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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Welsh Open. 2015 The headlines so far.

The 2015 Welsh Open in Cardiff has over the last three days whittled its way down from 128 to the  16 who will battle it out tomorrow for a place in the quarter finals.

Before we talk about those who are left in.lets have a quick round up of those big names who will be absent.The biggest of these absentees  will be the defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan,who crashed out 4-3 to home favourite Matthew Stevens.

Ronnie's comments about the changes to this years tournament were well documented earlier in the week and you certainly get the feeling that although every defeat hurts,this wasn't a tournament Ronnie was particularly enjoying,so he will probably get over it pretty quickly.

Also missing from the latter stages will be The Masers champion Shaun Murphy who went down 4-3 to Jamie Jones earlier in the week and Ding Junhui whose alarming slump in form continued with w shock 4-1 first round exit here at the hands of Lee Walker.

So enough of those who are gone,who is left?

Well, world champ Mark Selby is still very much in the hunt for back to back ranking titles,but only after surviving a real scare at the hands of Peter Ebdon coming through in the end 4-3 and he will next face Luca Brecel,who has enjoyed his best run in quite some time this week.

Neil Robertson was another big name to edge through in a decider,beating Jamie Cope 4-3 and will next face Gary Wilson,who beat Joe Perry 4-2.

A home victory is still very much a possibility after Mark Williams won the battle of the home players with a 4-2 win over Jamie Jones and he will next face Judd Trump who had to battle hard to get past Michael Wasley 4-2

AS I said above Matthew Stevens is also keeping the home flag flying and he will hope to be able to follow up on his victory over Ronnie with another big performance against Marco Fu in the last 16.

Elsewhere John Higgins has eased the pressure on his ranking a little with a fine run here & was impressive tonight in beating Liang Wenbo 4-1.He'll next play Michael Georgiou who shocked the 2006 world champ Graeme Dott,going through in the end 4-3.

Ben Woollaston & Ali Carter both came through deciders against Mark Allen & Matt Selt to set up there last 16 clash

The other two last 16 matches will see an all Scottish affair as Stephen Maguire face Alan McManus & an all English one a Sturat Bingham plays Ricky Walden

The action continues tomorrow with th first of the matches starting a 1pm.

Heres the full Last 16 draw

Matthew Stevens v Marco Fu
Mark Williams v Judd Trump
Ben Woollaston v Ali Carter
Gary Wilson v Neil Robertson
Michael Georgiou v John Higgins
Stephen Maguire v Alan McManus
Stuart Bingham v Ricky Walden
Luca Brecel v Mark Selby

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