China Open 2017 – How things stand as we reach the last 8.

Today was an eventful day, the highlight being Judd Trump third 147, and the first on television. Congratulations to Judd! You can watch it here:

But there was more than that of course.

The main points of interest are

  • Both Mark Williams and Stephen Maguire won their last 16 match and remain on track to break into the top 16 before the World Championship. They both need to win the tournament for this to happen.
  • Hossein Vafaei Ayouri could still break into the last 64, but he’s got his work cut out: he faces Judd Trump tomorrow.
  • Regarding the Crucible seeding: spots 1,2,3 are now definitively set, as are spots 6,7,8,9 and 15. Ding and Murphy occupy spots 4 and 5 respectively and could still swap. Kyren Wilson is currently seeded 14 but could climb up to n° 10 if he wins the title, and push all seeds currently 10, 11, 12 and 13 one down. What this means for Ronnie is that he’s currently seed n°12 and set to face seed n°5 if both win their opening match, but, if Kyren lifts the trophy on Sunday, he would become seed n° 13 and set to face seed n°4. Whatever happens, he stays in the same quarter and is set to face either Murphy or Ding.

Here are the reports by Worldsnooker

Afternoon session (morning in Europe)

Thursday 30 Mar 2017 09:53AM

Judd Trump continued his red hot form, making the third 147 of his career in a 5-3 defeat of Tian Pengfei at the Bank of Beijing China Open.

It was the 130thofficial maximum in professional snooker and the Ace in the Pack stands to land a cool £30,000, which has been accumulated in the rolling prize fund since Tom Ford’s 147 at the German Masters in February.

The magical moment came in the fifth frame to hand Trump a 4-1 lead. With the final pink positioned at the top of the table, Trump landed low on the black to leave a tricky last pot. He nestled it in on the top jaw and punched the air with delight.

Tian then valiantly fought back with breaks of 60 and 63 to close the gap to one at 4-3. However, recent Players Champion Trump got over the line, compiling a run of 62 to secure the win.

“I’ve had a lot of good chances recently and it was nice to make a 147 on the TV table,” said Trump. “The next frame I potted a good ball to get in. I then split the pack well but unfortunately the red went in. I probably would have made another century if that didn’t happen, you need a bit of luck in those situations. After that he played well and things like that can change games, so I’m happy to get through.”

Mark Williams pulled off a magnificent fightback to come from 4-1 down and defeat John Higgins 5-4, keeping alive his hopes of qualifying directly for the Crucible. The Welshman needs to win the event this week to edge compatriot Ryan Day out of the world’s top 16.

It looked as if Williams would be heading for the exit when Higgins stole the fourth frame on the black to lead 4-1. However, the two-time World Champion won the sixth before making breaks of 66, 60 and 79 to edge out a 5-4 thriller.

His opponent in the last eight will be Shaun Murphy, who demolished Michael White 5-1. The Magician took under an hour and a half to record the quick-fire win.

Murphy, who has only dropped four frames this week in Beijing, continued his fine form by compiling runs of 50, 78, 71 and 67 during the comfortable victory.

 

Evening session (afternoon in Europe)

Thursday 30 Mar 2017 05:53PM

Mark Selby produced a dogged display to overcome Andrew Higginson 5-4 and reach the last eight of the Bank of Beijing China Open.

World number one Selby has the added pressure this week of defending the £85,000 he received for winning the 2015 China Open, which will be removed from the rolling two-year ranking list after this event.

Higginson finds himself 52 places behind his illustrious opponent in the world rankings in 53rd. However, the gap wasn’t apparent in the early exchanges, with the 39-year-old making breaks of 61 and 63 on his way to establishing a 2-0 advantage.

The World Champion provided a swift response and made his own contributions of 72 and 69 to level the tie at 2-2 going into the interval. When they returned he picked up where he left off, making a run of 69 to take the lead for the first time.

Higginson responded by winning the next two frames and moved one away from victory at 4-3. However, a gutsy long red helped Selby force a decider, where he strung together a break of 57 to get over the line and book a quarter-final spot.

“It was a very tough game and I thought Andrew played really well,” said Selby. “I probably ended up winning the match before the interval, I was over the moon to come out 2-2 as Andrew outplayed me in the first four frames.”

Ding Junhui was forced to come from behind to overcome an impressive Mark Joyce and reach the quarter-final stage with a 5-3 win.

Joyce was enjoying his best run of the season so far and ousted five-time World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan yesterday evening in a final frame thriller. He made a good start today, as he moved 2-0 in front. In a similar fashion to Selby, the 12-time ranking winner Ding then took the next two frames to claw level at the interval.

The pair the traded frames, but with scores at 3-3, Ding made the decisive move. He compiled a run of 73 to move one away from securing the win. Ding was in first again in the eighth frame making 62. Joyce found his way back into the frame, but a fluked red allowed Ding to get over the line.

Next up for China’s top player is 2015 Shanghai Masters champion Kyren Wilson. The Warrior battled past Stuart Bingham in a 5-2 win.

Wilson looked the sharper of the two and got himself over the line with breaks of 43 and 85 in the seventh frame.

Stephen Maguire earned a last eight meeting with Selby after an impressive display helped him ease past Daniel Wells 5-1.

The Scot looked in good touch, making breaks of 78, 129 and 70 during the win. He’ll need to continue to play in that fashion though, as he has to win the tournament to oust Ryan Day from the world’s top 16 and qualify directly for the upcoming World Championship.