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Quarter-Final in China

The China Open has reached the quarter-final stage and it is certainly a case of experience meets the day in Beijing.

There are no young pretenders or rookies involved, with all eight remaining in the draw seasoned competitors.

Neil Robertson fought back his virus symptoms for a third straight match and came through in a hard-fought deciding frame victory over home hope Yu Delu.

The Australian had already dispatched of Anthony Hamilton and Mark Williams in the same way and once again needed all nine frames to progress to the last eight.

While the 32 year-old’s spirit is laudable, one has to question whether or not these taxing encounters will have a positive or negative effect on his World Championship aspirations.

Robertson will be keen to defend the China Open crown he claimed last season but more important will be his ambition to reclaim the Crucible title he first won in 2010.

In the last few campaigns, with the influx of new tournaments onto a busy calendar, burnout has become a key word at this stage of the year.

Robertson, already ill, may be doing himself no favours by battling so hard to stay in a tournament that concludes so close to the biggest one of them all – the Marathon of the Mind.

In this case, he would have been hoping for a potentially quick outcome to his upcoming tie but that is unlikely as he face the always-dogged Scotsman Graeme Dott.

Dott, another former world champ, hasn’t had the best of seasons but reached second ranking event quarter-final in a row with a 5-2 success over Belgian teenager Luca Brecel.

Robertson will be favourite but hasn’t been at his most fluent best this week which will give former champion Dott an early advantage.

Also in the top half of the draw, ranking event champions Ricky Walden and Ali Carter will do battle after a brace of 5-3 wins over Shaun Murphy and Peter Ebdon respectively.

The bottom half of the draw is looking increasingly like it will be a semi-final contest between the world’s number two and three.

Ding Junhui and Mark Selby both played reasonably well in overcoming tricky challenges in John Higgins and Jimmy White.

Ding will face Mark King first, while Selby’s reward for ousting the People’s Champion is an outing with veteran Mike Dunn – a player battling to stay inside the world’s top 64 and maintain his status as a professional on the Main Tour.

It is has been equally excellent events for King and Dunn, but it would be a considerable surprise should either of them continue their runs.

Click Here for the China Open draw.



Creator of SnookerHQ and a journalism graduate, David has been actively reporting on snooker since 2011. He has been published in national publications and has appeared on BBC World News and on talkSPORT radio as an analyst.