World Snooker Championship – the best of weekend’s bets
After a week of cue-to-cue combat the World Snooker Championships is in full swing and four second round fixtures kick off on over the course of the weekend with Ronnie O’Sullivan taking on Ali Carter, Mark King facing off against Ding Junhui, Robert Milkins meeting Ricky Walden and Stuart Bingham facing Mark Davis.
There were enough signs of ring rustiness in Ronnie O’Sullivan’s first round win to give Ali Carter hope that this repeat of last year’s final can end differently to that match. Having lost all but one of his 15 career meetings with “The Rocket” he will need all the confidence boosting he can get.
The Colchester man found some imperious form after a testy start against first round foe Ben Woolaston, reeling off the decisive five frames in his 10-4 victory consecutively. With O’Sullivan feeling his way back to top form their match could be a tit-for-tat affair – Coral go 8/11 about it taking over 21.5 frames to separate them.
Mark King’s “surprise” victory over Mark Allen in the first round wasn’t that much of a shock considering he’d beaten “The Pistol” in tight finishes in their last three meetings. “The Romford Battler” has gone down by a single frame in three of his four previous meetings with Ding and his relish for the scrap can see him easily for an 8/11 win +4.5 frames handicap.
Stuart Bingham is having the best season of his career and he dominated Sam Baird to post a 10/2 victory in the first round, but Mark Davis – who conquered four-timer World Championship winner John Higgins last time out – has beaten him by at least two frames their last two meetings this term and gets the nod on Coral’s +2.5 frames handicap at 5/6.
Robert Milkins saw off world number two Neil Robertson – easily the form player coming into the tournament – 10-8 in the first round and although his opponent Ricky Walden cruised through to this stage with a 10-1 win over Michael Holt, Milkins can take victory with at +1.5 frame handicap at 11/10. Every frame won against the Gloucesterman will be hard earned with 2010 champion Robertson suggesting “His safety was really, really good throughout the game and some of the best I have seen this season”.