The first round of the Brazilian Masters was completed yesterday as four ranking event winners made their way into the last eight.
Former world number one Stephen Hendry once again showed signs of good form in his 4-1 victory over local wildcard Noel Rodrigues – seeing the Brazilian off 4-1.
The Scotsman had the opportunity to equal Ronnie O’Sullivan’s record of eleven maximum breaks but eventually broke down on 113 as he failed to pot the fifteenth black.
Another legend of the sport in Steve Davis could not join his former rival in the quarter-finals as he suffered a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Ali Carter while 2008 Shanghai Masters champion Ricky Walden ousted fellow Englishman Martin Gould 4-1.
The second wildcard of the invitational event, Sobradinho de Dues, could not offer any resilience against 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy. The Brazilian succumbed to a 4-0 whitewash defeat.
The quartet join new world number one Mark Selby, Peter Ebdon, Graeme Dott and Brazil’s own Igor Figueiredo in the quarter-finals.
Figueiredo had an excellent triumph over Jamie Cope on Thursday and will hope to give his home fans more to cheer about when he takes on former world champion Graeme Dott tonight.
The 33 year-old is on the professional circuit but has failed to attend any event this season due to a lack of funding.
It is clear that the 2009 World Amateur Championship finalist has considerable talent and it is nice that he has the opportunity to flaunt it at home.
The Brazil Masters appeared to get off to a slow start but picked up yesterday as more fans came out to show their support.
Figueiredo’s continued success would do wonders for the future of the event and snooker in general in the South American country but that is a lot of responsibility on his shoulders.
The true success of the event will not be known until after the tournament when the television figures are released but there seems to be a little more cause for optimism following last night’s attendances.
The weekend, of course, will provide a more resounding consensus.
The draw can be viewed by clicking here.