The World Championship continues on Monday as three more matches get underway inside the Crucible Theatre, while the two matches which have had their first session played out on Sunday come to a close.
We’ve already seen Ronnie O’Sullivan and Neil Robertson make it into the second round and on Monday the last two beaten finalists John Higgins and Kyren Wilson will be among the players looking to join them there.
Day 2 Recap
Four matches finished on the second day of the competition. Yan Bingtao was the first man to make it through when he powered past Martin Gould 10-6 before Dave Gilbert completed a routine 10-6 win over Chris Wakelin. In the evening session Neil Robertson won all four frames against Liang Wenbo to complete a 10-3 win and Jamie Jones won five on the spin to beat Stephen Maguire 10-5 and book his place in the second round. In the two matches which started on Sunday, Anthony McGill holds a 5-4 lead over Ricky Walden while John Higgins and Tian Pengfei could only get seven of their scheduled nine frames in with the Chinese player leading 4-3 overnight.
In Play Betting
There are two matches available for in play betting on Monday but once again I’m not really interested in betting on them. The Anthony McGill vs Ricky Walden match I’m already on Walden to win and he was the better player overall on Sunday so I remain hopeful that he can turn things around whereas I expect John Higgins to beat Tian Pengfei even from 4-3 behind but his price hasn’t really changed enough to merit a bet and you’ve got to think there is no chance he’ll get the job done in the one session on Monday so I don’t really want to be taking a handicap only for Pengfei to come back and back door kill me with the shackles off him.
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Ding Junhui vs Stuart Bingham (Monday 10am & Tuesday 2.30pm)
The tie of the first round gets underway on Monday morning when the former world finalist Ding Junhui takes on the 2015 champion of this event in Stuart Bingham, the highest ranked player to come through the qualifying draw.
Ding hasn’t really looked himself for quite a while. Whether it is the pandemic or the lack of a crowd or something else only he will know but his win at the UK Championship last season is looking more and more a freak result rather than the norm. Bingham’s form has been that indifferent that he fell out of the top 16 at the wrong time and needed to qualify for this event but those two matches he played last week might have done him the world of good. He’s clearly playing some good snooker at the minute and has a much better record here than Ding does. You can still get bits of odds against on Bingham and that is enough to reel me in here.
Kyren Wilson vs Gary Wilson (Monday 10am & Monday 7pm)
One thing is guaranteed over on table two in the morning and evening session on Monday and that is that a Wilson will win as Kyren Wilson meets Gary Wilson in what could be a really good match if the latter brings his best game to the party with him.
These two met in a pretty ordinary contest at The Masters which Kyren won 6-2 and he’ll be hoping this one is as comfortable as he looks to build on his run to the final here last year. Gary was a semi-finalist here two years ago though so he has had £100,000 come off his ranking which means he could really do with another win or two to lessen the damage of that. I expect Kyren to win this but I’ve no massive feeling on the score or anything like that. I’ll see how the first session goes before I get involved.
Jack Lisowski vs Ali Carter (Monday 2.30pm & Tuesday 10am)
The only other match to begin on Monday is the afternoon clash between Jack Lisowski, who has made three finals this season, and Ali Carter who has twice been within a win of getting his hands on the trophy here in the past.
Lisowski has shown a lot of good form this season and made it all the way to the Tour Championship as a result of that. Where he hasn’t shown good form has been in the three finals he has got to. Two of those were over two sessions and he found himself miles behind on both occasions at the end of the first session. Admittedly they were to Judd Trump but the same happened again when he went two sessions with Neil Robertson at the Tour Championship last month, and when you look through the record books he doesn’t have the best record over the longer distances.
That certainly isn’t something we can throw at Carter. He has won titles over two sessions and been all the way to the final here on a couple of occasions. Indeed, the argument could be that the longer formats bring the best out of him and that looked to be the case in the final qualifying round when he cruised past a dangerous challenger in Alexander Urrsenbacher. These two met here in this round two years ago when Carter qualified and won 10-6 and I expect the Essex man, who has been in good form coming here, to see off Lisowski once again.
WON – Back S.Bingham to beat D.Junhui for a 3/10 stake at 2.05 with Betfred
Back A.Carter to beat J.Lisowski for a 3/10 stake at 2.00 with Coral