Well after what had been an exrtraordinary opening weekend the championship seemed to have settled down during the week and we entered the second weekend with everyone waiting for the fireworks to start again.We were not to be disappointed.
Firstly as expected Stephen Hendry didn't waste anytime on Saturday afternoon dispatching the defending World Champion John Higgiins 13-3.Higgins explained afterwards that he hadn't practiced this year as he should and had plans in place to rectify that next season.It would be foolish given his determination in the past to rule him out of challenging for his fifth title next season.Hendry on the other will be maybe starting to dream of been crown world champion for an eighth time.
Standing in his way in the quarter finals will be Stephen Maguire who completed a 13-7 victory over Joe Perry.The damage in this one had been done in the second session where Maguire had extended his 5-3 lead into an 11-5 one.Maguire has been in fine form this year and seems at the moment to be capable of winning a frames know matter what way the balls land.This is an important trait for an wouldbe World Champion.
Ryan Day also booked his place in the Quarter finals winning the first four frames on Saturday night to complete a 13-7 win over Cao Yupeng. Cao had threatened to get into the match yesterday morning moving within two of Day a 9-7 but with runs of 113,53,87 and 119 the Welshman secured his place in the next round and a meeting with practice partner Matthew Stevens or Barry Hawkins,
That match has all the hallmarks of becoming a crucible cliffhanger as two sessions on Sunday have failed to separate them and they come out tomorrow afternoon level at 8-8.Of the two players no doubt Stevens will feel the happier with the scoreline though as he had trailed 6-3 and 8-6 but rallied to win the last two to set things up nicely for the final session.
Another match heading for an exciting finish is the fascinating clash between Ali Carter and Judd Trump.The lead in this match has changed hands several times but it is Judd who holds a narrow 9-7 advantage going into the final session tomorrow night..
In other action the young Welshman Jamie Jones is only three frames away from the quarter finals as he takes a 10-6 lead over Andrew Higginson out of this evenings second session having been all square at 4-4 following this mornings first session.
Finally we had the battle between Ronnie O Sullivan and Mark Williams.Few players divide public opinion the way Ronnie does but what no one can dispute is the fact that when he is in full flight there has never been a player who makes the game look as ridiculously easy.That was certainly the case in this match as he turned the overnight score of 5-3 into 11-3 with a rolls royce display threatening to win with a session to spare. Williams at least managed to save himself that indignity by winning the last two frames of the session but has a mountain to climb if he is to record his first ranking event victory over O Sullivan for ten years as they resume tomorrow night 11-5.
So Monday see's the finish of round two and I will be doing a preview ahead of the quarter final matches tomorrow evening as well a predicting the winners...Hopefully with more success then I've done to date!!.