World Snooker Championship 2014: Round 2 Scores, Results, Fixtures and More
The second round of the 2014 World Snooker Championship got underway on Thursday, with several of the world's best players still vying for the sport's most prestigious trophy.
Ronnie O'Sullivan is looking for his third consecutive win at the Crucible Theatre, and with the elimination of world No. 2 Ding Junhui in the first round, he will have one less competitor to worry about.
Mark Selby needed a decider to get past young Michael White, while Barry Hawkins faced little difficulty in his 10-4 win over David Gilbert.
All will have their hearts set on the chance to dethrone "The Rocket" when the two last players standing take to the stage for the final time on May 5.
Bleacher Report will bring you daily results and full recaps of every single session, making sure you don't have to miss a second of the action.
Mark Selby vs. Alan McManus
Barry Hawkins vs. Dominic Dale
Judd Trump vs. Neil Robertson
Ronnie O'Sullivan vs. Shaun Murphy
Mark Selby vs. Alan McManus
Barry Hawkins vs. Dominic Dale
April 28, Evening Session
Judd Trump 13-7 Ryan Day
Judd Trump finally shook off the challenge of Ryan Day on Monday evening with a convincing 13-7 victory over the former world No. 6.
Trump led 10-6 heading into the session, but was pegged back by Day in the opening frame as the Welshman put together a break of 54 despite Trump having his chances to take the advantage.
However, from then on, the Englishman stole the show. He claimed three routine frames to bring about a 13-7 victory and earn his place in the last eight.
There, he will take on world No. 1 Neil Robertson on Tuesday afternoon looking to rediscover the form of 2011 when he reached the final.
Following his victory over Day, the left-hander spoke to World Snooker and said that he’s still yet to hit top gear in this year’s tournament:
I was pleased to get through but I still feel my best is yet to come. I'm having to play my tactical game to win frames, which is not as enjoyable for me but it just proves that even when I'm not at my best, I can still win against these top players. I know Robertson has felt the pressure against me before and gone into his shell a little bit. He's had an excellent season and he's going to be big favourite to beat me. The way I'm playing people aren't giving me much of a chance but I know that if I play my game, I'll be a match for anyone.
Being a match for Robertson, though, is something else. The Australian in one century away from 100 for the season, and he’ll be going all out to find his way to it against Trump.
But with both players on form, it’s got all the ingredients of yet another Crucible cracker.
Shaun Murphy 13-8 Marco Fu
Shaun Murphy produced a masterclass in Monday’s evening session to progress to the World Championship quarter-finals at the expense of the highly rated Marco Fu.
The Englishman led 9-7 heading into Monday’s play, but swept Fu aside with a perfect demonstration of break building at the Crucible.
Murphy opened with a break of 69 after pouncing on a Fu error and proceeded to win three of the final four frames to set up a last-eight tie with reigning champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.
The 2005 champion’s closing break of 66 summed up the way he played against the Hong Kong potter, with more expert positional play with great patience throughout the frame.
Fu did get on the scoreboard in the session in the penultimate frame of the match with a brilliantly crafter 92, but it was too little too late.
O’Sullivan and Murphy’s only meeting at the World Championship came three years ago in the last 16, where The Rocket emerged on the right side of a 13-10 scoreline to claim a precious victory.
This time around, though, Murphy is a different player. And if he brings his form from Monday into Tuesday’s quarter-finals then an upset could be on the cards.
April 28, Afternoon Session
Neil Robertson 13-7 Mark Allen
Neil Robertson took four consecutive frames in absolutely clinical fashion in the afternoon session at the Crucible on Monday to beat Mark Allen by seven frames and march into the last eight.
A close contest throughout, Robertson came into the session with a two-frame lead over Allen but took the game away from the world No.14 with a tremendous display.
The first frame of the day saw both players start cautiously, but eventually Robertson took the frame thanks to a visit of 59 and Allen's inability to get onto the black.
From there, the Australian was almost perfect for the rest of the session with Allen barely given a chance to try to get back into the match. The world No. 1 made it 11-7 with a break of 69 following a cannon on the black went wrong for Allen after he had scored just six.
Those would be Allen's last points of the match as Robertson scored heavily to take the last two frames.
A visit of 94 took him within one frame and he was flawless once again as he produced a break of 92 to see him into the quarter-finals.
There was little Allen could have done to prevent being beaten as he had to simply sit and admire the 32-year-old's quality for the majority of the session.
The only negative for Robertson was the fact he could not get a century break to take him to 100 centuries for the season, a feat never before achieved.
