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Ssb - meanwhile, in shanghai...

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  • Ssb - meanwhile, in shanghai...

    Yes, snooker goes on and the Shanghai Masters yesterday saw a terrific display and victory by Michael Holt, who beat Judd Trump 5-1.

    This was a big win for Holt, who like most players needs confidence to drive his performances. To beat the world no.3 so comprehensively live on television is just what the snooker doctor (whoever he is) ordered.

    Holt is very much a heart-on-the-sleeve player but not quite the jumble of emotions he once was.

    The question is: can he now turn this good win into a long run through a ranking event? He’s never been past the quarter-final stage, which seems crazy for a player so talented.

    I was also again very impressed by Mark Davis, who continues to prove the life begins at 40 maxim.

    Back-to-back centuries were the cornerstone of him claiming a 3-0 lead over Ali Carter, although Carter missed a black in the sixth frame when well placed to make it 3-3, which seemed to give Davis second wind.

    Things didn’t turn out as David Grace would have been hoping on his debut in the final stages of a ranking tournament. He lost 5-0 to Barry Hawkins, who brought his greater experience to bear.

    Today, Kyren Wilson finds himself in the same boat against Stuart Bingham but does have the advantage of having recently beaten Shaun Murphy in a televised match at the Paul Hunter Classic.

    A shout-out – to use a ghastly local radio phrase – to Peter Lines, who recovered from 4-1 down to beat Matthew Stevens 5-4, a massive win for the Leeds man.

    Today, Ding Junhui will once again raise hopes of local success but faces a tough encounter with Dave Gilbert, who has beaten him in all three of their previous meetings.

    Gilbert – in my opinion – is an example of a player better than his ranking. He can look really impressive but needs to put it all together more regularly.

    Today would be the perfect time to start.