Monday, 29 April 2013

World Championship Day 9 - The fight for the quarter-finals

Enter the Rocket
Shaun Murphy, Judd Trump, Michael White and Barry Hawkins have a cosy place in the quarter-finals, but that's not the case for the rest of the players, as four more places need to be filled by the end of Monday evening.

So there's no wonder why the real fighter within each player has tried to prove his immortality today.

Ronnie O'Sullivan (also the defending champion) started a pretty interesting re-match of the last year's final with Ali Carter on Saturday and continued it today, on the same note (more or less).

So if the first session ended with the Rocket in charge of the situation at 5-3, the second one didn't have a very different result, the lads ending 16 frames with the same O'Sullivan in the lead (at 9-7).

Carter managed to put pressure on his opponent
Still, the Captain proved he's strong enough and put pressure on his opponent, especially during frames 10, 13 and 14.

Ronnie used a break of 86 to break the ice and get the second session under way, but Carter restored the two-frames gap after hitting in runs of 43 and 73 and got closer to his opponent, at 6-5, after a brilliant 87.

Just as the lads were ready to have their 15-minute break, Ronnie pulled one of this special century breaks (105), to make the scoreline go 7-5.

Smiling King has a lot of catching up to do
However, Carter didn't give in and re-entered into the arena with only one thought on his mind. To draw level and take the lead. His first wish came true thanks to runs of 63 and 46, but his second one will just have to way a bit more, for O'Sullivan replied with breaks of 73 and 86 to go 9-7 up.

Same result but between different players: Ding Junhui managed to turn tables against Mark King, after the Englishman ended their first session leading 6-2, and put his nose in front at 9-7.

Ding turns tables against the King
Last night King ruled the arena without any doubt, but today the story changed and Ding took revenge right from the very start of the second session, under the form of breaks like 59, 98, 74 and 41 - thus the scoreboard showing a balanced 6-6 scoreline.

But the little Chinese who's been favourite to the title for some years now, didn't stop there. He also took the lead for the first time since the beginning of the match (7-6) and even though King managed to level up by winning the 14th frame, Ding re-took control of the session with an 81 and reassured his position with a great 103 for a 9-7 scoreline.

Ricky Walden ended his first session with Robert Milkins by taking the role of the leader (5-3) and he very much continued to do the same in the second one, that finished on 10-6.

Walden takes a comfortable over-night lead
It was with a set of breaks of 38, 63 and 76 that Walden took off at the start of the second session, his flight ending at 9-3 and leaving the Milkman in a dreadful position.

Still, Milkins carefully avoided for the match to have only two sessions and with a bit of help from  runs of 21 and 77 he won frames 13 and 15, while the 14th was clinched on the black. The scoreline was 9-6.

A bit shaken up, Walden started making mistakes, but he ended the session on a bright note as a top break of 51 offered him a comfortable over-night lead of 10-6.

Stuart Bingham and Mark Davis are also amongst those fighting for a place in the QFs, but it seems like the real fight will be given tomorrow, as the lads are all square at eight apiece after two sessions.

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