However, he will have plenty more chances in his quarter-final, which will be against either Judd Trump or Ryan Day.
Dominic Dale 13-4 Michael Wasley
Dominic Dale completed a rout of Michael Wasley having come into the session needing just the one frame to put himself in the quarter-final.
Wasley had caused the shock of the tournament so far when he beat China's Ding Junhui in the opening round with a narrow 10-9 victory.
But the 24-year-old could not repeat the trick and was blown away by the world No. 23, who duly came out on Monday and grabbed the frame he needed winning 64-42.
Dale will now face last year's beaten finalist Barry Hawkins in the last eight, the match beginning on Tuesday.
April 27, Evening Session
Mark Allen 7-9 Neil Robertson
The second-round tie between Mark Allen and Neil Robertson is quickly becoming the match of the tournament, with both players producing some fantastic snooker.
Heading into Sunday evening’s session with the scores locked at 4-4, the players once again looked inseparable as the early frames played out.
The pair continued to take a frame each until Allen headed into a 7-6 lead, which kicked the Australian Robertson into gear.
With some fantastic break building, the world No. 1 forged a quite remarkable break of 137 to level the scores and continued to impress from there in.
The century was his 99th of the season on his quest for a ton of tons, and with the form he’s showing you’d be foolish to bet against him finding No. 100 when the players return to action on Monday afternoon.
Allen showed why he’s enjoyed a fruitful season with some majestic pots and great control of the cueball throughout, but he came off second best in the tight frames towards the end of the session.
While Robertson is a proven champion at this level, Allen is a very worthy adversary. Expect fireworks when these two return to the green baize on Monday, as it looks like going all the way to the wire.
Shaun Murphy 9-7 Marco Fu
Shaun Murphy flew out of the traps on Sunday evening in his tight matchup against Marco Fu, winning the first four frames to give himself a firm advantage over the Hong Kong-born potter.
The pair came into the session with the score at 4-4, but with breaks of 67, 50 and a 102, the Englishman went 8-4 up to take full control of the second-round match in front of an energetic Crucible crowd.
However, as Fu has done so many times this season already, he came back fighting to set up what will be a thrilling final session on Monday.
He has the momentum heading into Monday evening’s final showdown, and demonstrated his credentials to go all the way in this tournament in the final frame of the match.
Fu made a beautifully crafted break of 136 to close proceedings in Sheffield to a fully deserved standing ovation from the crowd.
If he can take his form from the closing four frames into Monday evening’s match then he’ll once again cause the 2005 world champion big problems.
However, it’s Murphy that holds a two-frame advantage, and if he plays out the match with the right tactics then he’ll be on course to repeat his exploits from nine years ago.
April 27, Afternoon Session
Judd Trump 10-6 Ryan Day
Judd Trump and Ryan Day played out a thrilling session of snooker at the Crucible on Sunday afternoon, with the spoils shared at 4-4.
Trump took a big advantage into the session with a 6-2 lead, but Day made his ambitions clear from the very first frame, where he chalked up a century.
A beautifully crafted 107 was quickly followed by breaks of 80 and 55 as the Welshman took three of the opening four frames to cut his deficit to Trump to just two frames.
However, Trump prevailed in the scrappier frames of the match and took his chances as they came to him to close the session 10-6 ahead.
Though Day was arguably the better player on Sunday, Trump’s philosophy of it not mattering how you win frames shone through. Following his first-round victory over Tom Ford, Trump told BBC Sport:
"It doesn't matter how you play. If you become world champion, then you become world champion and that is what you need to remember. The thing for me is not to get too disheartened."
The Bristol potter recorded a session-best break of 64 in the penultimate frame after being 61 points behind to steal it from Day’s grasp; and he may look back to such a scalp as the match-winning moment if he goes all the way on Monday.
The pair will resume play on Monday evening, with the eventual winner taking on either Mark Allen or Neil Robertson in the quarter-finals.
Dominic Dale 12-4 Michael Wasley
Dominic Dale moved within one frame of victory after once again putting Michael Wasley to the sword in a fabulous session on Sunday afternoon.
Dale took four of the opening six frames to potentially set up a victory without needing the final session, but Wasley produced his best snooker at the death to keep himself in the World Championship—albeit only until Monday morning it seems.
The Englishman chalked up a century break in the penultimate frame of the session to keep his head above water, building a 108 after Dale made a mistake after getting among the balls.
Wasley showed incredible spirit to knock out the heavily backed Ding Junhui in the first round, and he’ll have to do the same again if he’s to keep his pride intact on Monday.
