A Brazilian World

Four ex-world champions will contest the business end of the 2011 Brazil Masters later tonight.

Stephen Hendry showed continued signs of a surge in form as he whitewashed Ali Carter 4-0 in the quarter-finals.

The victory followed an opening round win where the Scotsman almost equalled Ronnie O’Sullivan’s 147 record of eleven.

Hendry, a seven-time world champion, has been on a downward spiral for around five years but can sometimes show glimpses of his old punishing self.

The 42 year-old will drop out of the Top 16 in the rankings for the first time in his career when the list is revised early next month and his performances in South America, while carrying no ranking points itself, could act as a confidence boost for the remainder of the campaign.

Hendry will face Shaun Murphy for a place in the first final after the England player ousted countryman Ricky Walden 4-1.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Graeme Dott over local hero Igor Figueiredo 4-2 while Peter Ebdon edged Shanghai Masters champion Mark Selby in a scrappy affair 4-3.

The result brings to an end an impressive run of thirteen consecutive victories for Selby, who will become the newest world number one in October.

It is unlikely that he will be too overly upset about the defeat, though, and may take solace in the fact that he has an extra day’s rest.

The season is so packed with weekly events that it is foreseeable that some of the top players may burn themselves out in periods throughout the year.

It is probably still too early for that to happen yet but for the likes of Selby and Murphy, who play and contend in most of the tournaments available, it will be intriguing to see if they have enough reserves left when the season enters 2012.

That is not to say that the quartet remaining will not be trying desperately to get their hands on Brazil’s first piece of silverware as each of them have their own degrees of inspiration to kickstart their campaigns as well.

The draw can be viewed by clicking here.


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