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Friday, 1 March 2013

World Open Quarter Final round up

I may be reading too much into one tournament,but I just get the feeling this week that a number of the games top stars are just beginning to find some form again after what was definitely a mid season dip in standard.For evidence you only have to look at the eight players who contested to quarter finals today.

First up today we had Neil Robertson V mark Selby.Both these men have earned reputations for been extremely hard to beat and this one was always going to be closely fought.With these two you actually get the feeling if they play hundred times they would finish fifty-fifty but it has been Selby who has had the better of their latest high profile battles in the UK and The Masters.For a long time today it looked like he might keep this run going as he took a 3-2 led in this high quality encounter.Robertson fought back to lead 4-3 before Selby seemed to be on his way to forcing a decider but missed allowing Robertson to seal a 5-3 victory with an excellent 59.

His semi final opponent will be Matthew Stevens after the Welshman,finally reunited with his cue overcame Judd Trump 5-3.This doesn't tell the whole story though as early in the match Trump had to do some running repairs to a damaged tip in the first frame.He did manage to win that first frame but clearly struggling went in at the interval trailing 3-1.To his credit he fought back to 3-3 .but Stevens has shown some good form here this week and after winning a lengthy seventh frame he sealed victory in the next with a fine 79.

Th other semi final will see The defending champion Mark Allen facing John Higgins.Allen hasn't been at his brilliant best this week but has shown a real determination to hold on to what was his first ranking title.That said he did produce his best display of the week so far in beating Ricky Walden 5-1.He will know he will have to find another gear though if he is to trouble John Higgins who seems to have found his very best form

Yesterday Higgins swept by one of this seasons best performers Stuart Bingham 5-0 and followed it up today with another 5-0 whitewash this time over the home favourite Ding Junhui.Higgins has always been a player who becomes harder to beat the further he gets into a tournament was at his imperious best today realing off 141,113 and 73 in a fine victory.On this form he will be extremely hard to beat.

A fine semi final line up then and I hope the weekend see's a packed auditorium as large crowds are the one thing this tournament has been missing.

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