Mark Selby and Neil Robertson managed to avoid each other for years. Now they seem to play most tournaments.

Selby is difficult to play, even when you’re as good as Robertson. The never-say-die attitude he demonstrates even when not at his best can be hard to contend with. Just when you think you’ve got him, he fights even harder.

This was certainly Robertson’s experience at the UK Championship when he seemed to have the match in the bag at 4-0 only to lose 6-4.

The Melbourne man played some top stuff to reach the Masters final but went down 10-6 to Selby, who battled without quite hitting top form.

So their match in the quarter-finals of the World Open today is intriguing. Can Robertson dominate this time or will Selby once again get under his skin?

Matthew Stevens has been winning with Mark Williams’s cue as his has still not turned up. He seems to have fared better with it than Williams has of late, recovering from 3-1 down to beat Shaun Murphy 5-3 yesterday.

Stevens faces Judd Trump today, who was superb yesterday in beating Nigel Bond 5-1. He made three centuries and needs just two more to break Selby’s seasonal record set last year.

Trump has not been put under pressure yet. Even if he is, he looks really confident. It’s a good time to be playing well. It’s March 1st so we can now say that the World Championship starts next month.

Ding Junhui is still going. Marco Fu failed to push him but John Higgins may do after the Scot’s 5-0 dismissal of Stuart Bingham.

Mark Allen wasn’t happy with how he played against Robert Milkins but the defending champion won 5-2 and will face Ricky Walden, who did really well to recover from 4-2 down to beat Welsh Open winner Stephen Maguire 5-4.

It's a great line-up, although you wouldn't know it from attendances. They've been poor and surely ticket prices and promotion of these events need to be addressed.

There are eight world class players in the quarter-finals and they deserve a good atmosphere.


Anonymous said...

Flying 5000 miles to play in a fly infested arena in front of a handful of constantly shifting spectators and press photographers who are less than conspicuous. Add to that, moisture dripping on to the table and malfunctioning spotlights.
The game's hard enough !

Anonymous said...

Something reeks at this tournament, and this Trump/Stevens match inparticular. Players' cues going missing and now Trump's tip being damaged in mysterious circumstances. Does this go on at all Chinese events?

Anonymous said...

Is this tournament being managed by Toytown Limited?

Flashing lights, badly behaving photographers, rows of empty £100 seats, cues lost in transit.

I suppose at least it has a sponsor.

kimball said...

Maybe the BA was the carrier??
Hopefully they shift it to the mainland soonest, it is a given that holidayresorts are less than
So what on earth happened to Trumps tip and it is not overrelaxed not to do some warm up??!!

The Fish said...

All the talk of China being the new snooker hotbed,obviously does not stand up if the attendances are anything to go by.Move the world championship to China?It would be better going to the Intl space station.

Anonymous said...

This Ding Junhui looks just like that Ding John Way who plays in the BBC events.

Anonymous said...

Dave - as a leading snooker journalist, you have the right to ask World Snooker for an interview so they have a chance to explain just what is going on at the World Open.

Anonymous said...

Why would you want to sponsor this tournament when once again the Brits (and a Ozzy) take most of the cash home.

It's a mystery to me.

Anonymous said...

Ding's cue case is worth a mention surely! Never seen one like that before.

Anonymous said...

Re 1.52

Are you really, honestly, under the impression that the whole industry of sports sponsorship is based on sponsors wanting their compatriots to win prize money?


Anonymous said...

Re 3:46

Of course not - try looking up the word "satire" in a dictionary.

Anonymous said...

Re 5.43

Maybe look it up yourself mate.