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.