Welsh Open - Day 5 (the quarter-finals)

20:58:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Maguire ends Williams` run
The quarter-finals, the quarter-finals! What can one say about them? Some really entreating matches along with some really low-quality ones...just like life treats you sometimes, nothing more :-)) The bad news is that we don’t have any Welsh players left in the competition and that’s really a shame since they played so good during this tournament. The good news is that we have the semis set up and ready to go? Hm...yep that will be it! :-P

The battle for a place in the first semi-final was given first of all between Mark Williams and Stephen Maguire. Told you that the Welshmen and the Scottish players are the one who make the rules in this tournament...or so it seems.
To be perfectly honest with you I believed in another whitewash, as Williams seemed to be an expert in this sector, but I was proven wrong. Although Maguire took over the opening frame, Williams was soon to draw at 1-1, with a break of 54 and even take the lead after a scrappy third frame. But the Scot came back for more as he cleared the table with a break of 65 taking plenty of advantage of Williams` 42 interrupted break, from the beginning of the frame.

Mark took the lead, once again, as he hit in breaks of 63 and 25, but Stephen was going to pull one back just a few minutes after that with the help of a beautiful 105. So this was going to be it? Sharing frames all the way through? We were going to have a decider? The answer to all those questions is no.

Mark Selby secures a place in the semis
The score was set at 3-3, when Maguire stormed out as to cash the remaining frames and eliminate Mark. It was over for the favorite winner of this year’s Welsh Open unfortunately, but Scotland was happy as a little child that it has a strong player in the semis.

At the same time, Mark Selby and Graeme Dott were also playing for a semis place and that was going such a tiring and low quality match. There were a lot of misses, way too many safety shots and I really can’t think of a frame that wasn’t scrappy. Both players weren’t playing at their best and they didn’t succeed in keeping a fluent game.
The first three frames were own by Selby, who hit just a top break of 73, but Dott seemed to prepare a comeback as he won the next two, with breaks of 62 and 47. Still, Selby succeeded in rising the standard of the match with a break of 88 hit during the 6th frame, only to see Dott pulling one back and setting the score at 4-3. But that total comeback was not going to happen for the Scot, whose playing style was awfully bad (as he confessed after the match), as Mark hit in runs of 43 and 25 to book himself a place in the next round.

The Captain Carter wins over The Chinese Sensation
The evening brought two more matches, the one between John Higgins and Matthew Stevens and the one between Ali Carter and Ding Junhui; and I shall start with the one that ended first, meaning the second one.
If I would have to compare Carter v. Ding and Selby v. Dott matches the first word that comes to my mind is - the same. Yep, unfortunately Carter and Ding didn`t provided the viewers with much of a show, not even with some good snooker. But hey, they are only humans so let’s not blame them too much.
Carter took over the opening frame and the next one, but Ding made a good and steady comeback by hitting in breaks of 71 and 66. This was getting to look like Ding v. Allen match, where the little Chinese recovered and won the match. Once again I was wrong, as after the mid-session interval Carter came pretty determined to win the battle so his runs of 59, 76 and 74 ended the deal at 5-2. The goddess Fortuna didn`t watch over 'The Chinese Sensation" this time.

Higgins eliminates the only left Welshman
Last match of the day was part Scottish, part Welsh, as well as the first one and what do you know?! The score was going to be the same.
Eirian Williams was the ref in charge at the table were John Higgins and Matthew Stevens were playing their quarter-finals match and that was a very, very tough battle.
The Welshman took over the opening frame, only to see Higgins winning the next three, by hitting in breaks of 43, 37 and 35 for the first two and a marvelous 132 clearance for the third one. However, Stevens wasn’t going to give up so easily, he is "The Welsh Dragon" after all, isn’t he? ;-) So he fought back and stole the 4th frame when Higgins missed a black, by hitting a beautiful 93 and a 58 in the next one, to set the score at 3-3.
Unfortunately, that was going to be it for the Welshman, as the Scot cashed the next two frames.

The Welsh Open semis are on today and the player who first wins six frames will book himself a place in the big final, so here are the matches:

1pm (UK time)
John Higgins v. Ali Carter

7pm (UK time)
Mark Selby v. Stephen Maguire

TV coverage:
13:00 - 15:45 (British EuroSport 2)
13:00 - 16:00 (BBC One Wales)
16:00 - 16:30 (BBC Two Wales)
18:15 - 19:00 (British EuroSport)
19:00 - 21:30 (BBC Wales)