Day 4 at the 2023 Masters

The quarter-finals line-up was completed yesterday at the 2023 Masters, with Judd Trump and Stuart Bingham both winning their first round match.

Here are the reports by WST

Judd Trump 6-5 Ryan Day

Relieved Trump Survives Day Thriller

Ryan Day failed to capitalise on a series of match-winning chances, and suffered a cruel piece of misfortune in the deciding frame, as he lost 6-5 to Judd Trump in the opening round of the Cazoo Masters.

Day led 5-3 and had opportunities in each of the last three frames to take a major scalp, but couldn’t take advantage. In an exciting final frame, he was unlucky to knock a red in when splitting the pack, and later missed the brown with one red remaining. Defeat will be hard to take for the Welshman as he looked the stronger player for much of the afternoon but made crucial errors at the business end.

A relieved Trump edged through to a quarter-final with Barry Hawkins on Friday afternoon, a repeat of their 2022 semi-final which Hawkins won 6-5. World number four Trump has had a patchy season so far – his only final appearance came at the Cazoo Champion of Champions when he lost to Ronnie O’Sullivan. The 33-year-old was far from his best today, but perhaps will feel his luck has turned and this result could kick-start his campaign.

Trump led 63-12 in the opening frame when he overcut the black to a top corner, handing Day the chance to clear with 56 to take the lead. Frame two came down to the colours and Trump got the better of a safety battle before potting blue and pink for 1-1. Day regained the lead with a run of 59 before Trump’s 57 helped him level at 2-2. In frame five, Trump trailed 28-44 when he botched a safety shot on the last red, allowing his opponent to go ahead again. Bristol’s Trump responded with a 105, the highest break of the match, for 3-3.

Day won a scrappy seventh frame and got the better of a safety battle on the yellow in the eighth before potting the balls he needed for 5-3. Frame nine came down to a respotted black and Day missed a tough pot for the match to a baulk corner, allowing Trump to pot it and stay alive. World number 15 Day had another opportunity in the tenth but missed a tricky black off the last red when he led 49-36, and Trump punished him again for 5-5.

In the decider, Day was on 17 when he smashed the pack open from the black, only for a red to drop into a centre pocket. Trump made 58 to move to the brink of victory, but was then trapped in a tough snooker on the last red. Leading by 40 points, he missed his target and left a free ball, but Day couldn’t accept the gift, hitting the near jaw with an attempted brown to centre. Trump potted the red to force the handshake.

Ryan was very unfortunate in the last frame because he potted a brilliant long red to get in, then the red dropped in when he opened them up,” said 2019 World Champion Trump. “Those kind of things haven’t been happening for me all season, it’s the bit of luck you need to kick on and do well. You always have to feel for your opponent, I have been in that position before and it’s not good. I am just over the moon to get through and I potted a couple of crucial shots when I really needed to under pressure which is very pleasing.

This is a tournament right up there with the Crucible where you don’t want to be out in the first round. I can enjoy the next match because I am just happy to still be here and it’s a free shot. I should be on the way home now.

Day said: “I had enough chances. It was a very bitty game, we both struggled with the conditions. In the end, one of us was going to fall over the line. I wasn’t feeling confident coming here, then when its game day you have to find an extra 10 or 15 per cent. It wasn’t to be today.”

To be honest I wasn’t “thrilled” at all watching this match; it was just horrible. Both players struggled badly with the conditions. Right from the start Dominic Dale, in commentary, noticed it and said that the table wasn’t playing well. It happens often at Alexandra Palace. The fitters once told me that the humidity level was hard to control when there was a “full house” in attendance at Ally Pally, and there are more seats available now than were then. That said, Judd Trump was far from his best, and Ryan was unlucky and unreliable under pressure.

But that was not the main reason why I was unable to enjoy the match. Philip Studd was in the commentary box and whenever he comments on a match involving Judd Trump he’s so heavily biased that it’s off-putting for the neutral. It almost felt to me as, in his view, there was only player worth our attention and support at the table, Judd Trump, and it would be a travesty if Ryan eventually won. Philip is not the only one guilty of lacking “neutrality” in commentary of course. Phil Yates certainly was seriously biased as well in the days when commentating on Stephen Hendry. We all have our favourites, but for some reason it really annoyed me yesterday. Big time.

Stuart Bingham 6-3 Kyren Wilson

Bingham Fires Three Centuries To Beat Wilson

With his best performance of the season so far, 2020 champion Stuart Bingham made three centuries in a 6-3 victory over Kyren Wilson to reach the quarter-finals of the Cazoo Masters.

If I play like that, people will find it hard to stop me this year.” said Bingham, who completes the last eight line-up at Alexandra Place and will face Shaun Murphy on Friday at 7pm.

Shaun Murphy v Stuart Bingham
Judd Trump v Barry Hawkins
Hossein Vafaei v Jack Lisowski
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Mark Williams

It has been a disappointing season for Bingham so far as he has failed to progress beyond the last 16 of any ranking event, but he has time to turn it around in the second half of the campaign and on tonight’s evidence he is a strong contender for the title. He played the best snooker of the week so far in the first five frames, and despite a few late jitters as Wilson battled back, the 46-year-old Essex man did enough to secure a fourth Masters quarter-final.

World number 14 Bingham started in fine style with breaks of 102 and 109 to go 2-0 ahead. Wilson had a clear chance to pull one back but missed the blue to a centre pocket when he trailed 21-23 in frame three, and Bingham punished him to go 3-0 up. Runs of 85 and 127 extended his advantage to 5-0.

Wilson hit back with 90 and 81 to close to 5-2. Frame eight was resolved with a safety battle on the colours, Wilson converting excellent pots on yellow, green and brown to reduce his deficit. But the Kettering cueman’s recovery ended in the ninth as a loose safety handed Bingham the chance to knock in a long yellow, and he added the green to cross the winning post.

My mum and dad always say that I try to give them heart attacks and it was no different tonight,” added Bingham, who beat Ali Carter in the final here three years ago. “At 5-0 I was cruising then Kyren showed his true grit and made a fight of it. In the end I was lucky to get through. You can’t help having doubts, especially as I have been struggling to get wins this season so the demons start coming out. This gives me a lot of confidence for the next match.

When I got to the top of the stairs at the start of the match, I looked at the arena and thought ‘Oh wow, this is brilliant.’ If you can’t get up for these tournaments at these venues then you’re better off staying at home. The way I started the match off was a dream.

Wilson said: “I still fancied it at 5-0. I didn’t feel as if I did too much wrong, apart from the third frame when I missed chances. I was proud of the way I came back, I just played a couple of bad safeties in the last frame.”

I have to confess that I gave up on that match at the MSI. Stuart was playing really well and I couldn’t see Kyren come back from that far behind. I expected this to end up 6-0 or 6-1 at best. I was wrong, I should have known better: Kyren isn’t nicknamed “the Warrior” for nothing. But the two hours time difference – Greece is in the Easter European Timezone – combined with the afternoon match frustrations got the better of me.

This afternoon, Ronnie will play Willo. Usually Mark Williams downplays his chances against Ronnie, but not this time: he is playing really well and feels confident. Ronnie will need to play better than he did in his first match if he is to win today. That said, he was glimpsed practicing in the background in a couple of ES player’s interview pieces, so there is hope for us ROS fans. 😉

One thought on “Day 4 at the 2023 Masters

  1. Jimmy said Ronnie was practicing for 2 hours o so, only missing 2 balls: Jimmy was really impressed lol. I really hope Ronnie plays well and wins: I need something after yesterday big disappointment after I got my hopes up…

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