For Dale, though, a quarter-final tie against Barry Hawkins almost certainly awaits on Tuesday morning.
Hawkins was the runner-up at last year’s tournament, and has started this World Championship by playing the kind of snooker that could take him all the way once again.
However, the Welshman will be full of confidence after doing such a professional job on Wasley, whose Crucible debut is likely to come to an end at the second hurdle.
April 27, Morning Session
Shaun Murphy 4-4 Marco Fu
This duo put together some incredibly tight opening frames, with only one of the first four being decided by a margin greater than 12 points.
It was Fu who took the first, just edging out the 2005 World Champion 63-56. But Murphy responded to take the second, levelling things up at 1-1.
The third frame of the contest was a thriller, as Murphy rattled in a break of 50. But it didn’t prove to be enough as Fu edged him out by one point. Then in a dramatic chance of fortunes, it was Fu who notched a big break of 54 before letting the initiative slip. An unbelievable fluke on the black from Murphy eventually allowed him to take the frame.
Despite that, Murphy looked to be finding his fluency as we moved into the fifth frame, rattling in another break of 50 to go into the lead for the first time.
But in this topsy turvy contest, Fu came roaring back into contention. The man from Hong Kong stunned Murphy, winning two consecutive frames to regain the lead in the match once again. Fu rattled in a break of 69 in the sixth frame and a fine 109 in the seventh.
In the final frame of the morning session, Murphy stormed into a 65-0 lead. But a lapse let Fu back in and he had a chance to go 5-3 up at the break. But a ropey blue to the top corner put pay to Fu’s chances in that frame. After a dramatic session of snooker, this match is poised perfectly at 4-4.
This one looks like a thriller in the making and resumes at 7 p.m. this evening.
Mark Allen 4-4 Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson continues to erase the memory of his shock first-round loss in 2013, but he faces a a tough task if he is to oust fellow left-hander Mark Allen. Australian Robertson has been scintillating to watch this campaign having notched an enormous 97 century breaks already this season prior to this clash, per Jamie Shaw of snooker-news.com.
Allen impressed in his opening round match against Michael Holt, but he’ll have to raise his game if he’s to topple the two-time World Champion.
Irishman Allen set a strong precedent, though. He came from behind to take the opening frame, but Robertson responded with a break of 69 in the second to level things up.
But Allen, who won his first game at the crucible since 2011 in Round 1, seemed to be enjoying the occasion. A clinical break of 62 wrapped up the third frame, but Robertson showed his mettle again to snatch frame four and tie the scores at the mid-session interval.
Both players emerged from the break and continued to spur each other on with some wonderful shot-making.
Robertson notched a superb break of 100 in the fifth frame, but Allen battled back with 92 of his own to help him take frame six and level the scores for the third time in the match.
Allen looked as though he was about to take frame seven as he stormed into a 53-point lead. But Robertson got a chance after Allen went in-off, securing a break of 55 to take the lead once again.
But somewhat fittingly, Allen took the final frame to level the scores at the end of the session. A break of 82 capped off arguably the highest quality session we’ve seen in the competition so far.
The match resumes at 7 p.m. this evening.
April 26, Evening Session
Alan McManus 13-8 Ken Doherty
Ken Doherty’s run at the 2014 World Championship came to and end at the hands of Alan McManus, who cruised past the 1997 champion.
The Scot led 10-5 heading into the final session of the match, and a 3-3 share in Saturday evening’s play was enough to send ‘Angles’ through to the quarter-finals.
McManus is the only Scotsman left in the tournament after disposing of fellow countryman John Higgins in the first round, and said that he has the backing of his nation as his World Championship quest continues—reported via MailOnline:
I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s the weight of a nation on my shoulders, but it’s a nice feeling. The Scottish snooker public love it when we do well, we’re a proud nation. They’ve had a lot of great champions, but I don’t include myself in that group. I’ve had my share of the odd win here and there, but Stephen, John and Graeme are great champions having won at the Crucible.
The 43-year-old lost the opening two frames of the session to Doherty, who came flying out of the Crucible traps, but resumed normal service by winning three of the next four frames to clinch victory.
In the final frame of the match, Doherty found himself among the balls, but a loose red allowed McManus to record an 83 break and seal his fate in the tournament’s last eight.
There, he will meet world No. 3 Mark Selby, who saw off the challenge of Ali Carter in the second round to continue his strong form in this season’s majors.
