Ken Doherty and Robert Murphy were knocked out of the 6-Red World Championship in Bangkok yesterday – ending any Irish involvement in the event.
Doherty was destroyed in a whitewash defeat to home contender Noppon Saengkham in the last 32.
While his countryman Murphy, an seasoned amateur on the Irish scene, was able to go one stage further with victory over Andrew Pagett, he eventually went down 6-1 to England’s Joe Perry in the last 16.
Perry plays Stuart Bingham in the quarter-finals after his fellow Englishman ended the hopes of Dominic Dale.
Saengkham, full of confidence, ended 2008 winner Ricky Walden’s bid for a second title and his reward is a meeting with reigning champion Mark Davis for a place in the last four.
Davis is somewhat of a 6-Red specialist. Not only did the 41 year-old claim this trophy in 2012, but he also a sister 6-Red world tournament held in Killarney three years earlier – proving his pedigree for the format.
He will face a stiff test though with Saenghkam hoping to continue his run on home soil as the last remaining Thai player competing.
The rest of the draw boasts a quartet of star-studded names, once again highlighting that, under whichever guise, the best players predominantly always rise to the top.
Mark Selby edged the dangerous Robert Milkins 6-4 to set up a battle with namesake Mark Williams, who recorded a similar scoreline over the in-form Gary Wilson.
Finally, Shaun Murphy will take on world no.1 Neil Robertson in the last quarter-final after both completed vastly different triumphs.
Murphy destroyed Matthew Stevens, the same player he overcame to claim the 2005 World Championship, 6-0, while Australia’s Robertson was given a much sterner test but still prevailed versus Judd Trump in a dramatic deciding frame thriller.
So the remainder of this invitational tournament is nicely poised with a mixture high-profile competitors, 6-Red specialists and a home hopeful still in with a strong chance.
Today, both the quarter-finals and semi-finals will take place with the final being contested over the best of 15 frames on Saturday.
The full draw can be viewed by clicking here.