We are down to the one table setup inside the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield on Thursday as the two semi-finals of the World Championship get underway with the first session of each on what is always a great day of snooker action.
We saw some dramatic snooker in the quarter finals on Wednesday and now we embark on these three day journeys hoping to see the drama, tension and sheer incredulity that we witnessed in this round last season.
Day 12 Recap
It promised to be a good day of snooker on Wednesday and that is what it proved to be with three of the favourites for the matches heading into the day dumped out in dramatic style. The first one to go was Neil Robertson. He couldn’t land a blow in the final session and watched on as Kyren Wilson won all five frames of the session to win 13-8. The only favourite to win was Mark Selby. He saw off Mark Williams 13-3 with a session to spare. Anthony McGill was the second favourite to bite the dust. Stuart Bingham came from 10-7 to dump him out in a deciding frame and then arguably the biggest shock of the tournament rounded off the day when the world number one Judd Trump lost 13-11 to Shaun Murphy.
Stuart Bingham vs Mark Selby (Thursday 1pm, Friday 10am, 7pm & Saturday 2.30pm)
The opening semi-final sees two former champions battling it out when the 2015 winner of this tournament Stuart Bingham takes on the three-time champion Mark Selby in what looks to be an intriguing last four clash.
Selby goes into this match as the favourite to make the final, and an emphatic one at that, and that is probably understandable given the world rankings and how easily he has come through the draw so far, but it isn’t always a good thing to cruise through and not be battle hardened. You would think at some point Selby will be under pressure here and neither we nor he will know how he will handle that. That is the job for Bingham initially in this match – to get Selby under pressure. In order to do that he’ll need to score every bit as well as he has done so far in the tournament. Given Selby is playing well and Bingham is back at this stage for the first time since he won the title, I’m going to watch this first session before looking to get involved when I’ve seen how it plays out.
OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH 888SPORT AND BET £10 TO GET £30 IN FREE BETS PLUS A £10 CASINO BONUS! PERFECT OFFER TO USE ON THIS TOURNAMENT! CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO JOIN. USE CODE 30F. NEW ACCOUNTS ONLY. 18+ T&Cs apply (See image for significant terms). Gamble Aware.
Kyren Wilson vs Shaun Murphy (Thursday 7pm, Friday 2.30pm, Saturday 10am & 7pm)
The pick of the two semi-finals as far as the rankings and on paper is concerned is the second one as the 2020 beaten finalist Kyren Wilson takes on the man who won this title back in 2005 in Shaun Murphy in what could be a crackerjack of a contest.
Wilson is the only man left in the tournament who is yet to lift the world title but I think most judges will feel it is only a matter of time before he corrects that statistic. Those same judges might feel that Murphy is too good to only have one world title to his name so this is a really interesting semi-final. Both men showed what they can do in defeating Neil Robertson and Judd Trump in the quarter finals, and deserving to beat them as well as they did too. Going into the match the surprise would be if there is a lot between the pair at any stage.
Wilson is a favourite for this semi-final but he might have his work cut out here because Murphy looks in pristine form. It won’t be lost on Wilson that prior to a win in the best of three Pro Series last month, he had lost the last four to Murphy including 9-1 in the English Open final last season. We know Wilson will fight hard but Murphy looks to be purring at the minute and if he gets on top here he might not be reeled back. Wilson played five very good frames against Robertson in the final session of that match but the other two sessions were ordinary. If he isn’t at it from the start here then Murphy could gallop away from him. The 2005 champ to win is my starting point in this semi-final.
WON – Back S.Murphy to beat K.Wilson for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with Coral