World Snooker Championship 2014: Quarter-Final Scores, Results, Fixtures, More
It's quarter-final time at the Crucible in the 2014 World Snooker Championship and the last-eight matches got underway on Tuesday.
Most of the big names are still in with a chance of claiming the sport's most prestigious title, including Ronnie O'Sullivan, winner in the last two years, Neil Robertson and Mark Selby.
The Rocket was pushed all the way in the second round, eventually advancing with a 13-11 victory of Englishman Joe Perry.
O'Sullivan now faces 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy, while world No.1 Robertson takes on 2011's beaten finalist Judd Trump.
Selby will look to overcome Scotland's Alan McManus, and last year's runner-up Barry Hawkins takes on Welshman Dominic Dale.
Read on for session-by-session recaps of the quarter-final stages as well as daily schedules and fully updated results.
Ronnie O'Sullivan vs. Barry Hawkins
Mark Selby vs. Neil Robertson
April 30, Evening
Neil Robertson 13-11 Judd Trump
Judd Trump started the session 9-6 ahead of Neil Robertson, but a fine start by the latter saw him back to within a frame after taking the first two on offer.
With both looking for a place in Thursday’s semi finals against Mark Selby, Trump looked nervous at the table, but a studious 74-14 take in the third of the night’s frames settled him down.
Terry Griffiths via BBC live commentary immediately noted:
“The crowd here at the Crucible are getting quite excited I think, it looks like it’s going to be close.”
He wasn't wrong.
Trump was easing toward taking the next frame. On 55 and cruising, a simple missed red let Robertson back in for his first pot in 29 minutes but he couldn’t take advantage of the gift. Just nine from his visit to the table was poor and Trump took another 14 to ensure Robertson conceded.
Back came Robertson again however. Early safety shots dominated the frame but one he built up a head of steam, there was only one winner. A cracking long red set him up nicely, his cuing action throughout the frame superb. 69-31 and he was back to within two of Trump, who could just not get away.
A new found confidence saw another beautiful clearance from Robertson, this time a 70 break that was executed perfectly. Trump was on the ropes and judging by his body language he knew it.
The comeback was stopped in it’s tracks at the beginning of the next frame as Robertson played for the black but missed the simple red beforehand, however Trump’s touch had now completely let him down. No score let a now-rampant Robertson back, and a quite phenomenal clearance of 101 saw his 100th century break of the season. Stunning.
The Crucible erupted as Robertson got the monkey off of his back and pumped his fist in the air. The small matter of drawing level in the match had almost escaped the crowd who were on their feet.
How a match can change in the space of just a few frames. It was all Robertson now and a real “cock-of-the-walk” attitude pervaded his visits to the table, in stark contrast to earlier in the day.
An over-confident Robertson then rattled an easy red against the jaws of the pocket and that allowed Trump to chance to pot for the first time in 54 minutes. His demeanour however was of a man who was completely and utterly deflated and he missed his chance, Robertson taking the frame 68-0.
The final frame of the evening was going the same but the white going in-off allowed Trump a lifeline. Had Trump not potted, Robertson would’ve taken the final three frames of the evening without his opponent troubling the scoreboard.
Coming to within eight of his opponent and the chance to send the match into a deciding frame, a simple missed black ended Trump's hopes, Robertson taking the frame 65-35, and the match.
April 30, Afternoon Session
Judd Trump 9-6 Neil Robertson
World number one Robertson is facing a real battle against 24-year-old Trump, as the Australian will be down by three frames as we head into tonight's evening session.
Robertson has stormed through this year's Championship following last year's disappointing first-round exit and is but one century away of scoring a remarkable 100 on the season, but the pressure of that achievement seems to be getting to the man who was seen as Ronnie O'Sullivan's main challenger, as Robertson has struggled with his cue-ball placement throughout much of this match.
Trump has had no such issues and knew coming into this match he has what it takes to put pressure on Robertson, as he told Worldsnooker.com:
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.
His aggressive approach has led to a three-frame lead going into the evening session, with the first player to reach 13 advancing to the semi-finals.
Trump will feel good about his chances but must be wary of the experienced Robertson, who has the ability to string together two or three quick breaks to turn a match on its head. With just two frames needed, Trump can't afford to fall in the same trap Barry Hawkins did.
