China Open 2012 (Day 4) - Tactical battles in Beijing

19:50:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Vintage Ebdon in action
It's been a great day for tactical battles here in Beijing, with some pretty entertaining matches for the fans to follow, like the one between John Higgins and Peter Ebdon ended on a 5-4 result in favour of the Englishman, or the one gave between Neil Robertson and Stephen Hendry, match finished with the Aussie in the winner’s role, 5-3.

Great victories were also recorded by Ali Carter, who made sure the tournament will be free of wildcards, sending home Lu Ning by 5-1, but also by Ronnie O'Sullivan who fond himself in a winning-mood and hammered an old green baize rival, Mark Williams by 5-1.

Higgins forced to go home
It was the last match of the day, but by far a very surprising and great one to follow. Too bad it wasn't broadcasted and we had to follow just the scorelines. I'm talking about the encounter between Peter Ebdon and John Higgins, of course.

The match started with a pretty determined Higgins who flew all the way to 3-1 after hitting in breaks of 107, 89 and 47, while Ebdon only managed to kill the opener with a 64 one.

But after the mid-session interval the "Ebdonator" began his comeback. Runs of 53 and 109 were enough to level the match at three apiece, but clearly Higgins wasn't very happy about that.

So he put his nose in front again with a 49, but Ebdon caught up with him immediately after a series of 31 and 24 (leaving his opponent in need of a snooker that he didn’t manage to get).

Curly Robertson sends off Master Hendry
The decider saw the Scotsman being left in the same position as before, meaning in need of a snooker, and even though he managed to get it on the brown, he still lost the match by 5-4. Thus the 2002 world champion, Peter Ebdon secured himself a place in the quarter-finals.

Also landing in the quarter-finals was Neil Robertson, the Australian engaging in a pretty tense crossing of cues with the legend Stephen Hendry.

The seven-time world champion clinched the opener (after needing a snooker) on the last black, but Robertson was going to cash the next ones with runs of 95 and 74. Still, at the interval the players were all square at 2-2 after Hendry won a scrappy 4th frame.

Captain Carter flies in quarter-finals
After the mini-break Robertson retuned in the leading position due to collecting 68 consecutive points off the table, but Hendry drew level with the very first occasion for a 3-3 scoreline.

Once again Robertson was back in front after runs of 29 and 22, this time though the Scotsman not being able to catch up with his opponent, a missed red costing him heavily as Robbo ended the match with a 86 break for a 5-3 win.

Ali Carter make sure of having a wildcard-free tournament from now on, the Essex man hammering Lu Ning by 5-1 and proving he means serious business after not such a great season, the same scoreline being used by a very-moody-for-winning O'Sullivan who beat Mark Williams using runs of 77, 47, 45 and 66 in the process.

Trump - still in possession on the Chinese crown
The reigning champion, Judd Trump made another victim, Stuart Bingham being defeated by 5-3 even if he played quite well, not the same being the case of Graeme Dott who lost by the same scoreline to Stephen Lee in a match that showed us a very "low on confidence" Scotsman at work, as him himself said after the match.

However, at least one Scotsman prevailed today, Stephen Maguire beating Ricky Walden after a classical and tactical battle of cues by 5-4, the lads spending no less than three hours in front of the green baize.

Day 4 list of results:

28 Ronnie O'Sullivan 5-1 Mark Williams
25 Judd Trump 5-3 Stuart Bingham
27 Stephen Maguire 5-4 Ricky Walden
26 Stephen Lee 5-3 Graeme Dott

29 Mark Selby w/d Ding Junhui BYE
32 Peter Ebdon 5-4 John Higgins
30 Ali Carter 5-1 Lu Ning
31 Neil Robertson 5-3 Stephen Hendry

Tomorrow the quarter-finals round kicks off with:

QF1 Judd Trump  v. Stephen Lee
QF2 Stephen Maguire  v. Ronnie O'Sullivan

QF3 Ding Junhui v. Ali Carter
QF4 Neil Robertson v. Peter Ebdon
 *all hours are UK time

TV coverage:
07:30 - 10:30 British EuroSport (LIVE)
07:30 - 10:30 British EuroSport 2 (LIVE)
12:30 - 15:30 British EuroSport (LIVE)
12:30 - 15:30 British EuroSport 2 (LIVE)
19:00 - 21:00 British EuroSport 2
21:30 - 23:00 British EuroSport