Ding Junhui has had a fantastic season up to this point, reaching the finals of the Grand Prix and China, with a delightful win in the UK Championship inbetween. During that tournament, he beat the 2005 World Champion comfortably on his way to victory, and in their other match in the last two years Ding also won at the Masters last year. Ding won his round-one match with ease against Stuart Pettman which arguably says more about his opponent's ineptitude than Ding playing especially good snooker but the Chinese number-one's record at the Crucible in recent years hasn't been so good so a comfortable win was very much welcomed.
Shaun Murphy looked to be cruising to a win in R1 against Gerard Greene, 9-2 and in total control before letting the Northern Irishman back into the match. Murphy produced a cool 87 break in the 17th frame to seal his passage but knows he must improve to reach another Crucible quarter-final. His season up to now has been pretty poor, just a solitary semi-final in the first ranking event of the season to show for it, but he has form at this particular event.
A big name is guaranteed to go out here, who do you think it will be ? Ding is number-one on the one-year list but can he stretch his lead ? Will Murphy salvage a poor season into a sensational one here this fortnight ?
- Posts: 17471
- Joined: 02 October 2009
- Location: UK
- Snooker Idol: Judd Trump
- Highest Break: 150