One of the oldest tournaments on the circuit seems to be set for a grandstand finish this weekend as 16 of the worlds best remain in contention to be crowned 2014 Welsh Open champion
Here is a quick summary of todays action
As is always the case for as long as he's in any tournament,the favourite for the title is Ronnie O'Sullivan who came through his last 32 match against Xiao Goudong with the minimum of fuss,winning by a scoreline of 4-1.Next up for Ronnie is Ricky Walden,who beat Anthony Hamilton 4-2.Of course these two met at last months Masters where Ronnie produced a record breaking display of snooker from the Gods.Walden will be hoping to at least get some table time in this one.
Mark Williams kept the home challenge going with his biggest win for a while when he disposed of Neil Robertson in a tense match 4-3.This was by no means a vintage performance but perhaps that will make it all the more pleasing for the Welshman who has been struggling of late,Next up for him is Marco Fu who beat Graeme Dott 4-2.
John Higgins completed a great day for the multiple world champions with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Mark King.He will now face a resurgent Judd Trump who eased past Anthony McGill 4-1.
Defending champion Stephen Maguire seems to be putting his injury problems behind him as he reached the last 16 with a straight forward 4-0 win over Andrew Pagget.He now faces Joel Walker who kept his fine week going with a 4-1 win over veteran James Wattana.
Mark Selby continued his smooth progress the week with a 4-0 victory over Dominic Dale.Next up for him is a clash with Ali Carter who scored a vital 4-3 win over Mark Allen in the fight for automatic Crucible qualification
Ding Junhui's quest for a record equaling fifth ranking.title this season is still alive but only after he survived a real scare against \Ben Woollaston,eventually winning 4-3.He'll now face Scott Donaldson who also edged through 4-3 beating former runner up Andrew Higginson.
Elsewhere Barry Hawkins fought back from 3-1 down to beat Jack Lisowski 4-3 and now faces Liang Wenbo who brought Shaun Murphy,s recent good run to an end also by a scoreline of 4-3.and finally Joe Perry beat Matthew Stevens 4-3 and will face Stuart Bingham who beat Michael Holt 4-3.
A busy day of action with some really fascinating matches to take place tomorrow.As I said this could turn out to be one of the tournaments of the season as it build towards its conclusion on Sunday.