The Masters - Day 2

05:18:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Ding on his way to the quarter-finals
Crazy, crazy day here at the Wembley Arena, where the Masters tournament is happening. If the first day was filled with surprises, the second day was an even more surprising one as two more players weren’t at their best. This time the story is about the last year UK Championship runner-up, Mark Williams and the winner of that precise event, John Higgins. Stunningly both of them have experienced an early exist not even winning the first round of The Masters.

A half an hour over one and China’s top player, Ding Junhui was meeting the man from Wales, also known by the fans as “The Welsh Potting Machine", Mark Williams. The two of them have had some very interesting battles over the past months, as Ding beat Williams in the World Open semi-final, then Williams beat Ding in a PTC event, short after that they had a Premier League match to dispute when they drew and here they were again.
In the commentary box John Parrott and John Virgo were in charge of the match, while in the arena the referee Jan Verhaas was the boss for they boys` clash. And so it all started.
Although a few second away from the beginning, Ding potted the cue ball by mistake, he succeeded in taking over the first frame, but Williams replayed with runs of 38 and 36 to level up. At that point I though “Man, this is going to be such a tight battle all the way through!" But boy, was I wrong!

Williams: "Maaan, that sucks!"
"The Chinese Sensation" fired in breaks of 35, 41, 37 and 61 to bring the score at 4-1 in his favor! What a chance to break the pattern and get yourself a place in the quarter-finals! Short after that Mark won his second frame of the match, in what was a terrifying battle of misses and safety shots. Was this the comeback that the fans were expecting? Obviously not since Ding took over the next frame with great breaks of 56 and 69. At that point the score was 5-2 and Ding was with a foot in the next round already.
Williams decided to prolong the suspense and started winning one break after another. Wow! Was this the comeback? Was he going to make it? Unfortunately no as the tenth frame was won by the little Chinese guy with a break of 75. Final score 6-4.
Not the best match ever as none of the players were at their best, but Ding seemed a bit more consistent in his way of potting the balls in the right pockets than Mark.

Dott is focusing in winning the match
The evening was a Scottish one, there’s no doubt about that as two great friends and practicing partners were going to fight for a place in the quarter finals. John Higgins on one side and Graeme Dott on the other, with the excellent participation of the ref Eirian Williams and the voices of Willie Thorne and Dennis Taylor in the background - that’s how the match was played.
Technically speaking Dott had an amazing start, such a thrill to see the guy back in business after some really hard times. Before the mid-session break, Dott was already in the lead as he rushed in to take over the first two frames; he hit breaks of 118, 36 and 65 to prove his point. Higgins took over his first frame of the match, scoring his first actually points (until then he sat quietly in his chair) in the form of a 79 break, but Dott kept his wonderful way of playing as he hit a 68 one to make the score 3-1 in his favor.

After the break Higgins seemed eager to win his way back into the game so he build himself a break of 73 to take over the sixth frame. The score being now 3-2, this meant that the next frame was going to be a crucial one, so maybe that’s the reason why this was the longest frame of the match. A lot of safety shots were involved, a lot of snookers were played, a lot of misses too, but in the end Higgins succeeded in bringing the score at 3-3.

Higgins: "I`ve had better days."
From this moment on the players shared frames, until the score ended up 5-4, in favor of Graeme. This was it! The next frame was going to be either the last one or one more would be required. Not to worry, for Graeme took the frame with his bare hands :-)) Well, mostly with breaks of 48 and 24, breaks that were enough to book himself a place into the next round, where we’ll meet Ding Junhui.

An exceptional performance by Graeme Dott, who after the poor shape he showed during last week Championship League, seems to be back in the race for the big prize! John seemed quite tense during the match, in my opinion. I don’t know if that’s what he was talking about a few days before the tournament started (you know, the fact that he feels overwhelmed by the Wembley atmosphere), or he was just not feeling good, maybe he was ill or something like that, but his face was all red and tense along the way. He didn’t play in that same way he did it after returning to the circuit and that has cost him the place in the quarter-finals.

Today we have another set of great matches, so please follow the schedule written below.

13:30 (UK time) - Ronnie O`Sullivan v. Mark Allen
19:00 (UK time) - Stephen Maguire v. Marco Fu

TV coverage
12:15-13:30 Higgins v. Dott highlights (British EuroSport)
13:30-16:30 Masters Snooker (BBC 2)
13:30-16:30 Masters Snooker (British EuroSport)
19:00-19:30 Masters Snooker (BBC 2)
19:00-22:00 Masters Snooker (British EuroSport)
23:20-00:10 Masters Snooker: Highlights (BBC 2)
00:10-02:10 Masters Snooker: Extra (BBC 2)

For those of you away with stuff to do and no TV in front of your eyes, please note that you can also follow snooker online at by selecting the snooker competition from the list. Enjoy snooker my dears! :-)