Sunday, 24 April 2011

Fab four fly into quarters

Four names are confirmed for the quarter-final Crucible line-up and it's not been without a story.

Impressive Mark Williams was the first man through with a 13-4 demolition of Jamie Cope. I said just a couple of days ago that the Welshman is one of the two players to beat.

He's playing as well as he has been all season and easy wins so far means he'll have plenty of spare energy in the tank to mount a serious challenge as the week goes on.

People are beginning to talk about Judd Trump as a potential champion too. He was spectacular again when he beat Martin Gould 13-6. More long potting. More big breaks. More rave reviews. He looks to be really enjoying his snooker at Sheffield this year. And why shouldn't he? He's come so far and no everyone is watching him.

The best part of Trump's story is that it's not just hype.  I think he'll even believe he can win it now. And if confidence is what it takes, he's got it aplenty.

Also through is Crucible-specialist Graeme Dott. The Scot is bidding it to make it to his fourth Sheffield final in eight years. He's made it this far following a 13-11 win over Ali Carter. Can he go on? He'll be scrapping that's for sure.

Then there was the incredible story of Mark Allen. He won his second decider of the championship last night with a last gasp win against Barry Hawkins.

I said before the tournament how the Crucible has the potential to bring out the best in players struggling. Fighting against depression, Allen has shown bottle and character to come this far. Preparation to this tournament could hardly have been worse for him. It's a funny old game.

Elsewhere, Ronnie O'Sullivan wasn't at his very best yesterday but still managed to open up a 6-2 lead against Shaun Murphy. And Mark Selby showed much improvement from his first round performance to build a 7-1 advantage on Stephen Hendry.

No comments:

Post a Comment