Barry Hawkins 13-12 Dominic Dale
Dominic Dale nearly completed a comeback for the ages but lost a deciding frame to Barry Hawkins, with the latter joining Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Selby in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Championship.
Hawkins came into today's session up 11-5 and looking to make quick work of the Spaceman, but a number of bad breaks and several bad pots gave Dale life, and the Welsh challenger sprung to life, winning seven consecutive frames to go up 12-11.
It was truly a phenomenal comeback, as Dale's play seemed to near perfection and Hawkins couldn't do anything right. The simplest scores were too much for last year's finalist, who is starting to build a reputation for blowing huge leads.
Dale had the crowd on his hand, and his confidence seemed to be growing with every single shot. His safety seemed to be working beautifully and on the odd occasion it didn't, another blunder by Hawkins would bail the Welshman out.
But with his back against the wall, Hawkins somehow seemed to find his groove again, producing his best snooker of the day to win the final two frames with an excellent break of 66 in the 22nd and some beautiful safety play in the 23rd.
Dale will feel unfortunate not to have won this match, having come so close, but he will leave the tournament with his head held high after Wednesday's remarkable comeback. Hawkins meanwhile will face defending champion O'Sullivan in the semi-finals and will need to find answers for today's meltdown quickly, as the Rocket will take advantage of any sign of weakness.
April 30, Morning Session
Ronnie O'Sullivan 13-3 Shaun Murphy
Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan confirmed his spot in the last four by convincingly beating Shaun Murphy 13-3 inside two sessions in Sheffield.
The first session saw Englishman Murphy take the opening two frames and he looked to have The Rocket rattled.
But O'Sullivan came storming back and moved into Wednesday with a 6-2 lead and all the momentum in his favour.
So it proved for the five-time world champion who quickly grabbed the first two frames, including a break of 63 in the first, to stretch his lead further and leave Murphy with a mountain to climb.
The 2005 world champion did finally stall O'Sullivan's eight-frame winning streak when he took his third frame in the third of the session, but it would prove to be his last of the tournament.
O'Sullivan took the next with a stunning break of 118, his highest of the match, and he kicked on from there.
Not necessarily playing at his irresistible best, he nevertheless proved ruthlessly efficient as he took all four of the final frames to take the match.
Murphy had his chances but with such a margin to make up from early on the pressure of playing O'Sullivan seemed to get to him.
The Rocket saw the match out with a visit of 68 in the 16th frame to win by a massive margin of 10.
It was an ominous win for the other competitors in the tournament as it was completed with O'Sullivan not really at his best.
He will likely face his opponent from last year's final, Barry Hawkins, in the last four as the Kent player needs only two more frames to win his quarter-final against Dominic Dale on Wednesday afternoon.
Mark Selby 13-5 Alan McManus
Mark Selby confirmed his place in the last four at the Crucible on Wednesday as he made short work of Scotsman Alan McManus in the morning session.
The first session of the match on Tuesday had been incredibly tight, Selby edging it 4-3 in a lengthy and highly tactical encounter.
But the Jester from Leicester took control in the second session, stretching his lead to eight frames as it finished 12-4 with Selby needing only one more for victory on Wednesday.
McManus attempted to delay the inevitable and took the first frame with a highly creditable break of 69 while Selby sat scoreless.
However, the world No.2 was not to be pegged bag and he grabbed the frame he needed at the second attempt scoring 69 to McManus' 26.
He is the first man to make it through to the semi-finals in Sheffield and will be watching with interest as the other three quarter-finals are concluded on Wednesday.
April 29, Evening
Mark Selby 12-4 Alan McManus
Just a single frame separated the two as we entered the evening session. It soon became two as Selby’s superior potting saw him take the opener with an 86 break.
A red that took a kiss off three balls on its way to the pocket gave McManus the impetus he needed in the next frame and the Scot moved around the table with confidence.
However, bunched reds in one corner proved troublesome to both players and the frame see-sawed throughout nearly half an hour of play until Selby took it 76-48 to move further ahead.
