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UK Championship 2012 - QF discussion

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  • UK Championship 2012 - QF discussion

    It should be a great quarter-final day. I was expecting a slightly stronger lineup, with maybe seven or eight players who were all capable of taking this title. As it is, we only got three really big names, but also some of the other in-form players who must really fancy their chances to do something big at this point.

    First of all, the match of the round, Mark Selby against Neil Robertson! It's amazing that these two great players are meeting in a major match for the first time, even though they have both been ranked in the top8 or even top4 for most of the last five years. They were my picks to meet in the World final two years ago, when they were both playing really well, but at this point Selby is struggling slightly, and currently holds no major title. Robertson is of course the current Masters champion and a finalist of the previous major event, so you could class him as the favourite here, even though he is the lower-ranked player.

    Their performances in the tournament so far? Well, Robertson had that devastating scoring display against Ford, but then had to battle through a somewhat scrappier match against Hawkins. He is traditionally much tougher to take out in the QF than the 1st or the 2nd round, and that's because he often raises his game as the tournament goes on. I don't think Selby will be leaving him in the balls very often, so I don't expect such high scoring as against Ford, but an in-form Robertson often finds different ways to win matches, and he is one of the few players who can match Selby's patience and concentration when matches get long and tense. Selby did what he needed to do against White, producing a pretty routine win, but was then quickly in trouble against Day when his form wasn't there. But no matter how good his scoring or sheer potting is on the day, Selby's determination, nerve and tactical awareness are rarely in question. That excellent snooker on the pink in the 6th frame was vintage Selby, in a situation where most players would have played on for a snooker without any real belief they could get it. But Selby got it, and also got back his fluency for a couple of frames. I expect this to be a match full of early-frame safety, some one-visit frames, and some classy shots and clearances if it gets close. It's just a shame it's not a two-session match. With the longer games in the semi-finals, I think it's very possible that the winner of this match goes on to play Murphy in the final. If I had to call it, I would say Robertson to win 6-5.


    The other three matches should be quite interesting as well. Murphy against Brecel will probably be my choice in the afternoon. In a way it's similar to Murphy's match against Trump in the 2007 WC, where he was clearly facing a dangerous player, but also had such an advantage in experience that he was always going to be a big favourite. I think Brecel is a more balanced player than Trump was then, not getting dominated tactically against the older players around him in the rankings. He didn't panic at 3-0 down against King, he just battled through it and started playing better as the match went on, which is a good sign. Having said that, if he goes 3-0 down against Murphy, it will be very tricky to come back. With Murphy's class and current form, you cannot really get away with sloppy snooker. I think a 6-3ish result here is the most likely, but Murphy sometimes plays a bad game when you least expect it, so I wouldn't be that surprised if it went closer.

    Carter against Bingham is another interesting one... I expected Maguire to prevail against Bingham, and it would probably have been the same if Carter was playing Bingham in the 2nd round. But Bingham's form is clearly still there, as is his confidence and belief that he can beat these players. So if he loses this match, it probably won't be by missing easy shots and gifting it to Carter. Carter will have to earn it. After reaching the World final he seems to have gone back to his previous form, not really making a major mark on any event since, although reaching the QF in Shanghai wasn't too bad. This is the part of the season where he will be looking to do really well, and once he gets into his rhythm, he is hard to take out in a best-of-11. This should be close as well, with Bingham a slight favourite in my opinion, perhaps a 6-4 win for him.

    And finally, Davis against Stevens. This will be slightly in the shadow of the other match this evening, but it's a good one in its own right. What a great win it was for Davis last night, those two centuries when he took command of the match and really played like a top player, then those impressive pots early on in the decider, and finally a bit of help from Higgins to push him over the line. The final pink wasn't too bad either. Perhaps a match against a Murphy or a Robertson would be one too many for him here, but against Stevens he certainly has a chance. He doesn't really have a weakness at the moment, except for the fact that he hasn't really done it on the big stage before, other than a couple of semi-finals in the less prestigious ranking events. On the other hand, Stevens of course has done it before, and after reaching the World SF last season, his best form doesn't really feel like ancient history anymore. There are a couple of players in this tournament who hold a psychological edge over Stevens, so he would do well to win it, but this is certainly a match he will be hoping to win. Another one that's tough to call... I think Davis is playing the better of the two, but Stevens is another player who can raise his game throughout a tournament, so I think he could prevail 6-5.


    Good day ahead of us, bring it on!

  • #2
    Robbo, Carter, Murphy and Davis are my predicted winners.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by SouthPaw View Post
      Nice to see you encouraging my sweep pick! though i'm a realist and i'm not going to win that sweep, i think Bingham will do the goods!
      Absolutely! I'm honour bound to support your lad now, and he's not doing too badly today either. Just got home to see he's 2 - 2 with Murphy, I thought Shaun might be too strong for him from the outset, but apparently not. So, C'mon Luca!....

      -
      The fast and the furious,
      The slow and labourious,
      All of us, glorious parts of the whole!

      Comment


      • #4
        Brecel v Murphy 3 - 3 now, the fairytale's still alive....

        -
        The fast and the furious,
        The slow and labourious,
        All of us, glorious parts of the whole!

        Comment


        • #5
          Been supporting Luca too, really hopeful that he will get through this match. Is Willie Thorne a bit jealous of Luca's talent and youth? He has commentated a couple of his matches this week and has done nothing but criticise Luca, half the time with no real basis.

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          • #6
            3-3 now , it's game on.

            Willie is being a bit nicer today, it's true his saftey escapes were a bit poor the other day but he's playing a good game today so far.

            Think Murphy will probably creep it but you never know.

            Looking forward to seeing Robertson beat Selby later.

            Comment


            • #7
              How did that black go in? We haven't seen a table this generous for some time, I think. Could have been Murphy's last shot of the match...

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              • #8
                More pink drama.
                All the way Mark J!!

                I understand nothing from snooker. - Dedicated to jrc750!

                Winner of the German Masters 2011 Lucky Dip

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by montoya10 View Post
                  More pink drama.
                  And more.
                  Brecel bottled it in the end. Didn't deserve to win, to be honest.
                  All the way Mark J!!

                  I understand nothing from snooker. - Dedicated to jrc750!

                  Winner of the German Masters 2011 Lucky Dip

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Anyone know if there's a terrestrial bbc 2 stream? cheers
                    Oops didn't spot the live iplayer before.
                    Last edited by trains; 6 December 2012, 06:07 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Hard luck Luca (and southpaw). Another great match though.

                      -
                      The fast and the furious,
                      The slow and labourious,
                      All of us, glorious parts of the whole!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PatBlock View Post
                        Hard luck Luca (and southpaw). Another great match though.

                        -
                        Lol i only came in from work to catch luca 5-4 though he should have really won it before the last frame, but it'll be good experience for him! Surprised Bingham went out did Carter play very well..?
                        Don't let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning...

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                        • #13
                          Selby already pushing for a re-rack.....seems to be his trademark.
                          Last edited by narl; 6 December 2012, 07:46 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Come on Mark Davis ......But i like Stevens as well !!!
                            Still trying to pot as many balls as i can !

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Nice little battle on the pink between Robertson and Selby

                              Comment

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