Dominic Dale 7-1 Michael Wasley
Michael Wasley performed admirably to knock out world No. 2 and hot favourite to be crowned Crucible king Ding Junhui in the first round, but appears to have come up against an even hotter prospect in Dominic Dale in the second round.
Dale, who won this season’s one-frame shootout competition in Blackpool, takes a six-frame advantage into tomorrow’s afternoon session against the 24-year-old Wasley; and he deserves every bit of it.
The Welshman opened with a break of 74 to set the tone for the session; but after Wasley pulled a frame back with a high break of his own, Dale won the next six on the spin.
Wasley barely potted a ball as the 42-year-old chalked off frame after frame with some impressive breaks, though the seventh epitomised his class in the evening.
A fantastic 106 break was followed up by a comfortable final frame to see Dale take a huge advantage into tomorrow’s play.
Wasley had his chances at the table but was punished by the in-form Welsh star, who could be out of sight before the players take to their third session if he continues in the same vein.
The young Englishman will need to draw from his courageous performance against Ding if he’s to stand any chance of getting back into this match and reaching the last eight on his Crucible debut.
April 26, Afternoon Session
Judd Trump 6-2 Ryan Day
Judd Trump found the form he had been sorely lacking in his first round win over Tom Ford to take a commanding lead in his last 16 match with Ryan Day.
The 2011 finalist had only scraped through to round two but looked good from the off against the Welshman.
He took the first frame with a break of 70 but Day immediately squared things up taking the second. Day then had the chance to take a lead but despite a break of 56 it was Trump who went 2-1.
The pair went into the mid-session interval tied at 2-2 after Day took the fourth frame, the final frame he would win in the session.
An agonisingly close fifth frame went the way of Trump who scored 65 to Day's 64 and the world No.6 kicked on from there.
He took the last three frames with ease courtesy of two visits of 76 and one of 78 with Day scoreless in the last two frames.
It leaves Trump in full control at the Crucible although there is still some way to go in this best of 25 frames second round.
Barry Hawkins 13-11 Ricky Walden
Barry Hawkins booked his place in the quarter-final of the World Championships as he overcame Ricky Walden winning a tight match by two frames.
Hawkins came into the session trailing by two at 9-7 but had at one point been trailing 9-5 so had the forward momentum.
He took advantage of that and came racing out of the traps with a century break to claim the first frame and get back within one of Walden.
But the 31-year-old regained his two-frame lead by winning the second frame with a visit of 93.
However, the world No.4 won the next three frames to take the lead at 11-10 only for the game to be tied up when Walden won the 22nd frame of the match.
It was Hawkins though who took the match winning the last two frames and showing great quality to overcome the same opponent he beat in last year's semi-final.
He will go into the last eight hoping that he can perform even better with the eventual goal of going one better than 2013 and winning the tournament in Sheffield.
April 26, Morning Session
Ronnie O'Sullivan 13-11 Joe Perry
Perry had shown signs of weakness throughout early stages of Saturday’s morning session, yet still came within a whisker of causing a huge upset.
The first four frames of the day were shared and in a sign of his later play, O'Sullivan's break of 82 in the third frame included some exquisite work.
A comprehensive start by O'Sullivan was followed up by an erratic few minutes.
Perry missed an easy pink in the second frame but the Romford-based cue-master was unable to take advantage at that point, which said much about his own state of mind.
A double-hit from O’Sullivan on the brown gave Perry another lifeline, the foul bringing him to within nine. Snookers were exchanged before yet another mistake by the Rocket let Perry in to take the frame and surge two ahead again.
A lucky long red on his first visit to the table after Perry’s break, suggested that O’Sullivan’s luck might be about to change.
Some urgency to his potting and a swagger not seen for a while saw him go on to win the frame with a wonderful break of 82.
He looked on course to make things level at the mid session break, but a wild stab at an easy red allowed Perry another visit to the table which was hardly deserved. He made no mistake.
Two frames from defeat, O’Sullivan had to up the ante. And my word did he do so, as we saw the potting genius of old come to the fore. Confidence restored, a 53 break for a 101-0 frame win took him back to within a frame of his opponent.
The pressure took it’s toll on Perry. Building a decent cushion, he looked odds-on to get to within one frame of a sensational victory, but a simple missed black let O’Sullivan back in to take it 68-42 with a decent break of 52.
A quite unbelievable 124 took O’Sullivan into the lead for the first time and a careless safety from Perry whilst at 0-0 in the final frame allowed O’Sullivan to show his genius again.
