Royal London Watches Grand Prix 2008: Day Three – Stunning Selby surges past Higginson

The in-form Mark Selby continued to impress tonight in his clash with Andrew Higginson. Click below to read about this and the match between Peter Ebdon and Simon Bedford…

Mark Selby 5-0 Andrew Higginson

World number four Mark Selby wasted no time in sweeping past Andrew Higginson tonight with a 5-0 victory.

Indeed with three century breaks of 135, 102 and 100 to his name, this was by far the most impressive performance we have seen so far this week. Barring his semi-final collapse to Ricky Walden in Shanghai last week, Selby has looked in ominously good form at the start of the season. With three highly impressive wins in the Premier League behind him I think he is probably playing better snooker than anyone at the moment as he is certainly a name you would want to avoid in the last 16 draw.

Now up to number three in the provisional rankings, Selby has a great opportunity with Stephen Maguire already out to close the gap to number two significantly with a good run this week…

Mark Selby 5-0 Andrew Higginson 74-63(48), 102(102)-0, 68(68)-14, 135(135)-0, 100(100)-0

Peter Ebdon 5-1 Simon Bedford

Former world champion Peter Ebdon became the third player this week to win his first match of the season as Simon Bedford failed to build on his impressive performances in qualifying for this tournament.

Ebdon managed to get off to a good start in frame one, though this was not without incident as his colour blindness caused led to an unusual foul early on. With the brown over the left centre, Peter mistakenly thought that it was a red and potted it and to his bemusement let Bedford in. Simon could not capitalise however and apart from a nice break in the second frame, never put Ebdon under any pressure.

One problem with Simon’s game appeared to be the speed at which he played tonight which was very slow indeed. Peter Ebdon is hardly renowned for his quick play but he was playing significantly quicker than Bedford, particularly as he notched up his 255th century break in frame three. This put him 2-1 ahead and he never looked back, completing victory wit a superb clearance in the final frame of the day.

This will be a huge boost to Peter who is currently ranked provisionally outside of the top 16 for the first time in years and has not made a strong start to the season. He has so much experience and quality though that if he can get on a run and build some momentum, he can cause anyone a few problems.

Peter Ebdon 5-1 Simon Bedford 64(33c)-51, 1-61, 121(100)-0, 66-1, 83(34,40)-18, 69(53)-36(36)