A break of 40 saw him home for an 8-3 lead at the mid-session interval. First frame after the break saw a chess-game of epic proportions as the ebb and flow went first one way then the other. McManus almost blew his chance but hung on to trail by four.
BBC TV’s Dennis Taylor via his live commentary understood that the frame was crucial for McManus to retain an interest in the contest, and also noted an almost jovial atmosphere:
He badly needed that frame but did well […] it’s certainly a battle out there […] nice to see a bit of banter between the players and the crowd. They’re having a ball at the Crucible again.
Selby wasn’t finished and didn’t even allow McManus to score in the next three, which included spectacular breaks of 109 and a 74.
A 10-1 shot before the tournament, Selby was showing everyone how ridiculous a price that was in as complete a performance as you could ask for.
Monotony took over the final frame of proceedings and it crawled along at a snail's pace before Selby again took the honours, leaving him one frame from victory. In this form, who would bet against him.
Barry Hawkins 11-5 Dominic Dale
By contrast to the other match in progress, Dominic Dale was well behind against Hawkins, and needed a good start to get a foothold in this one.
Dale’s 69 break in the first frame was already his highest in the match. He was on for the century but a missed black to the centre cost him the chance. But it was just what this match required.
A simple long red missed on 34 by Hawkins was compounded by the white finding the pocket, but a stupid attempt at opening up the table saw Dale miss a blue and hand the advantage back to his opponent.
Looking to the skies and blowing out his cheeks, Dale knew it was fatal in the frame and so it proved.
A fluid 47 gave Hawkins a great start to the next frame but sub-standard potting from both players was hardly expected, given that this is a quarter-final. 76-30 left Dale five frames behind.
The pattern continued, more Dale mistakes losing him another, but at 9-3 down we saw the best of him. A stunning double on the final yellow gave him the perfect chance of overhauling Hawkins’ lead but yet more mistakes almost saw the frame slip away.
Fortunately Hawkins’ good touch deserted him and Dale sneaked it on the black.
Dale was all set to continue his good work with a 27 on his first visit to the table, but another mistake let his opponent back in for a studiously built 88, and the frame.
As Dale again took the initiative, Stephen Hendry noted live on BBC TV:
He played that nicely and that’s a frame winning chance now. He shouldn’t make a mistake here […] Being 9-3 down, a lot of player’s heads could drop but he still looks focused when he’s on the balls.
Confident potting took Dale well ahead. So much so that Hawkins conceded.
His new-found exuberance at the table continued in the final frame of the evening as Dale raced into a 53-0 lead. A horrendous miss on the black, however, once again took this into see-saw territory, and both players peppered their visits with schoolboy misses.
Hawkins clawed back the lead under pressure and a 67 break leaves him just two frames away from a place in the semi-final.
April 29, Afternoon
Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-2 Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy took the initiative right from the off against Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Steve Davis in live commentary on BBC TV described it as “a dream start,” and Murphy’s smooth action and lack of nervousness at the table saw him take the opening two frames.
A 101 break in the opener could have been swiftly followed by another century but a missed pink put paid to that.
The third frame became a comedy of errors from both players. Their cat-and-mouse game was eventually taken on the black by O’Sullivan after a massive mistake by Murphy on the brown. 67-64 the score.
The Romford-born potter levelled the match and moved ahead. Some masterful potting in a 72 break saw his confidence return, whilst Murphy’s lack of precision was neutralizing any threat he would otherwise have had in a frame O’Sullivan eventually took 131-0.
Not to be outdone, and despite missing a black off of the spot, Murphy came roaring back. The frame was there for the taking but a ridiculous and elementary mistake when potting the blue let O’Sullivan back in to take it on the black.
Frame seven was all about O’Sullivan. Another mistake from Murphy as he attempted to power into the reds let in O’Sullivan for a break of 94 which saw him surge 5-2 ahead.
Steve Davis noted again in live commentary on the BBC:
Mentally this is going to be very damaging to Shaun Murphy, He’s got one frame left, his opponent’s just starting to hit form and he’s just got to win it. I think I’d advise a quick trip outside as he’s got to regroup.
A relentless “Rocket” masterclass didn't allow Murphy a sniff and he rattled off a 136 break to end the session four frames ahead.
