Well this tournament is not failing to disappoint, after the controversy of the Luton flight, Mark Selby managed to get two unprecedented walkovers in a day to reach the last 32 stage of this competition and matched up with Graeme Dott today. Dott looked fearless and looked like he was going to win the match but like the battler Selby is he fought back and won four frames on the spin to win 4-3. He now will face Joe Perry or Stuart Carrington in the last 16.
Jack Lisowski drew a tough cookie, the Welsh potter, Daniel Wells who is currently ranked 58 in the World rankings. Wells had a good run in the Scottish Open and was eventually beaten by Mark Allen. Lisowski is an infuriating player to watch because we know he is from the same mould as his great friend Judd Trump but his performance is often flaky on the television tables. Wells took the first frame with an impressive break and didn’t leave many options open for Jack. However before long, the tables turned and Lisowski produced a quality of snooker that we all know he is capable of. An exquisite 145 break, meant he now has the highest break of the competition and glided through to the next round with a 4-2 victory.
One of the shocks of today’s play came with the match between Mark Williams and Luo Honghao. On paper, Mark Williams should have won this match comfortably but for some reason, known to Mark alone, gave the Chinese player the upper hand and Williams floundered. Before long, Mark had a deficit that was a mountain too high to climb in a best of seven match and Williams was over only able to put one frame on the scoreboard on the way to a 4-1 loss. Luo now plays Gary Wilson in his last 16 match. Honghao was just four months old when Mark Williams won his first World title! Williams says this will be probably be his last visit to Riga and said of Luo after the match “He could be one to watch out for”.
There were also great wins for Yan Bingtao who whitewashed Chen Zifan 4-0, Stuart Carrington dispatched the former jubilant Mark Selby 4-2, and Jack Lisowski is slowly becoming the favourite to win this tournament as so many of his top 16 colleagues fall by the wayside. Sunday will definitely be an interesting day and come the evening it would be so hard to predict who will be the two players who make the final.
Our man Kurt Maflin is through to the quarter finals and here’s what he had to say about his performance today…
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