We are down to eight in Bendigo and despite a number of surprising results early in the week, we are now left with a high-quality last eight line-up, with Neil Robertson and Judd Trump among those remaining in the 2014 Australian Goldfields Open.
Click below for an update as to how the various rankings battles that I flagged up in my pre-tournament article are now shaping up…
Following on from his victory at last week’s Wuxi Classic, Neil Robertson has so far defeated both Andrew Higginson and most convincingly Jamie Jones today to keep his hopes of a popular victory on track in his home country.
Neil’s results also now leave him just two wins away from reclaiming top spot in the world rankings, with a place in the final enough to assure him of overhauling reigning world champion Mark Selby at the head of the list following his decision to sit out this event.
Standing in Robertson’s way will be Robert Milkins tomorrow, while he could meet either Stuart Bingham or Mark Davis in the semi-finals.
Speaking of Milkins, following wins against Liang Wenbo and John Higgins this week, the Gloucester man currently sits in 17th place in the latest projected seedings list, effectively the last top 16 spot if we are to discount Ali Carter, who is not expected to be in the Shanghai draw.
He is not yet certain of remaining there however, with either Matthew Stevens or Mark Davis capable of overhauling him with a run to the final, while a run to the title from China’s Xiao Guodong could also see him pipped to that place.
If another player such as Ronnie O’Sullivan were to sit out the Shanghai Masters, Stevens would currently move up into the final automatic seeding for the tournament, but Davis would overtake the Welshman if he can make it one round further than him in Australia.
Further down the list, the race for top 32 spots has now been finalised, with those who were occupying those positions prior to the start of the week, successfully maintaining their places following early defeats for the likes of Andrew Higginson.
It is a similar story in the battle for top 64 places, with Scott Donaldson suffering a 5-0 whitewash at the hands of 2011 Bendigo champion Stuart Bingham.
The action continues tomorrow…