Jimmy White and Ronnie O’Sullivan will meet each other for the second time in as many months after recording comfortable second round victories in the Scottish Open on Wednesday.
White continued his resurgence in form this season with a resounding 4-0 defeat of Ryan Day in Glasgow that featured breaks of 73, 65 and 57.
The 54 year-old, the most senior member of the Main Tour, has now won four matches on the bounce and notched up an incredible 13 frames without reply.
The ‘Whirlwind’, in his second season of a two-year card, is unlikely to break into the top 64 in the world rankings where future pro status is guaranteed.
However, White features high up a separate list of single season money-earners in which the top eight not already assured of their pro ticket will be invited back onto the circuit.
If the six-time World Championship runner-up can maintain this level of form he will be in with a fighting chance of securing his position by his own merit, rather than relying on a wildcard hand down from the governing body.
White faces a tough task to reach any further in Scotland, though, as he comes up against the favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan.
The pair met a few weeks ago in Belfast during the Northern Ireland Open, with the ‘Rocket’ coming out on top of a scrappier affair with a 4-1 scoreline.
O’Sullivan moved into the third round this week with a 4-1 success over amateur Adam Stefanow, in spite of some cue tip troubles.
Meanwhile, it was another mixed day of fortunes for the Scottish players bidding for glory in the third Home Nations series tournament.
Graeme Dott, Anthony McGill and Rhys Clark all disappointingly crashed out but the two big boys, John Higgins and Stephen Maguire, remain in the hunt.
Higgins was particularly impressive as he routed Scott Donaldson with runs of 101, 83, 66 and 52, while compatriot Maguire edged Ireland’s Fergal O’Brien 4-2.
The duo are on opposite sides of the draw so a dream final comprising the final two Scots left is still a possibility, albeit Maguire already has a difficult prospect in facing Mark Williams in the last 32.
Williams fired in a superb 139 as he beat Michael Holt 4-1 but that wasn’t even the highest break of the day as Marco Fu compiled an impressive tournament-high 142 en route to a similar 4-1 victory against Liam Highfield.
There were triumphs elsewhere for Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, Liang Wenbo, Kyren Wilson, Barry Hawkins and Ricky Walden.
But Shaun Murphy and Ali Carter were dumped out of the competition by Xiao Guodong and Christ Wakelin respectively.
Joe Swail grabbed a morale-boosting win against Stuart Carrington which will go in some way to helping his top 64 cause, but the Northern Irishman will have to raise his game further against Robertson if he’s to reach the fourth round.
Among the others to advance were Joe Perry, Robin Hull, Anthony Hamilton and Oliver Lines.
Thursday is arguably the busiest day of the entire event with two rounds to move through and the quarter-finalists determined before the end of play.
Coverage continues on Eurosport and Quest TV.
Categories: Snooker News