The first round of the World Open has been completed and on Wednesday the entire second round will take place over two sessions of action in China as the first real big ranking event of the season continues at quite some pace.
The majority of the big names have made it through to the last 32 so we are set for an exciting conclusion to this event beginning on Wednesday where there are some excellent matches in the schedule.
The last two world champions headline the morning session as the current holder of the title Mark Williams faces Ben Woollaston in what should be a cracking contest while Mark Selby, the world number one, has a pretty tricky test of his own in order to make it through to the last 16. He faces Jamie Jones. Both matches are on the TV tables.
There are plenty of decent stars on show on the outside tables as well with the pick of the matches away from the cameras seeing Dave Gilbert going up against Ali Carter. Fergal O’Brien meets Luca Brecel in a clash of styles while Ryan Day takes on Noppon Saengkham. The first of our outright bets, Xiao Guodong, has a meeting with Jak Jones while the other two matches in the session sees Anthony Hamilton playing Mei Xi Wen and Kyren Wilson taking on Harvey Chandler.
All home eyes will be on the main table in this session of play as their hero Ding Junhui continues his title defence. He takes on Robert Milkins for a spot in the last 16 while on the other main table there is a cracking contest in store when Ricky Walden meets Neil Robertson in a match in which the winner will fancy their chances of going extremely deep in this competition.
Marco Fu is one of a number of star names on show on the outside tables. He plays Andrew Higginson while Barry Hawkins goes up against Michael Holt. There is a couple of cracking looking matches as Matt Selt faces Yan Bingtao while Mark Allen against Jack Lisowski could be the match of the round and deserves a better platform than it has. Judd Trump is on the outside tables when he meets Gary Wilson while two solid pros do battle when Joe Perry meets Stephen Maguire.
I’ll take three across the course of the day on Wednesday. In the morning session I think Noppon Saengkham is worth a chance. He has begun the season very well with centuries galore and in Asian conditions he should be nicely suited to give Ryan Day a real tussle. You never truly know what you are going to get from Day these days. He can be fantastic or he can be pretty poor. At 9/4 I’ll take a chance that it is the latter and that the Thai star can come through this one. If he scores as he has been so far this season he is a much better chance than a 9/4 poke.
Yan Bingtao is a superstar in waiting and I’m expecting him to have far too much for Matt Selt who had to battle it out with Lee Walker in the first round. Bingtao powered past an in form Stuart Carrington in the previous round without losing a frame and that’s a pretty decent standard he is setting. A repeat of that performance should see him through in fine style here.
Jack Lisowski is another player who is in the form of his life at the minute. He ran into Neil Robertson in the final of the Riga Masters but prior to that he had looked very good and I see no reason why he can’t keep his good run going against Mark Allen. Allen has to be peeled off the table when he gets beaten but usually when he loses it is to a barrage of big breaks. Lisowski is more than capable of scoring well. These two met three times in 2017 and Lisowski won the lot and he’s an even better player now. He’s the bet at odds against.
WON – Back N.Saengkham to beat R.Day for a 3/10 stake at 3.25 with Ladbrokes
Back Y.Bingtao (-1.5 frames) for a 4/10 stake at 1.73 with William Hill
WON – Back J.Lisowski to beat M.Allen for a 4/10 stake at 2.10 with Boylesports
Back him here: