WILLIAMS EDGES PAST HAWKINS
MARK Williams held his nerve to beat Barry Hawkins 3-2 and move into the last eight of the World Open.
Williams, the world number 8 enjoyed a flying start as he rattled in a break of 112 to take the opening frame without ever offering Hawkins half a chance. Hawkins though had first opportunity in frame 2 only to miss a blue to the corner. This time though he was to receive a let-off from the Welshman as Mark missed with a long red. The red trundled back towards the top cushion and came to rest just off the cushion. Hawkins taking a deep breath lined up the delicate cut and the red dropped. From there he made 66 and levelled the match at 1-1.
Hawkins though was soon behind again as he sank a long difficult red along the side cushion. That he was to only make 28 from it would have seemed scant reward for the Dartford man who’s missed red was to present Williams with a chance to counter. The Welshman was to make no mistake and a 55 saw him over the line for a 2-1 lead.
To Hawkins credit he continued to battle and a run of 42 came to an end with him scampering to safety after running out of position. But he had left Williams a chance of a long red to the corner from the top end of the table. Lining up the pot Williams struck it only to see it wobble in the jaws and roll away to safety. Hawkins in from close range with a red to the corner made a break of 41 to restore parity at 2-2.
So to the decider and Williams always held the whip hand – that only threatened briefly to fall from his grasp when he got a thunderous “kick” in potting a red to the corner which left him short of position on the black. The look of frustration on the Welshman’s face was there for everyone to see as he retreated to his seat, clattering his cue in the process.
But Williams was to be given another chance as Hawkins left him with a red close to the top corner pocket. Clipping the red in from distance the two times former world champion made a vital 51 that was enough to see him through to victory.
DING’S CHINESE TAKEAWAY
DING Junhui became the first man into the last eight in the World Open after disposing of Marcus Campbell 3-0.
Campbell who needed over two hours to subdue Mike Dunn in the previous round had no answer to Ding who in quickfire fashion raced away with the opening frame with a 110 break after long straight red put him nicely among the balls.
And soon the Chinese number 1 was 2-0 up after Campbell missed an easy red when on a break of 23. With the balls well split Ding stepped in with what was to be a decisive 62 to lead 2-0.
In what was largely an error free performance from Ding the lone error was to come in frame 3 when on a break of 23 he missed a comparatively simple red to the corner. Campbell though though looked a beaten man and two missed pots , firstly on the black and then leaving a red sitting in the jaws of the pocket was to confirm the impending exit for the Scotsman. With a red sitting close to the centre pocket Ding sunk it and then followed with a break of 48 to wrap up the frame and with it the match.
EBDON STAGGERS THROUGH IN LATE NIGHT DRAMA
PETER Ebdon withstood a late night wobble before beating Liu Song 3-2 to move into the final eight of the World Open.
A tight tactical first frame went the way of Ebdon, Song guilty of a tactical howler where he had a chance to steal it with two snookers. Having extracted one four point penalty snooker the Beijing man had the option of putting Ebdon in again. Opting to play from where Ebdon had left him Song then left Ebdon to clear green, brown and blue to take the opening frame.
Ebdon led 60-35 in the second frame but then gifted Liu a chance when he left the yellow sitting over the corner pocket. It looked for all the world that Lui was going to level as he worked his way through the colours to the pink which was on it’s spot. Song though at close range missed it – and worse was to come when the pink trundled up to the “green” pocket where it came to a juddering halt for Ebdon to prod home for 2-0 lead.
A 40 break at the start of the third frame comprising of five red and five blacks gave rise to the hope of seeing a second 147 this week but Peter’s missed red ended that ambition for the former world champion. And as Ebdon built 56-19 lead so he moved close to victory. But Song was to deny him as given a chance of a red to the corner took it and with a break of 46 cleared to the pink to pinch the frame and stay in contention at 2-1.
And the world number 17 was forced to sit and suffer after missing a pink off its spot allowing Song to step in and stroke in a make 27. In truth he should have made more but an underhit red meant that Song fell short of ideal position on the pink which then rolled past the knuckles of the centre pocket. But Ebdon couldn’t capitalise and with the black lodged in the jaws of the corner pocket Song sized up whether there was enough room for a red just off the cushion to squeeze past it into the pocket. Using the rest and playing with minimum power the red dropped and he landed plumb on the black. From it Liu made 48 to force a decider.
And when Ebdon let Song in with a red to the corner the Chinese player looked set for victory as he embarked on a break of 38 – only to miss the pink off the blue spot to the centre. Leading 50-14 and with three reds left on the table Liu’s dream was about to be effectively ruined with an astute snooker from Ebdon as he tucked the cue ball close to the green. Four times Liu tried to escape and four times he missed before leaving Ebdon with a pottable red into he centre. And those fouls soon totted as up as Ebdon had managed to cut the points deficit to 42-50 by exposing Liu’s tactical game. Just the colours remained and Liu was about to pay dearly as Ebdon hammered in a long yellow, followed with green, brown and blue to see off his doughty challenger and stumble over the line with a 3-2 victory.
WALDEN SENDS COPE PACKING
RICKY Walden disposed of Jamie Cope to move ino the last eight at the World Open in Glasgow.
Walden, looking calm and relaxed throughout rattled in a break of 58 to account for the first frame with Cope only venturing to the table once in a none scoring frame for the Staffordshire man.
Walden’s initial 46 in frame 2 should have been able to see him through to a 2-0 advantage but being forced to scamper to safety when he ran out of position coupled with a missed blue to the corner when back in among the balls meant that his lead was only 53-0. Cope though was to show a tactical side to his game as he snookered Walden with the balls well spread. As Ricky made his escape he managed to hit the red on the top cushion and knock it on. The cue ball was close to the side cushion. Playing the ball dead weight Cope rolled the ball into the corner pocket and made 28 before missing the penultimate red.
