The quarter finals of the World Championship get underway inside the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield on Tuesday as the eight remaining players begin their two-day journey with the tantalising prize of the right to compete in the one table setup awaiting the winners.
32 have been whittled down to eight and of those either we have six former winners of the tournament, a beaten finalist and a man who has been within a ball of reaching the final. The cast list from here on in is amazing and hopefully the standard will match it.
Day 10 Recap
Four matches concluded on the last day of second round action with the first two of them seeing Stuart Bingham win three frames on the spin to see off Jamie Jones 13-6 while on the other side of the divide Judd Trump finally got the better of Dave Gilbert 13-8. In the evening session Shaun Murphy overcame Yan Bingtao 13-7 and then Mark Selby saw off Mark Allen by the same scoreline to progress through to the last eight.
Anthony McGill vs Stuart Bingham (Tuesday 10am, 7pm & Wednesday 2.30pm)
The first quarter final on table one sees the beaten semi-finalist of last season attempt to make it back to that stage as Anthony McGill goes up against the 2015 winner of this tournament in Stuart Bingham in a clash which offers up a huge opportunity for both men.
McGill blew this half of the draw wide open when he took care of Ronnie O’Sullivan in the previous round and now he needs to back that display up against a Bingham who is in the last eight for the first time since he won the title six years ago. Bingham has played very well to get here though and you get the feeling that neither of these men will go down without a fight. I don’t really need to bet on this match as I’m already on Bingham to win it at 8/1 having backed him for the quarter which means he just has to win here.
I can’t ignore the odds against on over 22.5 frames here. These two men look evenly matched and they have both gone through a deciding frame to get to this stage so they are battle hardened. The opportunity that is in front of them is huge so that will guarantee a real fight. McGill went to a deciding frame in every round here last year so he is used to close matches. Bingham has the scoring power to stay close so the over looks a good bet here.
Neil Robertson vs Kyren Wilson (Tuesday 10am, 7pm & Wednesday 10am)
Over on table two the 2010 champion Neil Robertson will look to take a step closer to a second world title when he goes up against the man who many believe is a certainty to win this title, either this year or in the years to come, in Kyren Wilson.
Robertson has looked brilliant so far in the competition but this isn’t the first time we have got to this stage and he has failed to deliver that sort of form. Amazingly for as good as the Australian is, he has only gone past this stage once since he won the title 11 years ago. Wilson is competing in the quarter finals for the sixth successive year and he has gone past this stage on two occasions, including last year when he made the final. His form hasn’t been as flashy as Robertson’s but if he is building his way into the tournament like so many do then there is a good chance the levels of the two men meet here.
I’m interested that in their last two meetings which have taken place over the last 15 months or so, Wilson has won 5-0 and 6-2 which suggests to me that he knows how to beat Robertson and is comfortable playing him. I’m still respective of the form of the Australian enough to have my doubts whether Wilson will win this match but those two results are strong enough for me to take the 2020 finalist with the 3.5 frame start.
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Mark Williams vs Mark Selby (Tuesday 2.30pm, Wednesday 10am & 7pm)
The quarter final on table one which gets underway on Tuesday afternoon sees two men with six world titles between them battling it out when Mark Williams takes on Mark Selby in what could well end up being the pick of the quarter finals.
I think we’re going to get it all here. We’re going to get astute tactical snooker, smart shot making and excellent scoring when the chances open themselves up and I’ll be interested to see how it all plays out. I might bet on this match later in the contest but initially I’m happy to let my outright bet on Williams act as the interest I need in the contest although I suspect this will be a lot closer than most judges expect. I’m leaning on the side of the over in frames but there is enough juice in this one to see a session before we commit to anything.
Shaun Murphy vs Judd Trump (Tuesday 2.30pm, Wednesday 2.30pm & 7pm)
The last of the quarter finals as you look down the draw is the one between two men who will be eyeing up a second world title next week when the 2005 champion Shaun Murphy takes on the 2019 winner and world number one Judd Trump.
This should be a cracking match, especially for those who like their snooker to come in heavy scoring. Murphy looks to be hitting the ball fantastically well and has scored pretty well in the tournament so far. I don’t think anyone would suggest that Trump has played his best snooker, but we’ve seen all season that he tends to raise his game the longer a tournament goes along and if he does that in this too then he is entitled to be very hard to beat.
I thought Murphy might be up against it here but he has actually won three of the last four meetings with Trump so there isn’t going to be a belief issue about beating him which maybe Dave Gilbert had in the second round. I would expect Murphy to take the game to Trump and see if he can get him under pressure. I’ll take Murphy with the 4.5 handicap here as while Trump finds his best form there will be enough chances to feed on. He only really needs to keep close quarters for a session and a half to limp to nine frames so that will do me.
WON – Back A.McGill vs S.Bingham – Over 22.5 frames for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with Betfair
Back it here:
WON – Back K.Wilson (+3.5 frames) to beat N.Robertson for a 3/10 stake at 1.75 with Betway
WON – Back S.Murphy (+4.5 frames) to beat J.Trump for a 3/10 stake at 1.75 with Betway