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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Welsh Open. The story so far

Three days of play completed at the 2013 Welsh Open in Newport and the tournament has already supplied us with some shock results,some veterans rolling back the years and of course some high quality snooker.

Lets get the shocks out of the way first and none came bigger then todays whtiewash 4-0 win for Joe Perry over the tours current in form man and world no.1 Mark Selby.Perry has always been a player capable of pulling out a big result against anyone on his day but the way Selby has been playing of late and especially in his first match here against Steve Davis this was one noone would have expected.All credit to Perry though  who finished the game in style with a classy century.

The other major shock came last night when Shaun Murphy went down 4-3 to Padkaj Advai.Murphy has been Mr consistent this season without ever really looking like threatening the engraver and he looked like he was going to produce another of his trademark comebacks here when he fought back from 3-1 to level at 3-3. Advani  though didn't buckle under the pressure and indeed if anything the man who is the current world Billiards champion grew stronger as he controlled the decider to record the biggest win of his career to date.

From a man making his first waves in the snooker world to someone in a man in the autumn of his career.Ken Doherty lifted this trophy way back in 1993 and he will be more then happy with his display in beating John Higgins 4-1.Doherty has had a pretty decent season,qualifying for most events but this was probably his biggest scalp in a while. Higgins for his part really didn't show up and it may be the case that at this stage in his career,losses like his to Murphy in The Masters just take that bit longer to  get over.

The man Ken beat in that final 20 years ago was Alan McManus and he too is enjoying his best tournament for a while beating Barry Hawkins 4-2 to reach the last 16 of a tournament for the first time in a long time.

One thing the shock exit of Mark Selby does is hand back the World no.1 spot to Judd Trump.Trump has been in a bit of a slump of late and hasn't looked back to his superb best here ,but showed he does possess good fighting qualities in coming back from 3-1 down to beat Dale 4-3.That will give his supporters a lot of heart and who knows,in months to come we might be looking back at this match as the turning point of his season.

 The defending champion this week is of course Ding Junhui and he appears to be a man on a mission here as he tries to defend his title.He was in imperious form today as he swept by Mark King 4-0 and now faces perhaps the other man who has impressed most this week Mark Allen in the last 16.This promises to be a cracking match and it mightn't be stretching it to far to say whoever wins it will take a lot of stopping for the rest of the week.That said I'm sure the likes of Neil Robertson and Stuart Bingham to name but two will have plenty to say about that.

The last 16 matches will all take place tomorrow and after that things may become clearer as to who will be lifting the trophy come Sunday.We have some interesting days ahead.


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