Cope though was not to be denied for too much longer as he was soon back in among the balls with a 36 to level the scores at 1-1.
But Walden soon restablished his authority as he rolled in 98 after a Cope safety caught the blue full in the face and left Ricky with an easy red to the top corner. With Walden now leading 2-1 he just required one more for a place in the quarter finals.
And it wasn’t to be long in coming as Cope missed a straightforward red with a rest to leave Ricky among the balls. Jamie could only sit an watch in horror as his 40-13 lead was eroded with a 53 to seal victory with a 3-1 scoreline.
RONNIE SHATTERS HENDRY HOPES
RONNIE O’Sullivan shattered the hopes and the dreams of Stephen Hendry and a capacity crowd to record a 3-1 victory in a battle of two former world champions.
In a race to three the start is critical – even more so when these two lock horns and it was Ronnie who got the jump on Hendry by powering in a 93 in just under thirteen minutes to lead 1-0. Hendry though, in front of his loyal and devoted fans is not easily intimidated. But when Hendry left Ronnie a cuttable red to the corner just off the side cushion he may have feared the worst. Instead the jaws of everyone were to hit the floor when Ronnie, attempting the thinnest of contacts left it and Hendry was back in a frame he may have thought he had kissed goodbye to.
With the most delicate of touch Hendry sunk the red and embarked on a break of 95 to the delight of the crowd who had come expecting a ding dong thriller.
The pivotal third hung in the balance till the end as both missed a hatful of chances. Gone was the free flowing breakbuilding and now we had two players, feeling the tension. Finally though O’Sullivan took it to lead 2-1.
With one frame just needed for victory for O’Sullivan he was presented with a golden chance as Hendry kissed the blue on his break off shot, sending the cue ball to the side cushion where a red was available to the corner. As O’Sullivan drilled it in the sense of disappointment was hanging in the air for the Hendry fans as Ronnie progressed to 66 – only to miss the match ball red to the corner. Hendry had a chance to counter but could only make 23 before running out of position. The safety battle that followed though was to come to an end swiftly as Hendry caught his safety too thickly leaving it for Ronnie to pot to the centre and finish off a match and put himself through to the last eight.
MAGUIRE WINS LOCAL DERBY
STEPHEN Maguire won the battle of the Glaswegians against Alan McManus 3-0 to move into the last eight of the World Open.
Maguire and McManus who regularly practice together had the onerous task of following on from O’Sullivan and Hendry. And in a one sided encounter it was Maguire who dominated proceedings.
Without scoring any substantial breaks Maguire went 2-0 up against McManus. McManus though never had the run of the balls and a miscue just about summed up his afternoon when in prime position miscued when addressing the black. Maguire though failed to make the most of it and indeed needed a further two bites of the cherry before compiling a 77 break to wrap up the match and keep Scottish interest alive in the tournament.
ROBERTSON EDGES PAST HIGGINSON
NEIL Robertson saw off a determined challenge from Andrew Higginson 3-2 in a two hour thriller to move into the last eight of the 12BET.com World Open.
Robertson though was far from convincing as Higginson put him under real pressure in a match that sees Robertson guaranteed to end the tournament as world number one.
Yet the first frame provided few clues of what a tight struggle the match was destined to be as Neil cruised through the first frame with a break of 60. But Higginson was not going to allow the world champion to dictate the tempo of the match to suit himself as a break of 46 did the initial damage before piecing together enough points to take the frame and level the match at 1-1.
Higginson will surely kick himself for not taking the third frame when well placed on a 60 break. Robertson though was to break his heart in the most brutal fashion as he took full advantage of a loose safety shot to ram in a long red to the “yellow” pocket and make a frame winniing break of 68 to put himself one frame from victory at 2-1. Back though came Higginson and in a repeat of the second frame levelled at 2-2.
So to the decider and a frame where both players had their chances. But it looked for all the world that when Neil left a red sitting in the jaws of the corner pocket that the destiny of the match had been decided. As Andrew prodded in the red and left himself on the black a frame winning break looked imminant. Alas no – he was to be robbed when in trying to play into the the cluster of reds he missed the cannon and Andrew was left with no alternative but to play safe with 31 to his name. As Robertson fought to regain control of the frame he left Andrew tight on the baulk cushion with the reds obscured by the baulk colours. Playing off two cushions Higginson made contact but could do nothing about leaving a red along the top cushion for Neil to take aim at. The Australian cut the red back towards the top corner pocket and set off on what was to be a decisive break of 43, which combined with an early effort of 17 left him leading at 60-39 with just one red left. And that one red was all Neil would need and when the chance came to remove it he took it by powering in the red from the baulk line to end the hopes of Andrew and set up a showdown with Ricky Walden.
GOULD CRUSHES LEE TO REACH QUARTERS
MARTIN Gould destroyed Stephen Lee 3-0 as he reached his first ranking quarter final of his professional career.
Gould, from Pinner took control of the match from the offset as he dominated the opening frame, taking it inside 10minutes. Gould high on confidence after demolishing Matthew Couch in the previous round made short work of the second too as breaks of 39 and latterly 56 saw him punish Lee who in escaping from a Gould snooker had left a red just off the side cushion to set Gould on his way.
Lee, struggling to contain Gould could do nothing to stop Martin who with breaks of 17 and 48 saw him lead 68 -21 and with just the colours remaining Stephen, realising the match was a lost cause sportingly held out his hand and conceded the match to Martin who now goes on to face Peter Ebdon.
So we now have our quarter finalists it is.
Ricky Walden v Neil Robertson
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Stephen Maguire
Ding Junhui v Mark Williams
Martin Gould v Peter Ebdon
Suzy Jardine – Glasgow