It was quarter finals day in Bucharest, and here is what happened:
Judd Trump 4-0 John Higgins
Mark Selby 4-0 Alfie Burden
Friday 7 Oct 2016 03:16PM
In form potters Judd Trump and Mark Selby will go head to head in the semi-finals of the European Masters in Romania.
Both recorded superb 4-0 wins today to set up a clash on Saturday afternoon, with first to six frames to go through to Sunday’s final to contest the 75,000 Euro top prize at the new world ranking event.
Trump whitewashed John Higgins to reach his first semi-final of the season. A 42 clearance gave the Bristol cueman the opening frame and a run of 74 made it 2-0. He won a scrappy third frame on the colours then finished emphatically with a break of 105 in the fourth.
“I didn’t play as well as I did yesterday, I was a bit twitchy when I went 2-0 up,” said 27-year-old Trump. “I made a nice break in the last frame, and any time you beat John 4-0 you’re doing something right. I’ve scored heavily this week and not missed much. Mark Selby will be tough, he’s always there in the later stages of tournaments. I’ll have to play my best to beat him.”
World Champion Selby saw off Alfie Burden with top runs of 84, 136 and 102.
“I can’t play much better than that,” said the Leicester player. “The main thing was to win the game. Judd seems to be back to his best so I’m looking forward to playing him. It would be great to get to another final.”
Neil Robertson 4-2 Anthony Mc Gill
Friday 7 Oct 2016 10:25PM
Snooker’s big guns continued to thrive at the European Masters in Romania as Ronnie O’Sullivan and Neil Robertson set up a semi-final meeting.
Judd Trump and Mark Selby will contest the other semi in what promises to be a fascinating concluding weekend at the new world ranking event in Bucharest.
O’Sullivan scored a 4-1 win over Mark Davis to extend his best run since he won the Welsh open in February. Breaks of 33 and 54 gave him the opening frame then he nicked a scrappy second by clearing from last red to pink.
Davis pulled one back with a run of 124, but O’Sullivan soon made it 3-1 then finished superbly with a 129, his first century of the season.
“Mark is a really tough and consistent player so I had to be on my game to win,” said O’Sullivan. “I started off well then he came back at me and played some good safety, I got a bit lucky as the balls didn’t fall kindly for him and I had to take advantage. I was pleased with my mental performance. These are the type of matches I need to test myself.”
Robertson saw off Anthony McGill 4-2 in a gruelling battle which lasted two hours and 51 minutes. Australia’s Robertson took the opening frame with a break of 61 before Scotland’s McGill levelled in a 44-minute second.
A colours clearance in the third saw Robertson regain the lead then McGill made runs of 56 and 37 for 2-2. Robertson potted brown, blue and pink to win the fifth, and took the next on the colours as well to boost his hopes of a second ranking title of the season having won the Riga Masters.
“The table played tough, there has been a lot of rain today so conditions weren’t easy,” said Robertson. “Anthony played a lot of good safety so it was just a match to get through. The tables will have a new cloth tomorrow so hopefully it will be a better standard. It will be a different match against Ronnie anyway. If I take my chances I can beat him.”
Anthony McGill was suggested to speed up, not officially warned, by referee Marcel Eckaert for taking too long over his shot selection and this triggered a big discussion on twitter, with lots of pros thinking Marcel was out of order. Personally, I thought he was right actually. It is true that the conditions were heavy and the table very messy, so obviously caution and thinking time were needed, especially with a spot in the semi finals at stake. But still … at a point Anthony – who is not a slow player and certainly wasn’t doing this out of gamemanship – was taking really long over every shot and my feeling was that this was dragging both himself and Neil down. People were leaving the arena (even mid frame), my neighbour was playing some game on his phone and the one just in front of me was watching a video … And when he started playing a bit faster, Anthony’s game improved actually.
Thanks to the sponsors once again for giving me the opportunity to watch every match.