International Championship quarter-finals
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Preview: International Championship Quarter-Finals

There are eight people left in the hunt with the International Championship quarter-finals set for Thursday in China.

A high quality line-up remains in Daqing as the contenders chase down the whopping £175,000 champion’s cheque.

Judd Trump already created plenty of headlines on Wednesday after his 6-2 victory over Joe Perry guaranteed his return to the top of the world rankings list.

Not since early 2013 has the Englishman held the world number one position but his consistency in 2019 so far, culminating in a maiden World Championship title in May, means he thoroughly deserves the accolade.

Trump will continue his hunt for a first International Championship crown since the inaugural staging in 2012, when funnily enough the 29 year-old claimed the number one ranking for the first time in his career, when he takes on Tom Ford in the last eight.

The pair last met in the World Grand Prix en route to another Trump victory this year and the latter has an 8-4 advantage from their head-to-heads overall.

Regardless of the outcome, the bottom half of the draw is guaranteed to produce an all-English last four clash.

That’s because the other match in that section features two-time former champion Mark Selby and surprise World Championship semi-finalist Gary Wilson.

Wilson is proving that recent run to the single table set-up at the Crucible was no fluke with another excellent run in a big-money event.

Selby, meanwhile, is on track to add to his titles from 2016 and 2017 after a trademark revival against David Gilbert resulted in the Leicesterman fighting back from 5-3 down to prevail in a decider.

Wilson and Selby’s encounter represents a repeat showdown of their last 16 tie in Sheffield, when Wilson stunned the former world number one with a 13-10 success.

In the top half of the draw, reigning champion Mark Allen is still going strong after another routine victory.

The Northern Irishman has dropped only five frames in reaching the International Championship quarter-finals.

It’s bound to get a lot tougher as he’ll have a tough crowd to contend with next, with home hero Ding Junhui a dangerous upcoming opponent.

Ding, champion in 2013, held his nerve to pip pal Liang Wenbo in a match that lasted the distance.

Somewhat oddly, Ding boasts a far superior record against Allen – winning 75% of their previous battles with one another.

But the 33 year-old has coasted to this point and clearly enjoys the event having reached the final three times since 2014.

Finally, Shaun Murphy and Graeme Dott will cross paths in a battle of the former world champions.

Dott, who overcame fellow Scot John Higgins, has beaten Murphy in their two most recent meetings.

Murphy, though, has emerged victorious in the majority of their contests and will be feeling confident after a morale-boosting 6-5 triumph against last year’s runner-up Neil Robertson.

Live coverage of the International Championship quarter-finals is on Eurosport.

Click here to view the draw (Times: CET)

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