Masters 2011: Robertson and Cope Complete Quarters

Today saw the line-up for the last eight of this season’s Masters decided and while Neil Robertson avoided becoming another big name casualty, Shaun Murphy could not…

The first match of the day saw Australian world champion Neil Robertson produce some solid snooker to defeat six-times champion Stephen Hendry who admitted post-match that this might have been his final appearance in the competition taking into account his declining form.

Having performed so poorly during the UK Championship, Stephen actually made a bright start today, taking the opening frame in one-visit and adding the third to apply some early pressure to a slightly out of sorts Robertson. Then however came the first big mistake from the Scot as a woeful safety shot allowed Neil to level the match in one-visit and from there he never really looked back, a pot success rate of 93% demonstrating that there was nothing wrong with his game today.

While Neil goes on to a clash with Mark Allen on Friday, Stephen will now be wondering how he can turn his form around as quickly as he surely needs to bearing in mind his lack of results in recent months. In fairness to him, he was by no means awful today and I did feel that his body language was improved on that exhibited during his UK defeat to Mark Williams, but it was never going to be enough to trouble Robertson and he knew that.

That being said, I fancy that he would have comfortably had enough to have seen off either of the players involved in the evening match as both Jamie Cope and Shaun Murphy struggled badly for any sort of form, Jamie coming out a 6-3 winner.

While Jamie was not firing on all cylinders, Shaun played as badly as I have ever seen him play before ever and never really looked like mounting a comeback. It was probably quite telling that he had a pot success stat of 78% at one stage and only actually trailed 3-2.

Still, Jamie won’t mind as tomorrow is another day and he at least has the chance to improve now as he prepares for a clash with Sunday’s shock winner Mark King. On form I would have to make Mark favourite but this has not been a tournament for favourites so far…