After a wonderful week and a halves Snooker, we have reached the business end of this years Betfair Snooker World Championship. This years blue ribbon event has been action packed and the quarter final promises much,much more.
I for one could defiantly not have predicted the 8 men who make up this years 4 quarter finals, stepping out onto the baize matching up will be;Ding Junhui and Barry Hawkins, Shaun Murphy and Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stuart Bingham and Ricky Walden and Michael White.
The tie of the round for me is Shaun Murphy Vs Judd Trump a tie that would have made for a cracking final with both players in decent form all season and two real heavyweights of the sport. Both Sean and Judd have an aggressive style of play and this one promises to be a classic on and off the baize. The war of words leading into this game points towards a rivalry off the table, conflicting characters, the quiet respectful Murphy and the bashful young party boy Judd Trump.
China’s superstar Ding, faces a tricky tie against Barry Hawkins, Hawkins fresh from eliminating The Masters and Uk Championship holder Mark Selby will be brimming with confidence. Appearing in the quarter finals for the first time the Kent based que man will be dreaming of the semis, as will Ding. Ding has this season played some lovely stuff and after years of promise genuinely believes that this is his year. Ding has reason to believe after the simply stunning come back against Mark King in round two where he produced four centuries and seven further breaks over 50.
One of the most surprising aspects of this years tournament has been the ease Rocket Ronnie has returned to snooker with. The Rocket has powered through the first two rounds, few would bet against his chances of regaining his title after a years sabbatical. Standing in his way in this years quarter final will be Snooker Premier League winner and world number 8 Stuart Bingham. Bingham will be appearing in his first ever quarter final and will be looking to prove that he is a different player from the one Ronnie crushed 4 years ago in the opening round.
The final tie of the round may not have the big names of the other 3 but there is still an intrigue to this match. Ricky Walden came through a fascinating battle with Robert Milkins the man to topple Neil Robertson, to make it this far. Walden the world number 14 will be performing in his first quarter final as will his opponent Michael White. The young Welshman White will be wondering how far his debut adventure can go.
This years Quarter final has it all some new faces battling it out and some established stars squaring up all of which means as the tournament gets serious the action will be more than worth watching.
Aidan Fulham (@AidanFulham)