News, opinion and insight from the green baize
possible upsets?1. Ding is currently leading Liang 5-4. It isn't much of a lead. I'm normally not a big fan ogf Liang because sometimes he plays brainless all-attack when his fabulous potting isn't quite there. But not so yesterday. He was patient and somehow my feeling is he should have been in the lead. Ding looked despirited often enough. I very well can see Liang win this match.2. Robertson? He's playing Steve Davis who of course is nowhere near his glory days but has an iron will and a lot of tactical nous and skills. Neil has been reported injured and comes to the match not as well prepared as he would have liked. Has he fully recovered? So a few questions here.3. Day vs Lee. Lee is a remarkable player on his day and the way he qualified should send alarm bells ringing. Now on the other hand he isn't physically fit and over a long match in a hot place it could affect him. Day of course is no sluch, but IMO we could have an upset here.
Seeing as you tipped Maguire as the winner, I see a possible first-round defeat right there ;)I rather agree with Mon that Ding might not make it through. I certainly don't think he has deserved to go through on the basis of the session yesterday, and I don't think he will.
@Monique,I've had the pleasure of refereeing Stephen Lee a couple of times myself now and I found 1 thing very striking about him (other than his phenomenal cue action of course).When he's in the groove/zone he moves around the table as light-footed as a ballet dancer. There's definitely a spring to his step, which I for one, find enjoyable to watch.Sure, his physique might not be like that of others but he's definitely one to be wary of if I were Day.Cheers,Jurgen.
Andrew Higginson to beat Shaun Murphy?I have a feeling that could be the one
@Jurgen. Be certain this was not a go at Stephen Lee's physique. It was simply the statement that in certain matches he looked really uneasy, especially when the venue was hot, and that this may play against him in a long match. I very much enjoy his game when he's on form!
Other than the ones mentioned, I think Bond has a chance over Ebdon.That might sound ridiculous given that Ebdon won the last event (China Open) and usually comes good at The Crucible, but other than that, Peter hasn't had a good season and could be vulnerable.Come to think of it, Bond hasn't had a good year either, so that could go either way.
While we are at questions Dave (an anyone...)What are Michael Holt's chances to cause an upset do you think?
Speaking of seeds going through, the two Marks - King and Allen - winning their first matches means that it is higly likely the Top 16 will remain unchanged, apart from the return of Mark Williams at the expense of Graeme Dott (although you wouldn't rule out a decent run from Dotty).Obviously there's no doubting the overall quality of the players at the top end of the game, but I can't help but feel that it gives the impression that the list will look a bit samey, notwithstanding the talent of people like Liang, Trump and Walden who will come close to breaking into the elite group in the not too distant future.
Higginson to beat Murphy is a good shout. I see one tabloid referred to Murphy as the "Chubby Christian cue-chalker". You can't beat a bit of alliteration from Britain's red-tops.
Was thinking about this last night, and Ding could but Liang looked poor yesterday. Also few seeds going out these days constitutes a shock, although Higginson would be. Can't see though he is making his debut and Murphy peaks for long frame events and I have tipped him for final. Davis is a shout though with Robbo injured.
You might be right with your Higginson prediction, Dave. I understand that Murphy's estranged wife is going to present him with divorce papers before or during the match as she doesn't have a postal address for Sean.The story was confirmed in this weeks Sunday Times.
I'll go for Davis. I'm a sucker for the old breed and it all rides on Davis and Hendry.It will be weird to watch Burnett-Maguire because you will constantly be 'fix-spotting'. Or not; we will see.
I would love Higginson to win but it would mean he would end up as runner up which I can't see happening. Every player Murphy has to at the Crucible has been runner up so the winner has to be Murphy himself or a player from the top half.
I hope Higginson wins, I have tickets for that 2nd round match and don't want to see Murphy...
Well Ding made it and that's another seed through ;)
What a pleasure it is to see Nigel Bond back to his very best.The game certainly needs characters such as Nigel and he looks like he could topple Ebdon.
Anon @ 12:58 His wife does though.
Monique - I fear that Holty will find it tough against Higgins
In the end, the 1st seeded player to fall seems to be Perry, very surprise on the scoreline.
Wow another intriguing stat/record I never knew, that I learned from this blog. =)And it's going to remain a record because Joe Perry lost to the fantastic Jamie Cope. I'm glad to see him finding his great form again. Can't wait for Higgins/Cope, it will be the match of the second round for me.
The Bond/Ebdon match is enthralling and I'm transfixed.This could easily go down as one of the greatest matches at the Crucible.Although, if Maguire wins 10-4 on Thursday, I'm quids in!!
davis looks out of sorts
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