The second day of the World Championship sees the first round continuing inside the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield on a day where no fewer than four matches will reach their conclusion over the three sessions of play.
The first day of action in Sheffield saw the defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan make his way through to the second round and on Sunday the likes of Masters champion Yan Bingtao and UK Championship winner Neil Robertson will bid to join him.
Day 1 Recap
Ronnie O’Sullivan was nowhere near his best but he did become the latest to nail three centuries in successive frames on his way to a 10-4 win over Mark Joyce. He can go away now and look to come back ready for round two later in the week. Of the other four matches to have seen action on Saturday, Yan Bingtao and Martin Gould were hauled off at 4-4, Jamie Jones has a slight lead on Stephen Maguire 5-4 while Neil Robertson is more in control of his match against Liang Wenbo. He leads 6-3 but the biggest lead belongs to Dave Gilbert, who is 7-2 up on Chris Wakelin ahead of their final session.
In Play Betting
There are four matches outstanding which could form options for in play betting but I’m not going to take anything in them for a couple of reasons. I wasn’t able to catch all the action on Saturday so I would largely be betting blind, and the only match I would truly want to bet on would be the Bingtao vs Gould one but I’m effectively already carrying some cash with my quarter bet on the Chinese star so there isn’t a huge need to bet again even though over 17.5 frames feels like it should be taken at even money. We have 15 more days after this one so there is plenty to time to jump on in play options.
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Anthony McGill vs Ricky Walden (Sunday 10am & Monday 7pm)
The first of just two matches to start out on Sunday does so in the morning session when two men who have been all the way to the semi-final of this fine tournament meet when Anthony McGill takes on Ricky Walden.
McGill made the last four here last year and it is that run which is the main reason why he got in here as the number 16 seed because he hasn’t been past a last 16 all season. I have my concerns over McGill, and I speak as a player who backed him to win the tournament last summer. The way that run ended for him has to have left its mark and it might be that he is still feeling the effects of it and a return to the scene of the crime might not be helpful. His form doesn’t exactly inspire either.
That isn’t the case with Walden. The excellent Judgement Day coverage put on by WST showed us two things. One that he is in good touch after thrashing Ryan Day, and two he is fully fit for once and enjoying that prospect. The two clearly go together so it was encouraging to hear him admit his clean bill of health and how confident he sounded as a result of that. If McGill can drag some inspiration out of somewhere this is entitled to be a close match but I think Walden at odds against is the bet.
John Higgins vs Tian Pengfei (Sunday 2.30pm & Monday 2.30pm)
The other match to get underway on the second day of the competition does so in the afternoon session as the four-time winner John Higgins begins his latest quest for a fifth world title when he takes on the Chinese qualifier Tian Pengfei.
Higgins goes into this competition as one of the fancied runners after the way he played at the Players Championship and while he hasn’t won a match of any length since then, if he has that form with him he’ll be tough to stop over the 17 days let alone here. Pengfei looked quite good in the qualifiers and took care of Graeme Dott in the final round with a barrage of scoring. It is hard to see how he overcomes Higgins though because Higgins is just superior in every department. Pengfei has the poise and nous to hang around but I don’t see him doing a whole lot more than that. Unless something pops up after the first session I’ll leave this one alone.
Back R.Walden to beat A.McGill for a 3/10 stake at 2.20 with Betway