The last two second round matches of the World Championship get underway on Saturday on a day where for the first time in the tournament no contest comes to a finish. Instead the two matches that started on Friday will play their middle session ahead of a conclusion on Sunday.
This second round has been insanely good so far both for quality and dramatic matches and although we don’t see any match finish on Saturday, it would be crazy to expect anything different on a big day for plenty of players.
I’m sure everyone knows the format by now but for those who are unsure of it, it is long course snooker all the way over this 17 day marathon. The first round is the best-of-19 frames which goes up to the best-of-25 for the second round and the quarter finals. The semi-finals at the best-of-33 frames and then the four session final will see a champion crowned on the third Saturday and Sunday over the best-of-35 frames.
We saw three matches finish over the course of Friday and they all either went the distance or to within a frame of it. The first match to finish saw Mark Williams come out on top of Stuart Bingham 13-11 before Mark Selby outlasted Noppon Saengkham, producing a century in the deciding frame. The other match to conclude saw the defending champion Judd Trump see off a very good challenge from Yan Bingtao 13-11. Two matches have played one session. Jamie Clarke leads Anthony McGill 6-2 while the big one between Ding Junhui and Ronnie O’Sullivan is locked at 4-4 heading into Saturday.
In Play Betting
There are two matches in play heading into the Saturday action. I’m tempted to get involved in the O’Sullivan and Ding match in some way but it felt like they were sparring with each other and hasn’t really exploded. I don’t think either will take control on Saturday so I’m going to keep my powder dry and see what comes on Sunday. I’m tempted to get involved with Anthony McGill in some fashion because he can’t possibly be as bad again but I’ve got enough betting interest in him this week so I’ll leave him be.
Sign up to VBet to get a FREE £25 bet to use on the World Championship! Click the image below to join. New accounts only. 18+. T&Cs Apply. Gamble Aware.
Martin Gould vs Kyren Wilson (Saturday 10am, 7pm & Sunday 1pm)
On table one we will finally get to see Kyren Wilson in action for the first time in the tournament after he received a bye in the first round when Anthony Hamilton pulled out. He will take on Martin Gould for the right to face the defending champion Judd Trump in the quarter final.
Gould goes into this match with his spirits high after a wonderful win over Stephen Maguire in the previous round, a match in which he made four centuries and looked really positive throughout. It is hard to know what to expect from Wilson but when you think he hasn’t had a competitive match for more than a couple of months it would make perfect sense for him to be rusty, which could be music to the ears of Gould.
I’ll take Gould on two bets here. The first of them is to win the first session or the first eight frames as the bookmakers call it. Wilson has to be rusty here. He can practice all he likes but it is different on the match table and we see that all the time. Gould will be right at home on it and can get off to another fast start here. I also like the odds against on Gould to make the highest break. Wilson’s touch might not be there in this match whereas Gould looks to be scoring brilliantly at the minute. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gould make the highest break here given he made four tons in the first round.
Barry Hawkins vs Neil Robertson (Saturday 10am, 7pm & Sunday 1pm)
The other match to get going on Saturday is another cracking looking second round contest when the former finalist Barry Hawkins, a man with a fine recent record here, takes on the 2010 winner Neil Robertson who will be eager to continue to progress through the draw.
This one should be a quality contest but I just want to check out the form of Hawkins before I commit to a bet on it. He didn’t really beat a lot in the first round and had been quite ordinary earlier in the campaign so he needs to show me he is or isn’t playing well before I bet. I would fancy Robertson to get the job done but he tends to get embroiled in matches he shouldn’t over this format which is a concern for me. I’ll see how this starts and make a decision from there.
Back M.Gould to beat K.Wilson in the first 8 frames for a 3/10 stake at 3.40 with Coral
WON – Back M.Gould Highest Break vs K.Wilson for a 3/10 stake at 2.25 with 888sport