Well the world championship is three days old and anyone wondering what makes this tournament so special need wonder no more after some of the drama we've seen so far.Before I get into that though,I must apologize for lack of blog action over weekend,I was laid low by a bug that I will spare you the details of,but now thankfully seems to be behind me.
Anyway back to the snooker and first up on Saturday we had Mark Selby take on Kurt Maflin..If Selby is defend his title here this year he is going to have to defy any number of so called curses,but the main stumbling block may well be that he simply isn't playing well enough.Now I know that is always a dangerous thing to say with Selby as he so often finds a way to win from nowhere in matches,but as I said in my preview,that surely catches up with you eventually.
The tale of the tape in this one was Selby going into an 8-4 lead before Maflin won five on the spin to go to the brink at 9-8.Maflin did have chances to close it out in the next two frames,but it was not to be as Selby did what Selby does,snatching victory from jaws of defeat to go through 10-9.
His opponent in the next round had to come through a thriller of his own,but Anthony McGill did just that to confirm his status as one of the games up and coming stars,beating fellow Scot Stephen Maguire 10-9.
McGill had the upper hand in this from the get go and smooth progress looked likely when he move into 9-5 lead.Maguire though suddenly started to find something and fought back to level at 9-9.Here McGill showed remarkable nerve to roll in a break of 122 to seal his place in second round.
The other dramatic deciding frame match we've had involved Barry Hawkins & Matt Selt.That looked unlikely when Hawkins moved 9-4 clear this morning,but he seems to make a habit of letting big leads slip and Selt produced some stunning snooker to level it at 9-9.Hawkins must have been thinking "not again".after letting a 5-0 lead over Nigel Bond at the UK somehow become a -6-5 defeat,but here he held himself together to take his one at his second bite of the cherry in the decider.
The evidence of recent months has been that John Higgins had started to find some real form again and here he produced possibly his best performance at the Crucible since he lifted the title in 2011.in beating Robert Milkins 10-5
The performance of the championship so far though has come from Neil Robertson who eased past Jamie Jones 10-2 with a heavy barrage of scoring the Welshman just had no answer to which included three centuries.
Elsewhere Graeme Dott came through a real topsy turvy encounter with Ricky Walden 10-8,Marco Fu beat Jimmy Robertson 10-6 & Stuart Bingham eventually fell over the line to beat Robbie Williams 10-7 in quite awful second session.
In matches to a finish tomorrow Ali Carter leads Alan McManus 6-3 & Mark Davis leads Ding Junhui 4-3 after a lengthy afternoon session saw them only complete only 7 of their 9 frames.We also have entrance of a certain Mr O'Sullivan in the afternoon session