Yesterday in Milton Keys saw the last 32 and the last 16 rounds played to a conclusion.
The quarter-finals line-up is an interesting one.
The two remaining top sixteen players, Mark Allen and Mark Selby will play each other. This opens a great opportunity for the rest of the field. All six other players are quality. I’ll sit on the fence
Robbie Williams faces Lyu Haotian. Lyu had a very hard time when he first qualified for the main tour. He was too young, lonely and terrible things happened to him. He almost quit snooker. That would have been a terrible shame because he’s incredibly talented. He’s still very young, he’s only 24. He seems to be coming back to hist best and it’s good to see. Robbie is a solid all-rounder. I fancy Lyu to win
Noppon Saengkham will play Jamie Jones. Both have played at the Crucible and won at least one match there. Both have reached the semi-finals of a ranking event more than once. I’ll sit on the fence
Ryan Day faces Yuan Sijun. Ryan has reached the QF stage at the Crucible three times and is a multiple ranking event winner but has not done much recently. Yuan Sijun is only 22. He has beaten some big names before: Kyren Wilson, John Higgins, Shaun Murphy, Mark Williams, Stephen Maguire and Ding Junhui. He lost his form for a while but looks very dangerous again. I fancy Yuan to win.
Trump Looks Forward To Allen Test
Judd Trump saw off Xu Si 4-0 at the Cazoo British Open and has lost just one frame in his three matches so far in Milton Keynes, but could face a much tougher challenge against Mark Allen in the last 16.
Last 16 matches on Thursday evening:
Mark Selby v Jack Lisowski
Anthony Hamilton v Yuan Sijun
Jamie Jones v Ben Woollaston
Robbie Williams v Steven Hallworth
Mark Allen v Judd Trump
Graeme Dott v Ryan Day
Noppon Saengkham v Jordan Brown
Lyu Haotian v Matthew Stevens
Trump is seeking his first title since he lifted the Turkish Masters trophy in March and looks favourite for the £100,000 top prize this week, which would put him ahead of Ronnie O’Sullivan at the summit of the world rankings.
He might have lost the opening frame against Xu, but the Chinese cueman’s attempted clearance ended when he missed a routine pot on the final pink. Trump capitalised and went on to take the next three frames with top runs of 62 and 130.
“No one has played their best against me yet,” admitted Trump. “The draw is getting tougher now so we’ll see what I really have in the tank. Mark Allen can be one of the best in the world on his day so that’s a big test. That kind of pressure tends to bring the best out of me.”
Northern Ireland’s Allen saw off Gary Wilson 4-2 with top breaks of 98, 52, 82 and 78.
Trump and Mark Selby are the only members of the world’s top ten still in the field. China’s Zhao Xintong, ranked seventh, suffered a 4-1 reverse against Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham. After losing the first frame, Zhao made a 77 for 1-1, then made a 64 in frame three, only for his opponent to clear with 67. That proved the turning point as Saengkham took a scrappy fourth frame then sealed victory in the fifth with an 89 clearance.
“I was excited to play Zhao and I enjoyed it,” said Saengkham. “After I won the third frame he felt uncomfortable and there was pressure on him. I am always trying new things in practice and trying to improve.”
World number 61 Robbie Williams top scored with 96 in a 4-2 win over Ding Junhui, while Ryan Day made a 103 in a 4-1 defeat of Jimmy Robertson. Former Welsh Open champion Jordan Brown edged out Yan Bingtao 4-3 with a top break of 134.
Allen Edges Trump To Earn Selby Clash
Mark Allen has lost over four stone in weight during the summer and looks to have new impetus on the table, beating Judd Trump 4-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the Cazoo British Open.
Northern Ireland’s Allen struggled for results in the second half of last season, but slimming down has helped his game and he looks sharp this week. The 36-year-old can look forward to a meeting with Mark Selby on Friday afternoon in Milton Keynes.
Mark Selby v Mark Allen
Robbie Williams v Lyu Haotian
Noppon Saengkham v Jamie Jones
Ryan Day v Yuan Sijun
Breaks of 68 and 67 helped put Allen 2-0 ahead of Trump, and he might have extended his lead but missed the last red to a baulk corner in frame three. That handed Trump a lifeline and he thumped the red into the same pocket, cleared for 2-1 then took the next frame to square the match. Allen regained the lead before Trump’s 109 made it 3-3.
In the decider, Trump had first chance and made 38 before playing safe. Allen’s counter ended when he missed the last red to a top corner on 55, and he was fortunate to snooker his opponent behind the black. Another slice of luck on his next shot saw him snooker Trump again, and from the chance that followed the Antrim cueman cleared for victory.
“From 2-0 I let Judd back into the match,” said world number 14 Allen. “But in the end I hung in there and made a decent 55 in the last frame. I was lucky that Judd wasn’t quite at his best tonight. My focus was good. I will need to play better than that against Mark Selby, but I really enjoy testing myself against the top players.”
Selby gave the clearest indication yet of a return to his best form as he beat Jack Lisowski 4-1 and made a superb 147. The maximum gave Selby the opening frame, then the second went to a respotted black and he converted a double to a centre pocket for 2-0. The Leicester cueman got the better of a battle on the last red in the third and extended his lead.
Lisowski showed his quality during a break of 119 as he pulled one back, but a long red early in frame five set up Selby for a match-winning 117.
“It was fantastic to make the 147 on live on TV, it’s extra special,” said four-time Crucible king Selby. “I had no choice but to go for the treble (on the 12th red), it was a one in 50 shot.”
Jamie Jones beat Ben Woollaston 4-2 to reach his second quarter-final of the season, having made the same stage of the BetVictor European Masters. Welshman Jones was due to run the London Marathon on Sunday but snooker takes priority.
“I am supposed to collect my number by Saturday evening, so if I win my quarter-final here I’ll have to think carefully about whether to pull out of the marathon,” said Jones, who now meets Noppon Saengkham, a 4-0 winner over Jordan Brown. “If that happens then I will run a virtual marathon in Neath next week and people will come out and run with me, which would be great anyway. Either way it’s going to be a positive end to the week for me.
“I played well in patches tonight. All of the underdogs left in the draw realise this is a great opportunity, as the random draw has kept us away from the bigger names.”
China’s Lyu Hoatian made breaks of 141 and 131 as he beat Matthew Stevens 4-1, setting up a tie with Robbie Williams, who ended the run of amateur Steven Hallworth. From 3-2 down, Williams took a scrappy sixth frame, then finished in style with a 134 total clearance.
Yuan Sijun edged out Anthony Hamilton 4-3 and now meets Ryan Day, who beat Graeme Dott 4-2.
This is Mark Selby’s 147, shared by WST on their Youtube channel