The semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters feature three of the world’s top four plus a home grown talent making his debut in this stage of a ranking event.
Liang Wenbo may be the outsider in terms of ranking and record but he has noticeably reined in some of his more attacking instincts and has developed into a very tough opponent.
One of his strengths is that he remains a maverick and this makes him difficult to play.
Can he beat Shaun Murphy? It’s a possibility, but Murphy has been very solid so far this week, losing only one frame in three matches.
Ronnie O’Sullivan hasn’t beaten John Higgins in a ranking tournament since the 2003 Irish Masters final.
I’ll repeat that: Ronnie O’Sullivan hasn’t beaten John Higgins in a ranking tournament since the 2003 Irish Masters final.
Of course, it’s not as if they have played each other in every one since but it is still an anomaly that will surprise many.
I tipped Higgins for the title pre-tournament so will keep faith with the world champion, but as long as O’Sullivan remains in the field, he remains favourite.
Whoever wins this weekend, the snooker should be first class.