Be honest. Nobody successfully predicted that Alan McManus, Neil Robertson, Mark King and Jamie Cope would contest the semi-finals of the Royal London Watches Grand Prix.
Robertson beat title favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan while King beat defending champion John Higgins for only the second time in 13 meetings.
Cope, an outstanding young prospect, edged Joe Perry and McManus won a dreadful encounter with Ian McCulloch.
Of the four, only McManus has previously won a ranking title – two in fact – but has not lifted any silverware in ten years.
Many snooker watchers would prefer the final to feature two big names duelling it out – as happened when O’Sullivan faced Ding Jun Hui in the Northern Ireland trophy two months ago – but it doesn’t hurt to have a tournament fought for by more unfamiliar names.