - so Rtey can wait like the press.

And Dave I agree with you 100% - players should definitely sign autographs in the foyer after the game. I've seen Steve Davis & Dennis Taylor doing this in the past until the very last person has gone. It costs nothing but earns enormous good will.

Better than making a persistent few wait in the street outside the Crucible etc.


Ray said...

I read today that Judd wants more money! Behave yourself man. He's having a laugh when there are people in this country using foodbanks and having to choose between heating or eating.
He should get down on his knees and be grateful that Barry Hearn took on the running of snooker (and hope that he stays in charge)
He should engage his brain before opening his mouth. I despair of this craven greed because that's all it is. Still seems like there are only 2 measures of money, not enough or none at all.

Anonymous said...

Critical point in the match last night. Walden misses a key read and allows Murphy in.
What has he left ?
Has he left an easy opener ?
Could this be it ?
Well, we have to wait. We focus in on Walden's forlorn face having missed. We watch the replay of the miss. Once again, we witness (at close range) Walden's anguished expression.
We watch him take his seat.

Anonymous said...

......all the while the commentators discuss the position of the balls.
We don't know Stephen, we can't see the table.

Maybe we can concentrate on what's going on ON the table ?

Anonymous said...

Europsort coverage of the snooker is ruined by the commentators being being a few seconds behind the action.I now watch it with the sound on mute,which is a vast improvement.

Anonymous said...

What is noticeable, especially with players like Trump who like to play quickly and with flair, the cameramen are lost trying to second guess which pocket is next. The
resultant footage is a total mess. Rectified somewhat afterwards with a replay of the full table shot but why not just show the full table view in the first place.
Sooner there's a red button option for this the better.

Anonymous said...

So many balls hitting the outside of the jaws and still wriggle in to the pocket. Pockets really are very generous. No way most would go in on many club tables.
Along the cushions seem fair though and still demand total accuracy.


Hi David. Happy 65th birthday, for today, to Cliff Thorburn. He was born on 16-1-198. Today, is 16-1-2013.


Hi David. What a first match today. Williams .V. Stevens. Nither player in good form. Balls missed, all over the place, aS stevens goes. 1-0, 2-0, then, 3-0 up. A crucial Stevens missed brown in frame 4. 3-1 to Stevens, at the mid-session interval. A good 67 by Stevens in frame 5, puts him -1 up. A stevens, missed brown in fame 6. 4-2 to Stevens. Williams, Somehow, wins forur straight frame, the last two, with a bit of good form, to win, 6-4.

He will be pleased to win, and go through to the Quarter-Final, considering how below-parr, his performance was today. The two missed brown's by Stevens though, gained mimentum for Williams, and helped his recovery no-end, in my view.

A mark of a champion, is to win, when not at your'e best. Williams proved that, toady, again.

I cant wait for tonight's match, between Mark Selby and Stuart Bingham. In should be a great one.

Anonymous said...

Bring back Clive Everton to the commentery box!!!!

Anonymous said...

Good on Murphy for"telling the press to wait" Couldnt see trump doing that and i think he will alienate lots of snooker fans with his attitude.


Hi David. What a great match this evening. Selby .V. Bingham. Selby starts off well. A 63 break, is the catalyst to him taking the frame, and a 1-0 lead.

Frame 2 - Selby should have won it, for a 2-0 lead. Instead, Bingham did so. 1-all.

Frame 3 - Bingham makes 55, misses, but gets another chance and wins the frame off it. 2-1 to Bingham.

Frame 4 - Selby has a chance, Can not make it count. Bingham makes 78, to take it, and lead, 3-1, at the mid-session interval.

Frame 5- Bingham, Looking strong, takes it, to lead 4-1.

Frame 6 could have gone either way. A frame of just over 43 minutes, goes to Bingham. He leads 5-1. Four up with five to play.

Frame 7 - Selby has a go, and wins the frame. 5-2 to Bingham.

Frame 8 - Selby is first in. After a while, he wins it. 5-3 to Bingham.

Frame 9 - Bingham in first, misses on 32. Selby clears with 86, to win the frame. 5-4 to Bingham.

Frame 10 - Selby, with grit, wins this, after Bingham is first in and fails to capitalise. Amazing. 5-all.

Frame 11 - Selby is first in. He makes 24. Then, after Bingham gets a great long red. A safety exchange develops. Someone in thhe audience, not to well, destracts Selby. He pots a great long red, to win the safety excange. Selby makes 22. He misses a pink. From there, Binghams misses a red, leaves it on. Selby makes29, to win the frame and match. Lovely when he knew he had won, to see him look to his Wife,Vicky, as if to say, :I did it for you." Selby completes a superb comeback, to win this match, 6-5, and set up a mouth-watering Quater-Final, between Mark Selby and Mark Williams. Selby is not the world number 1, for nothing, Boy, He proved it tonight. What a match tonight.


Memories of Jimmy White, 10 years ago, coming from 5-1 down, in The Masters, to beat Peter Ebdon, Then the reigning World Champion, 6-5.

The Blog said...

Mark Selby vs Stuart Binghan.

I'm almost speechless. What happened, Stuart?

You had the match in your hands and you threw it away. What a sad way to a lose a match.

Anonymous said...

Yes, so sad to lose to the World Number One outplaying you