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Thursday, 28 March 2013

China Open Quarter Final Preview

Quarter final day at the China Open in Beijing and despite some early shocks this week we are left with possibly the strongest last eight we have seen in a tournament in quite a while.

First up we have Mark Selby v Mark Williams.This is fascinating match up and rematch of the Shanghai Masters final from last season.This is significant as since that match which ended in a small bit of controversy Williams has really struggled for form and has recently half mocked about retirement.That said his comeback today ,from 4-2 to Ali Carter saw him produce snooker close to his best and he will be hoping it signals a return to form.

Selby  reached this stage with a 5-2 victory over Ricky Walden.He may have failed to reach the level of performance he did in his first match here,but he again showed the matchplay skills that have seen him win so often in the come through. This quarter final may be close as Williams for all his break building abilities can scrap it out with the best of them but i feel the momentum is with Selby and may be enough to give him the edge.

Athe same time on the other table we see Jack Lisowski v Shaun Murphy in what is Lisowski's first ranking quarter final.He reached this stage by following up his victory over Trump with a stirring fightback to beat Mark Davis 5-4.Lisowski has been talked about in glowing terms for a while now and maybe his run here will be the spark that moves him to the next level regardless of how much further he progresses. 

The man hoping that run does end here is Murphy.These have been strange times for Murphy,who was Mr.Consistent for much of the season without winning a title and just like a golfer who has a series of pars,the run either comes to end with a birdie or a bogey.Unfortunately for him is was a bogey and he has seen his form drop off of late with some early exits.He has looked better this week but I just feel that Lisowski will keep his run going here and follow up a first quarter final appearance with a first semi final.

In the evening session we have two men who have a recent history as both contested the recent Welsh Open Final.Stephen Maguire beat Stuart Bingham 9-8 on that occasion and we could well have another close battle here.both men have produced solid displays this week but I think that once again Maguire,who got a much needed boost to his confidence winning that Welsh Open title will confirm that form to win this one.

The last Quarter final between Marcus Campbell & Neil Robertson looks on the face of it to be the easiest to call but although it would be surprising to see Robertson exit here it is not beyond the realms of possibility for Campbell to prevail.That said Robertson looked very good today in beating Allen and he should win this one on all known form.

Fascinating days snooker in store then and no matter what the results are we are in for a great weekend of action

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