Home players have had little to cheer at the Welsh Open over the years but they are guaranteed one quarter-finalist this year and Mark Williams is favourite to also reach the last eight.

Matthew Stevens and Ryan Day each impressed yesterday. Stevens blew away Shaun Murphy 4-0, making his 200th career century in the process. Day kicked off with two centuries and went on to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2.

It was clear O’Sullivan was very rusty. He did make a century but there were shots he played that were indicators of someone not in the groove.

Not that Day cared and neither should he. He took the game to O’Sullivan and got his reward.

German Masters champion Williams coasted past Marco Fu 4-0 in the first round while his opponent today, Jamie Cope, struggled to put away Rory McLeod.

For Cope to rise further up the ranks he has to start beating the top players in big occasions such as this. Williams seems to be playing as well as he ever was, though, and that makes him very difficult to stop.

Stephen Maguire was mentored by Stephen Hendry as a teenager. This consisted largely of fishing out the balls for the seven times world champion but he will have learned a great deal and will be looking to apply all that when he faces Hendry today.

Hendry has played better in the last two events than he has all season. It may be subconscious, but perhaps the pressure of the world rankings has focused his mind. He always was reliable with his back to the wall.

It seems an age since Ding Junhui won his first match (it was Monday morning) but he finally gets another game today against Mark Allen, who beat him in the last 16 of the UK Championship earlier this season.

The last 16 featured 13 of the top 16. Already two members of the top eight have made the quarter-finals.

John Higgins looked determined and composed in beating Dave Harold 4-1; Mark Selby was still a little negative but put away Mark King 4-2.

Such is the quality of the field remaining that a case could be made for anyone of them to win the thing.


kildare cueman said...

I thought O'Sullivan played well last night. He had a great century, and almost knocked in the type of miracle clearance that only he can do, in the last, before missing the pink.

Day played well, and seems to be back to his best, and has as good a chance as anyone left, if he can keep his head.

It'll be interesting to see if O'Sullivan will play in China. If he opts out, he could be ranked as low as 12 or 13 going into the World champs.

Regarding Ebbos statement, I think people are over reacting. He merely stated he wasn't a fan of short formats and felt it was a step in the wrong direction. Surely hes entitled to an opinion.

Anonymous said...

Being 'entitled to an opinion' doesn't make the opinion correct

O'Sullivan was poor - he needs to start playing properly again or just pack it in

Anonymous said...

1207 - youre as bright as a blackout!

11.15 never said his opinion was correct.

we arent talking facts or right or wrongs here. its his OPINION.

look OPINION up in the dictionary, if unsure.

Anonymous said...

12.07. Opinions are neither correct nor incorrect. They are just what they are- opinions.
So your first sentence is an incorrect statement and your second is your opinion.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion the earth is flat

Apparently that can't be contested as fact

Anonymous said...

Williams was a snooker god today. He will be tough to beat. I'm hoping for a match between him and Hendry if he can put Maguire away tonight.

Regarding Ebdon, he certainly has every right to his opinion AND we have every right to disagree with his every word. No one is free from being critisized. Not even Peter Ebdon.

Anonymous said...

2.15 hitting the crossbar

theres no right or wrong to the situation as it cant be proved either way

the earth has been proved to be flat, so that opinion has been proved wrong.


Anonymous said...

2.15 you obviously struggle with basic English. Ask a primary school teacher(or pupil), to explain what an opinion is.

Funny how many bloggers were up in arms about the possibility of Hearn shortening matches in rankers, but when Ebbo expressed concern there is pandemonium.