Mark Selby and Barry Hawkins made light work of their final second round sessions on Monday to join the almost complete last eight World Championship line-up in Sheffield.
The pair of Englishmen both resumed 10-6 ahead but required just around an hour to clinch the three frames necessary for a quarter-final berth.
Selby’s encounter with Xiao Guodong was ultimately settled in their first session when the defending champion established what proved to be an insurmountable 6-2 cushion.
Xiao battled valiantly in the middle session but rued several wasted opportunities as he could only share the eight frames to remain four frames down overnight.
And the Chinese 28 year-old barely had a sniff this afternoon as Selby constructed quick contributions of 101, 73, and 60 to maintain his quest for a third world crown.
The world number one awaits the winner of the final last 16 clash which is still to be decided, with Neil Robertson and Marco Fu set to resume their intriguing battle that stands at 8-8 later today.
Hawkins, meanwhile, was steady all the way through his bout with 2006 world champion Graeme Dott.
A brace of 5-3 session victories put daylight between himself and the Scot, before the “Hawk” ran away with proceedings in the concluding session.
Dott will feel aggrieved to have been beaten by such a seemingly convincing scoreline and will have regrets over a number of close frames, especially on Sunday evening, which could have went his way and would have made the latter exchanges much more interesting.
Hawkins, though, continues to be a dangerous force in this event, quietly going about his business in the bottom half of the draw while the heavy-hitters create all the headlines on the opposite side.
The World Grand Prix champion, somewhat of a specialist at the Crucible over the last few years with a runner-up placing and a couple of semi-finals to his credit, meets Stephen Maguire next.
There’ll be a full quarter-final preview ahead of the start of the next round on Tuesday.
Categories: Snooker News