27 april 2021 publish date
Mark Selby’s 13-7 win over Mark Allen at the Betfred World Championship means that there will be six former Crucible kings in the quarter-finals for the first time.
Selby pulled away from 8-6 to win five of the last six frames against Allen and book a place in the last eight in Sheffield for the ninth time. Next he will face Mark Williams, both three-time champions, while former winners Judd Trump, Shaun Murphy, Stuart Bingham and Neil Robertson are also in a tremendous quarter-final draw:
Stuart Bingham v Anthony McGill
Mark Williams v Mark Selby
Neil Robertson v Kyren Wilson
Judd Trump v Shaun Murphy
“I started off playing as well as I did in the first round,” said 37-year-old Selby. “My scoring was good. I knew if I wasn’t on top of my game I would have been going home. If you are making breaks over 50 every frame you won’t lose many.
“It’s an incredible line-up, probably the strongest for many years. It will be tough to win it, so if I managed to do that it would have to be up there with my best achievements. I’m looking forward to playing Mark. I get on well with him, he’s a great lad and a fantastic player. Hopefully it will be a good game for the fans.”
Allen said: “I thought I was in with a chance at 8-6. The last frame yesterday was important because 9-6 was hard to come back from. Mark’s safety throughout the whole match was some of the best I have ever seen. He is granite.”
Shaun Murphy swept Yan Bingtao aside 13-7 to set up a last eight clash with Judd Trump at the Betfred World Championship. Today’s victory sees Murphy reach the quarter-finals at the Theatre of Dreams for the first time since he was runner-up to Stuart Bingham in 2015:
“I’m really excited about it (playing Judd Trump) to be honest. If you are going to win tournaments like this, they all have to get knocked out at some stage. It may as well be in the next two days,” said nine-time ranking event winner Murphy.
“Judd looks like somebody who is building throughout the event. That is what the greats always did in the 90s and early 2000s. For me, I hope that I’m able to withstand the barrage of attack that is likely to come.
“I’ve come here with a renewed gratitude for the position I’m in as a sportsman and for each and every one of the fans who have come here this week. I’m grateful they have all turned up and it really has added something to my game.
“As a nine-year-old boy, I came here and lived the dream as a massive snooker fan. That is what got me hooked on the game. I came to this very building as a child and my love affair with snooker started. So to come here last year and play to nobody was very challenging. Although the Crucible isn’t full yet, it is better to play to somebody than to play to nobody.”
Tournament favourite Judd Trump hopes he is gradually moving towards the top of his game as he made four centuries in a 13-8 defeat of David Gilbert to reach the quarter-finals of the Betfred World Championship. The world number one has not been at his magnificent best at the Crucible so far, but has had more than enough firepower to see off the challenges of Liam Highfeld and Gilbert.
“It’s a long tournament, we are not even half way through and it’s very difficult to play well for 17 days,” said the 31-year-old. “Hopefully I am saving my best for the coming week. Now is the time to find my form and feel comfortable out there.
“I don’t feel as if I played well against David, but my scoring is there and I can’t be too critical of myself. My brother told me I am playing solid snooker. I will take any win against David because it was a tough second round draw. There are so many players looking good and a lot of the quarter-finals matches will be 50/50 games.”
“Shaun hasn’t had a great season but he is due a run, and he loves the limelight and being centre of attention here,” he added. “He still plays like a kid, and when the balls are going in it is intimidating to play against. You can’t feel comfortable against him because nothing is safe.”
Stuart Bingham required just 43 minutes to wrap up a 13-6 defeat of Jamie Jones and reach the last eight of the Betfred World Championship. Next up for 2015 World Champion Bingham is an intriguing showdown with Scotland’s Anthony McGill, who reached the quarter-finals courtesy of an epic 13-12 win over defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan. Basildon cueman Bingham and McGill are level in their head to head, at 2-2.
“Coming through the qualifiers has definitely helped me. In the first match I was confident. Normally being in the 16 you have to wait three or four weeks between the end of the season and the World Championship. Going there and getting the confidence by winning matches, you can’t buy that. I was ready more or less from the first ball in round one,” said 44-year-old Bingham.
“I’m not sure what my record is with Anthony. I remember all the losses and I’m not sure if I have actually beat him. He is a class act. He’s happy in himself with the way he is playing. It was a great last two frames to get over the line against Ronnie, so I’m expecting a tough game".
“I always think you should play to your strengths and you look at Mark Williams with his carefree attitude. I know if I have a chance to win matches it is because of my scoring. I have to take my chances and go from there.”
The article is based on WST.TV