Wednesday from York and it has been another day of drama as the line-up for the quarter-finals has now been completed with the world’s top two players ousted at the hands of the tournament’s two remaining qualifiers. Click below for my reaction…
The first man through this evening was Antrim’s Mark Allen who after an eventful couple of days off the table was able to see off Ali Carter with a 6-2 win.
It looked at one stage like it would be a far closer contest as Ali threatened to level at 3-3 having trailed 3-1 at the interval, but crucially during frames six and seven the former World Championship finalist was unable to take his chances and having not potted a ball for coming up to half an hour, Allen took full advantage to push clear at 5-2.
By this time Ali was looking to be increasingly frustrated and a couple of important misses combined with an unfortunate run of the ball in the next frame would ultimately be enough to see Allen through a deserved winner.
The most interesting news to come post-match was not from Mark this time, but instead from Ali who on Twitter posted the following:-
“going to retire at the end of the season! And I can’t wait! I’m dead serious, life is to short to do something you don’t enjoy, 25 years is enough! Pastures new….”
Whether Ali said this in the heat of the moment or whether he means it I do not know, time will tell and hopefully more will follow later today.
Meanwhile over on table one, world number one Mark Selby was also sent home from the tournament with a 6-3 defeat to 2008 finalist Marco Fu this evening.
It was Marco who had the better of the early exchanges as he opened up a 2-0 lead as well as a comfortable lead in the third frame, only to fall victim to a trademark Selby comeback followed by a century break to head into the interval 2-2.
Following their resumption it looked like Mark would push on as he had the first scoring opportunity in frame five, only for a foul on the black when the ball ended on the floor of the arena to pave the way for a crucial Fu clearance as he moved back int the lead at 3-2.
The following two frames were shared before we saw a crucial eighth frame which saw Selby open up a lead of 58-20, only for Marco to produce a quite brilliant clearance to snatch it on the black and move one away from the match at 5-3. From here Fu was not to be denied and he promptly won a quick ninth frame in one visit to complete an impressive victory.
Always a dangerous player when at his best, Marco moves up to 24th place in the latest projected seedings list and will now meet Allen in the next round in a repeat of their thrilling match at the Masters earlier this season when Fu fought back from 4-1 down to clinch victory on his way to the final.
Earlier in the day, Shaun Murphy and Ricky Walden also booked their places in the last eight with impressive victories against Martin Gould and the tweeting Mark Williams respectively.
For a full report of those matches please click here.