He didn’t look back with a masterful showing of pressure-potting. BBC Sport’s John Virgo called it during live commentary:
Back-to-back centuries under pressure, it just doesn’t get any better than that.
This is the sort of snooker that only geniuses can play. Just look at that.
Joe Perry, you had your chances but you were beaten by the better man today. Look how much it means to him. Well played Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Perry only had himself to blame, but O’Sullivan’s 113 was worthy of taking him through to the quarter-finals.
Alan McManus 10-5 Ken Doherty
The Scot took full control of proceedings taking the first six frames available in the morning session.
McManus’ confident visits to the table were in stark contrast to Doherty’s safety-first approach, even though it was the latter who took the initiative in the early part of the first frame.
Letting McManus in at the midway point of the point was fatal for Doherty’s chances and the Scot took the frame in some style.
It was the same story in the next frame as McManus tightened the screw but Doherty played his part in a cat-and-mouse third frame of the morning.
Some banter with the crowd saw the Irishman take his eye off the ball and miss countless some simple pots.
McManus seemed unable to settle too and more awkward shots from both players meant a see-saw frame that was entertaining for the everyday punter, but not the purist.
A hit-and-hope yellow from Doherty let in McManus who made no mistake to take another for a 7-3 advantage and further error-strewn play saw the Scot take the next one too.
It was turning into a bit of a procession, and one that showed no signs of abating.
The next fell the same way and even when Doherty seemed to take a grip on a frame as he did with a 25 break in the sixth frame of the session, more profligacy at the table continued to give the Scot ample time at the table.
McManus could even afford a missed black from the spot, Doherty unable to pot the easy red to take advantage. A 54 break saw McManus take a sixth frame in a row with Doherty completely on the ropes and devoid of any confidence whatsoever.
In the final frame of the session, McManus had already moved 35 ahead before the Irishman was able to visit the table.
However, his best frame of the morning and a 93 break stopped the rot. With that confidence returned and Doherty was on for a maximum until an unlucky cannon curtailed his ambitions. A well-crafted 88 saw him end the session on a high.
April 25, Evening Session
Mark Selby 13-9 Ali Carter
Selby was far from perfect during Friday's evening session but capitalised on every opportunity his opponent gave him, taking the first three frames of the evening to discourage Carter from ever even thinking about making a comeback.
Carter had taken the last two frames from Selby in their previous session and trailed just 9-7 coming in, and the Englishman had his chances in the first two frames, including a bad miss on blue after giving up a 42-0 lead.
The three times Masters champion got better as the evening progressed, and the 12-7 score was up on the board in a heartbeat, putting the Captain on the ropes.
Carter was able to pick off the next frame quite easily and had to battle hard to make it 12-9, with Selby missing a red that would in all likelihood have given him the win, but frame 22 would prove to be the final one as Selby opened with a quick break to end the match.
Selby again wasn't perfect but has been getting better with every passing session and seemed to be in firm control of his game by the end of the evening. One of the main contenders for the Championship win, it's starting to look like 2014 could be his year.
Ricky Walden 9-7 Barry Hawkins
Hawkins is in deep trouble against the world No. 10 Hawkins, who played an excellent evening session and will have a two-frame lead when this match continues on Saturday.
The Hawk battled back from 9-5 to give himself a chance in this tie, but if Walden keeps playing with the same verve we saw on Friday, Stamina Man seems like a safe bet to progress to the third round.
Walden impressed with a number of high breaks, including two which cleared the century-mark and a high of 112.
Last year's surprise semi-finalist struggled against Kyren Wilson in the first round and figured to be easy pickings for the fourth-ranked player in the world, but Hawkins was given few chances during an excellent run which saw Walden take four consecutive frames.
But the final two frames went back to last year's runner up, making sure both players are still very much alive in this match as we head into Saturday.
April 25, Afternoon Session
Joe Perry 9-7 Ronnie O'Sullivan
Defending champion O'Sullivan was unable to close the deficit with Joe Perry and will go into tomorrow's morning session in real danger of being eliminated in the tournament's second round.
Perry continued his excellent run of play and refused to let The Rocket get into a groove, as the English veteran appeared relaxed and in control against the winner of the last two World Championships.
With everyone expecting O'Sullivan to be his usual, dominant self on his way to a third consecutive title at the Crucible, Perry has been able to play without any real pressure, displaying a lot of patience in his shots as he has strung together a number of solid breaks.
O'Sullivan on the other hand has struggled with the pace at which Perry has played so far, and now finds himself down by two frames going into the final session of this match.
