The English Open continues on Thursday when the third round of the tournament concludes and the entire last 16 is played out as we play down to the quarter final line up inside the Brentwood Centre in Essex.
The Steve Davis Trophy will be getting ever closer for those who remain in the competition at the end of the day and so everyone on show on Thursday will want to come up with the goods to get into the Friday action.
The third round of the tournament concludes in the afternoon session where as always we have a couple of sets of matches. The world champion Luca Brecel will be first onto the main table when he takes on Muhammad Asif from Pakistan. Zhou Yuelong is the next highest player taking to the baize first up. He meets Sanderson Lam while on the two outside tables we will have Elliot Slessor against Zhang Anda and Ali Carter going up against Jenson Kendrick.
The pick of the afternoon matches comes on the main table in the second part of the afternoon as Ronnie O’Sullivan meets the World Championship semi-finalist Si Jiahui. The other appealing match in this part of the day sees Ding Junhui meeting Gary Wilson. The new British Open champion is also on show in the second part of the afternoon. He faces fellow Welsh player Dylan Emery while the Shootout winner Chris Wakelin faces Liu Hongyu in the other game.
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It is the last 16 which takes place in the evening session. We already know the line up for the first set of the matches with Judd Trump on the main table for a date with Yuan Sijun while over on table two John Higgins will face Oliver Lines. Ricky Walden might feel he is on a free roll now after coming from 3-0 down to beat Graeme Dott in the previous round and he takes on Matthew Selt, while there is a great chance for Martin O’Donnell and He Guoqiang to reach a ranking event quarter final when they meet in the other match.
We will only know the identity of the second part of the evening schedule after the afternoon has concluded but we do know that one of Ronnie O’Sullivan or Si Jiahui will face Elliot Slessor or Zhang Anda while the winners between Ali Carter and Jenson Kendrick and the Sanderson Lam and Zhou Yuelong will also meet. One of Lui Hongyu or Chris Wakelin will face either Mark Williams or Dylan Emery while the world champion Luca Brecel or Muhammad Asif meets either Gary Wilson or Ding Junhui.
I took Ricky Walden on in the Wednesday evening play and when he needed a snooker on the pink at 3-0 down I was counting my chips but Graeme Dott somehow contrived to fall apart and cost me dearly but I’m convinced that Walden isn’t playing well and I am hoping that, combined with the mental resources needed to be used in mounting that comeback, has him vulnerable against a Matthew Selt who has gone under the radar this week.
Selt has seen off the challenges of Michael White and Mark Allen so far this week with the latter being a particularly good win as Allen had been in good form up to that point. Selt has actually had a decent enough season so far having qualified for every tournament apart from the European Masters where he was beaten in a deciding frame in qualifying. In both matches this week he has rammed in a century and a number of other good breaks. He looks in much better touch than Walden and so I’ll go again at getting Walden beat.
Back M.Selt to beat R.Walden for a 3/10 stake at 1.95 with Betway