After a quite remarkable day of snooker in the English Open on Thursday we are all set for the quarter finals of the tournament on Friday with the eight players left in the event now seriously eyeing up the title over the weekend.
We’ve dropped the best of seven format and we’re up to the best of nine for this round. Thursday saw the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Mark Allen and Ding Junhui all beaten on what was not a good day to be a favourite. That has opened the tournament right up for someone this week.
There are two quarter finals in the afternoon and they look to be the two best matches on paper. The day opens with Barry Hawkins taking on Ricky Walden ahead of the biggest match of the round when John Higgins goes up against Judd Trump with the winner of that match likely to be a huge favourite to go on and win the title.
The two matches in this session both begin at the same time on the two tables. On the main table Liang Wenbo will face Anthony Hamilton in what is likely to be a really attacking match while the other game sees the former world champion Stuart Bingham going up against the newcomer Rhys Clark.
There is only one match which takes my fancy here and it comes in the opening game where I like Ricky Walden to see off Barry Hawkins. Walden is one of those players that the longer he is in a tournament the harder he is to shift from it and that could very well prove to be the case here because he is playing some really nice snooker this week.
You have to respect Barry Hawkins for making it this far but he doesn’t appear to be playing as well as Walden and hadn’t really done much this season coming into this tournament. Walden looks to be in good form to me and I’m happy to be on him here.
Back R.Walden to beat B.Hawkins for a 4/10 stake at 2.25 with Coral