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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

World Championship Quarter Finals Round Up & Semi Final Preview.

After two days of the most extraordinary days of snooker action four men remain in the hunt for the 2016 world title and each will just be starting to feel that this may just be their year.

Alan McManus at 45 bridged a 23 year wait for another chance at the single table set up with a hard fought 13-11 win over John Higgins.

This one looked on paper as though it would be a tough old fashioned tussle and so it proved as we started the night with Higgins leading 9-7.The first four were shared to eave it 11-9 to Higgins at the interval.

At this point though something unexpected happened,just when we were expecting the four time champ to seal the deal,he actually was the first to blink as runs of 71 &52 firstly drew McManus level and then a 128 & 60 saw him over the line to a famous victory 13-11.

In the semi final he will face his fellow qualifier Ding Junhui who had things a who had things a whole lot easier as he swept past Mark Williams 13-3.The first four frames here were actually shared,but from here Ding upped a gear to go through with a session to spare.

So hard as it is to think of Ding as a qualifier,he actually is and as such we are guaranteed someone who started in Ponds Forge getting into  in the final.Mcmanus will no doubt feel he is riding the crest of a wave here this week,but in reality.will Ding ever have a better chance of claiming the games big prize

Score prediction Ding wins 17-8

Marco Fu reached the single table set up for the first time in ten years with what the record books will show as a 13-11 win over Barry Hawkins,but that doesn't even to begin to explain just what a match this was.

Indeed how different it all looked in the early stages,as Hawkins,still recovering from his marathon match in the previous round couldn't get going early on ans Fu lead after the first session 7-1.

That became 9-1 this morning when Fu took the opening two frames,but Hawkins at the time managed to firstly stave off the humiliation of losing with a session to spare by winning the next three to make it 9-4 & then the last two of session to give himself a squeak at going into tonight at 10-6.

Out they came for the final session and it was again Hawkins who ramped up the pressure on Fu with runs of 50,75 & 85 putting him back within one at 10-9.

Fu was now visibly under the most extreme pressure,but breaks of 50 & 93 moved him to the hill at 12-9.Into a lengthy 22nd frame where Fu had the chance to claim victory on the green,but he missed and it eventually went to Hawkins to make it 12-10.That became 12-11 in the next & it looked for all the world like we were heading for a decider when Hawkins lead by 60-0 in the 24th,but Fu,who had now gone 41 mins without potting a ball,rolled in a superb long red & then produced as big a bottle clearance as we're ever likely to see to to win a classic 13-11.

He will next face Mark Selby,who like Fu built a big lead early on and held his nerve when things got close later. Selby had not looked anywhere near his best in his first two matches here ,but was more like his old self here in opening up a 6-0 lead over Kyren Wilson.

Plenty of people have compared young Wilson to Selby and the way he battled in this one you can see why.After getting off the mark by taking last two of first session to go 6-2 he got back within two in the next at 8-6,but Selby took a crucial last two of the session to lead again by four at 10-6.

Into the morning and the writing was on the wall for Wilson when Selby moved it to 12-6,but Wilson had one more trick up his sleeve,knocking in a new tournament high break of 143.That was to be his last hurrah though as Selby sealed the win in the next 13-8.

So its Selby v Fu for a place in the final. Obviously the betting here will favour Selby,but he has looked poor at times this championship & taking for granted that Fu can recover from tonights game mentally,he may shock a few here.That said though I still think Selby will have a enough to prevail
Score prediction Selby 17-13



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