Jack Lisowski’s recovery from 4-2 down to beat Mark Davis 5-4 yesterday has sent him through to his first major quarter-final and sets up an exciting contest today against Shaun Murphy.
Lisowski, a lightning fast potter, passed a test here. This was not a showpiece match on a TV table but a battle round the back against an experienced pro.
In Murphy, he is playing someone who proved eight years ago that a young, still raw, talent can go all the way to winning a big title – in Murphy’s case the biggest of them all.
Snooker, like any sport, must renew itself with new faces and Lisowski, like his pal Judd Trump before him, fits the part perfectly. He has already shown enough this week to suggest he can be a real threat to the elite in future seasons.
I keep reading that Mark Selby will be world no.1 going to the Crucible. He won’t be if he loses today and Neil Robertson wins the title, two entirely possible scenarios.
Selby faces a resurgent Mark Williams, who played arguably his best snooker of the season in recovering from 4-2 down to beat Ali Carter 5-4 yesterday.
As players get older, consistency goes but great players - and Williams firmly belongs in that category - should never be written off.
It’s true that Mark has written himself off a few times in interviews but don’t think he believes he can’t still compete. He has always been a laidback bloke with highly competitive instincts.
The last time he played Selby in China it ended in controversy over the red/pink incident in the 2011 Shanghai Masters final in which Williams, for once, lost his head completely.
Selby wasn’t as impressive against Ricky Walden as he had been against Mark King but battled through as he so often does when his form isn’t particularly eye-catching.
Neil Robertson attacked relentlessly against Mark Allen and played superbly, although two key flukes aided him on the way to winning 5-1.
Marcus Campbell made a good clearance to edge the predictably closely fought all Scottish tie with Graeme Dott.
Robertson has never lost to Campbell but needs to play his natural game and not be sucked into a cagey, drawn out battle, which will more likely favour the Dumbarton man, otherwise he could find it turning into a long Good Friday.