Down To 16 In Antwerp

After two days and many frames of snooker in Antwerp, we are down to the last 16 at the third of this season’s European Tour events. Click below for a round-up of the main stories, particularly those affecting the world rankings ahead of the next seedings revision…

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Following defeats at the last 32 stage of the last two full-ranking event tournaments, Mark Selby has seen his lead at the top of the rankings slashed at recent times, but yesterday he booked his place in the last 16 of the Acuerate Antwerp Open with comfortable victories against Jurian Heusdens, Mark Davis and Ryan Day.

With a top break of 101, Mark will now meet Paul Davison, who came through a string of deciders to reach the final day of a PTC event for the first time since the 2010 EPTC5 event in Hamm.

Keeping pace with Selby at the head of the rankings however is recent Shanghai Masters champion John Higgins, who saw off Ricky Walden, Michael Holt and Lee Page to progress. Next up for the Scot will be Ali Carter, who completed an excellent Friday yesterday in defeating Barry Hawkins, Jamie Cope and Ryan Causton to maintain his hopes of an appearance at the Masters in January.

Another who kept his chances of a place in the Masters alive is Joe Perry, who already out of the International Championship, needs to run deep in Antwerp if he is to make it to Alexandra Palace. With victories against Mike Dunn, Liam Highfield and Anthony Hamilton, Joe is up to 17th in the latest projected seedings list, but with world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan now behind him and poised to be seeded for the Masters, Joe needs to continue his run further if he is to remain in contention.

If he is to do so, Joe will have to overcome UKPTC1 finalist Jack Lisowski, who impressed today in defeating Jamie O’Neill, Judd Trump and finally Matt Selt, the latter in little over 40 minutes this evening. As far as Judd’s exit is concerned, it does put a minor dent into his hopes of overcoming Selby at the top of the rankings, although with so many points available at the International Championship, it may not prove to be decisive.

Completing the top of half of the draw are Marco Fu and Michael White, who will meet tomorrow after both made smooth progress into the last 16 yesterday. Impressively, Marco won his first 11 frames of the day, before third round opponent Jimmy Robertson threatened a comeback by taking two frames, though ultimately losing 4-2. White meanwhile was taken to a decider by experienced amateur Gary Wilson, before defeating John Astley to secure his place in the last 16.

Elsewhere yesterday, Alfie Burden continued his consistent form this season in the PTC events with wins against Gareth Allen, Joe Swail and Mark King to set up a match with ET2 winner Neil Robertson tomorrow.

Also through in the bottom half are Mark Allen and Graeme Dott, the latter reaching the last 16 of his second consecutive European Tour event. The winner of that match will be rewarded with a clash against either Ben Woollaston or Tom Ford, both previous PTC winners who played well to progress today.

Finally, the sole amateur through to the last 16 is Welshman Andrew Pagett, who saw off Stuart Bingham amongst others to set up a tie with former world amateur champion Thechaiya Un-Nooh tomorrow.