Judd Trump 6-2 Neil Robertson
The other game in the session started off as a much more cagey affair, early safety shots a feature play.
There was no real life to proceedings with neither player willing to take risks, and so the opening frames were a bit of a turn-off compared to the other quarter-final.
Eventually the match sparked into life and some spirited play saw Trump move into pole position, taking four frames in a row after losing the first 59-3.
Robertson should really have gone into the mid-session break level but a long missed red allowed Trump to take the fourth frame 68-49.
A 107 from Trump in the first frame after the break continued to set the tone and frame six looked like heading the same way as Trump built up a 64 point lead.
Decent safety play from Robertson curtailed his march to success, but safety shots exchanged, Trump benefited from a kiss on the pink as he edged further ahead in the frame.
A stunning long red left Robertson needing snookers and TV pictures would show him slumped in his chair, devoid of confidence. He would get another visit to the table but his immaculate potting at that stage was far too late as Trump took it 76-35.
Things looked a little brighter for Robertson in the penultimate frame as he built up a slender lead but ultimately this became another chess-game much like the earlier frames, as shot after shot went to safety.
It was agonisingly slow shot play, and a monotony that was thankfully lacking in the other match.
With the balls spread nicely, Robertson’s beautiful red to the centre set him up to see the frame out, however and easier red to the opposite pocket was missed, leaving the table open for Trump.
Two mistakes couldn’t be initially capitalized on by Robertson, and BBC Sport’s Terry Griffiths noted of the latter:
I’m not quite sure if he’s slightly unwell, he keeps coughing and wiping his brow […] he looks out of sorts.
However, another Trump mistake was seized upon and a 33 break saw Robertson stop the rot, winning the frame on the black.
It was a brief respite however as another simple miss on a red into the corner pocket allowed Trump to clear up. His break of 117 was well-built with each shot studiously assessed before potting. An overnight lead of 6-2 was a fair reflection of the afternoon’s play.
April 29, Morning Session
Barry Hawkins 6-2 Dominic Dale
Barry Hawkins made a strong start to his quarter-final, opening up a four-frame lead in the first session against Dominic Dale.
Last year's beaten finalist will look to go one better this year in Sheffield and he gave himself every chance of making the last four with some strong potting on Tuesday.
He took the first frame courtesy of a visit of 68 and opened up a two-frame lead with a break of 63.
Dale, who thrashed Michael Wasley 13-4 in the second round, got on the board when he took the third but unfortunately for the Welshman it did not hand him the momentum.
In fact, Hawkins produced a visit of 78 in the fourth while Dale was scoreless and the match moved to 3-1 before the mid-session interval.
The 35-year-old Hawkins picked up where he left off after the interval with another high break of 81 to move three frames in front.
Dale broke his opponent's rhythm when he took the sixth but lost a closely fought seventh, which ended 64-54 in Hawkins' favour.
Hawkins saved his best for last as he wrapped up the session with a classy break of 134 to go into Tuesday evening's session 6-2 up.
While there is still plenty more snooker left in this best-of-25-frame quarter-final, Hawkins stamped his authority with a very strong showing in the first session.
Mark Selby 4-3 Alan McManus
Mammoth frames were the order of the day as world No. 2 Mark Selby just edged Scotsman Alan McManus in the truncated first session of their quarter-final.
It took almost four hours to complete seven frames in a highly tactical encounter which finished with Selby ahead 4-3.
Favourite for this match, Selby took the opening two frames, but it was the third when the agonisingly tight nature of this encounter first became apparent.
At just under 45 minutes for the frame, McManus made it 2-1 as a procession of fouls and safety shots eventually ended 84-72 in the Scot's favour.
The world No. 34 then tied things up at 2-2 going into the mid-session interval with a visit of 74, his highest break of the session.
The lengthy nature of the match was confirmed with another 40-minute-plus encounter for the fifth frame, which was eventually won by McManus.
These two players' tactical proficiency made for a fascinating encounter for the purist, though entertainment value was lacking.
Selby found some quality to get the game back level at 3-3, producing a fine break of 110 to take the sixth frame.
The Jester from Leicester took the seventh and final frame of the session as there was not enough time for the scheduled eight to be completed.
The match will resume at 4-3 in Tuesday's evening session.