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Monday, 3 December 2012

Uk Championship Rd 1 round up

Three days in to the 2012 UK Championship and with round one completed I think it's probably fair to say the Snooker at times hasn't been of the standard we would expect.That said it has been no less entertaining for this with some stand out performances and one major shock.

Lets get the shock out of the way first.Judd Trump came here as the man in form this season and having recently become World no.1 the defending champion was expected by many to claim another UK title. Mark Joyce having recovered from a career threatening assault though .had other idea's and battled back from 5-2 down to clinch a famous 6-5 victory.Trump will feel no doubt have had a sleepness night after this one.He was in complete control of the match at 3-0 and 5-2 but somehow let it slip.This is not the first time this has happened him in the last twelve month's and if he is to be the real "snooker great" his talent suggests he could be he will have to become much more ruthless in his finishing of match's.

The reward for Joyce is a second round match with Ali Carter who beat Steve Davis 6-2 in a match that in truth never really got going.

Stuart Bingham who is brimming with confidence following his recent victory in the Premier league negotiated a potentially tricky first round match against young York debutant Jack Lisowski.sealing a 6-2 win.He will play Stephen Maguire in the next round.Maguire produced one of the stand out performances over the weekend when he visibly upped the gears from 2-2 with Fergal O'Brien winning 6-2 with a run of three centuries and a 70.

Belgian wonderkid Luca Brecel  produced an astonishingly mature performance to reach round two with a dramatic late night 6-5 victory over Ricky Walden.Walden had lea 2-0 and 4-2 but with neither player really playing at their best it was Brecel who showed the greater composure in the end to seal the win.We do at times get these players who show promise at an early age only for things to fizzle out but I really don't see that happening with Luca,I believe we will be hearing a lot of this chap in coming seasons.His second opponent will be Mark King who again proved a thorn in the side of Mark Williams winning this one 6-3

Former UK champion Shaun Murphy showed flashes of what he is capable of with  a 6-3 win over an unwell Robert  Milkins and will face Graeme Dott  who beat Martin Gould 6-5.

In the bottom half of the draw John Higgins progressed with a 6-3 win over Michael Holt. With Trump now gone many will be looking at Higgins as favourite to win this title.He will have to play a lot better then he did in this one if he is to do that but we all know he is capable of doing that.The fact is if John Higgins is in a tournament he capable of winning it.His next opponent will be Mark Davis who continued his fine form of late with a 6-2 win over Cao Yupeng.

Marco Fu has always been one of the those player who has struggled for consistency but on his day is capable of playing the game to the highest standard and beating anyone. Sunday was one of his going days and he produced an outstanding display to beat last year finalist Mark Allen 6-3.This on seedings goes down as a shock but if Fu was to have a run here it would surprise no one.He will play Matthew Stevens in the next round who of course is another man who hasn't won the titles his talent deserved albeit he won this title in 2003 ,He reached the next round with a comfortable 6-1 over an visibly under the weather Dominic Dale.

Undoubtedly the performance of the tournament so far was that of Neil Robertson who knocked in four centuries in a 6-1 thrashing of Tom Ford. Robertson controlled the match from start to finish in form reminiscent of what he produced in the Crucible last year where he was only stopped by Ronnie playing at his peak.He was installed as favourite for the title after this result and few could argue on this evidence.Standing in his way in the next round will be Barry Hawkins who beat Liang Wenbo 6-4.

Rounding off the draw is Mark Selby who will be eyeing a potential return to the top of the rankings if he reaches the final here.He produced a solid display in beating Michael White 6-3 and will play Ryan Day who repeated his World Championship victory over two time UK champ Ding Junhui thus time coming through 6-4

So on the evidence of round 1 what can we say for the resat of the tournament? Well Neil Robertson is a worthy favourite on form but many others that are left you feel have only been feeling around the edges yet and there is plenty of snooker to be played yet.The next two days of Last 16 action should make the picture a little clearer.

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