Perry acknowledged O'Sullivan would be a difficult match before the opening frame, but his confidence was already noticeable then, speaking with Sky Sports:
It doesn't get any tougher than Ronnie O'Sullivan, but, saying that, I would have been absolutely gutted to be sat at home watching Jamie play him.
We all have to believe that we can win. If we play our absolute best and cut out the errors, and he isn't at his best, then he's beatable.
Indeed, The Rocket hasn't been at his very best, but there are few players in the world as experienced when it comes to these kind of situations. As Perry inches closer to a shocking win, it will become a matter of controlling his nerves against the sport's most explosive player, and he knows all too well O'Sullivan has the ability to turn a single mistake into three or four quick frames.
Alan McManus 4-3 Ken Doherty
McManus (and his tartan trousers) has dominated in the early proceedings of this match, yet somehow only leads Doherty by a single frame.
The Irishman has a high break of 64, per the BBC, and saw McManus win four consecutive frames with clean, long breaks including a high total of 123 in the third, but two mistakes in the final two frames from the Scot allowed Doherty to sneak in and steal both frames late, setting up a real battle when this match resumes on Saturday.
McManus has to feel good about his play but mental errors will doom even the most experienced players at the grand stage of the Crucible, and with the way the final two frames played out, momentum will be squarely on the side of Doherty.
April 25, Morning Session
Mark Selby 9-7 Allister Carter
England's Mark Selby and Ali Carter resumed their match at 5-3 on Friday morning, and the three-time Masters champion managed to maintain his slim advantage over the two-time World Championship runner-up.
Selby took the ninth frame without reply from Carter as he won with two visits to the table.
But Carter stayed in touch with the world No. 3 as he won a tight 10th frame. The two players then shared a frame a piece to take the overall scores to 7-5 in favour of Selby.
Selby took the next two frames with solid breaks of 46 and 53 to put some daylight between himself and his opponent.
But world No. 11 Carter rallied and took two consecutive frames himself. He posted breaks of 51 and 73 to take the match into the final evening session at 9-7.
Barry Hawkins 4-4 Ricky Walden
Fifth seed Barry Hawkins could not stop a comeback from a plucky Ricky Walden in Friday's morning session in Sheffield.
Hawkins flew out of the traps quickly, securing a 3-0 lead.
He relied upon his matchplay quality, rather than heavy break building, to take control of the match and the early proceedings.
But 12th seed Walden battled back and took the following three frames to tie the match, and rock Hawkins. Walden posted a solid break of 53 in frame five to keep his opponent in his seat.
The final two frames of the session were shared with Hawkins snatching the seventh, before Walden dug in to frustrate his rival still further to leave the match evenly poised.
The match resumes in Friday's evening session.
April 24, Evening Session
Ronnie O'Sullivan 3-5 Joe Perry
Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan finds himself in a bit of trouble in his second-round match. After the first session, he trails Joe Perry 5-3. He has yet to have the lead in this contest.
He did gain a bit of momentum to close, however.
Perry took the opening frame and was leading 4-1 before O'Sullivan got rolling. The five-time world champion then won two straight frames with breaks of 116 and 75.
Perry didn't lose faith, and reasserted control with a 99 to end the session and ensure his 5-3 lead. The pair will resume their second-round affair on Friday.
April 24, Afternoon Session
Mark Selby 5-3 Ali Carter
Carter opened the session with a century and added a second in the final frame, but he still trails Selby by two frames in the second round's opening match.
Both players were at the top of their game during Thursday's afternoon session. Selby played without any of the pressure that seemed to follow him during the opening round. Meanwhile, Carter kept himself in the match with several big breaks to set up a great opening contest.
The main differences between the players came down to a few small mistakes by Carter in the third and fourth frames. One very lucky pot by Selby in the seventh gave the experienced Englishman the opportunity to clear the table and take the frame, too.
Selby didn't look at all convincing during the opening round and nearly gave away the win, in part because of what the player himself referred to as a "blonde moment," per Inside Snooker.
He also pointed out the difficulties in any first-round matchup:
I am just relieved more than anything. A lot of the big names have had close matches in the first round this year.
As long as you get through somehow it can give you confidence that your game is there when you really need it.
I had a blonde moment at 8-8 when I played the pink as a free ball the referee had not given and fouled it – but luckily I got away with it.
Carter will feel unlucky to be down by two frames. He played some excellent snooker throughout the afternoon, and two centuries show the veteran from Colchester has the firepower to hang with the three-time Masters champion.
This match will resume on Friday.