Ding, Dott, Maguire and Selby all in action on Welsh Open day two
More famous faces will take to the baize on Tuesday at the Welsh Open in Cardiff, but defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan (9/4 favourite with Coral to retain the title) and Neil Robertson have both criticised the venue.
‘The Rocket’ still romped to a 4-1 victory over Robertson’s fellow Australian cueman Vinnie Calabrese, but had harsh words for the Motorpoint Arena and the crowd.
“It’s like playing in a shopping mall.” O’Sullivan said. “There were people walking around and getting up as and when they wanted. The etiquette of snooker is not to move when a player is on his shot.”
‘The Thunder from Down Under’, meanwhile, supports Rocket Ronnie, but still managed to whitewash James Cahill, nephew of snooker legend Stephen Hendry, 4-0.
“I know what he [O’Sullivan] means,” added Robertson. “There is an awful lot going on. It’s important to stay focused and get through to the later rounds when there are less tables.”
With that criticism out of the way, former world champion Graeme Dott takes on Basildon potter Zak Surety, and ‘the Pocket Dynamo’ is strongly odds-on at 1/7 to advance.
World number one, reigning Crucible king and German masters champion Mark Selby is also in action against Alex Davies, and is 1/10 for victory. A 4-0 whitewash handed out to the Essex potter by ‘the Jester from Leicester’ is 9/4.
Stephen Maguire, the 2013 winner, meanwhile, will also expect to make light work of qualifier Duane Jones with Glasgow’s man ‘on-fire’ a massively short 1/10 to win.
Fellow Scottish potter John Higgins locks cues with compatriot Michael Leslie, and these two have met in a best of seven frames format before. Punters can enhance the price on ‘the Wizard of Wishaw’ winning at 1/7 by taking 13/4 on a 4-2 scoreline.
Ding Junhui, who won the Welsh Open in 2012, complete the headline names in Cardiff on day two as he tackles Lee Walker. ‘The Chinese Sensation’ should put him to the sword, with odds of 1/10 to win.
Peter Ebdon, another former world champion, takes on fellow veteran Tony Drago, and is odds-on at 2/9 to beat the Maltese, who he has won eight of 11 head-to-heads.