The quarter finals in the world championship are generally where you start to see who among the players who have gotten this far are genuine title contenders and if that is the case today Judd Trump announced himself as perhaps the favourite to lift the crown come Monday.
On paper at least his match with Ding Junhui looked like it may be classic to rank along side their semi final battle in 2011,but the one caveat to that was that Ding couldn't afford a poor start like he had had in his opening two matches.That though was exactly what happened as Trump roared out of the blocks to lead 6-0.Ding to his credit kept his hopes alive,winning last two of session to end the morning 6-2 behind.
Ding needed a good start tonight to build on that ,but Trump was simply unplayable as he surged further ahead,finishing with back to back centuries to stand one away from a place in the semi final at 12-4.
Shaun Murphy is also in pole position for a place in the semi final,but he still has some work to do holding a 9-7 lead over Anthony McGill going into tomorrow afternoons final session.This had been nip and tuck all day as having finished the morning at 4-4 they reached the interval in the night session tied at 6-6 after a couple of lengthy frames.From here though Murphy hit one of his hot streaks,winning the next three to lead 9-6. McGill needed the last of the night to just stay in touch and to his credit he got it to leave his one still very much in the balance.
In matches with only one session completed Ronnie O'Sullivan & Neil Robertson both have a little bit of work to do trailing 5-3 to Stuart Bingham & Barry Hawkins respectively.
Ronnie had started in superb fashion with a century on the first frame,but although he also added another before the interval the score was still only 2-2.After the break that irritability that has seemed to be bubbling beneath the surface for Ronnie here all tournament reared its head again & Bingham took advantage to win last of the session to lead 5-3 overnight.
Robertson has been in phenomenal form here and lead 3-1 going to their interval,but Hawkins has a brilliant Crucible record in recent years and reeled of all four frames after the interval,without Robertson potting a ball to lead the Aussie 5-3.