It had seemed we were going to be in for quite an afternoon of action,with Neil Robertson & Mark Allen resuming,what,to then had been a closely fought encounter,that had seen the Aussie holding a 9-7 lead.It was only in that final frame last night that Robertson had established that two frame advantage that ultimately proved to be decisive,as he took the opening frame today and never looked back.
Its one of those rare things in sport to see someone so obviously "in the zone" but it is precisely what we saw this afternoon as Robertson took the next with a 69 to go 11-7. He immediately got in amongst them again in the next and the question now was could he make that bit of snooker history,his 100th century of the season. Agonisingly for him the answer was no as he missed a black on 94,but that was more enough to put him one away from victory at 12-7.
The end came in the next frame with another near miss on the record,this time the break ending on 92,but that was the only disappointment in an afternoon of snooker of the highest quality People have been wondering where the challenge for Ronnie was going to come from and I think we can say it may well be the Aussie if he can keep up performances like this..
Of course we have a lot of snooker to be played before we can start thinking about that potential final and Shaun Murphy will certainly hope to have a say as he set up a quarter final clash with Ronnie,beating Marco Fu 13-8.
Murphy had also lead this one 9-7 overall and although the opening two frames here could have gone either way,they went to Murphy to see him lead 11-7.Into the next and a solid 75 from Murphy moved him to 12-7.Fu was now at the point of no return and although he knocked in a 92 in frame 20 Murphy quickly finished it off after the interval, to book his quarter final place
In the other match to finish tonight Judd Trump finished off the challenge of Ryan Day before the mid session interval recording in the end a 13-7 win. As I said yesterday this scoreline was not really a fair reflection on the play in this one,with Day failing to finish off many frames he should really have won. Trump though did play better here than he did in his first match,but will also know he'll need to step it up again if he is to push Robertson in their Quarter final match up.
The player with the most straight forward second round win was Dominic Dale who took the first frame this morning to complete a 13-4 win over Michael Wasley.
So that completes the quarter final line up.Here is the full list of fixtures with added score predictions,all of which will probably serve to prove I'm useless at predictions!!
Ronnie O'Sullivan 13-6 Shaun Murphy
Barry Hawkins 13-3 Dominic Dale
Mark Selby 13- 5 Alan McManus
Judd Trump 11-13 Neil Robertson