World number one Mark Selby reached the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix on Wednesday after a 4-2 victory over Mark Allen in Coventry.
The world champion won the opening two frames with breaks of 85 and 78 to create an early buffer, and his Northern Irish opponent was never able to get back on level terms.
Selby hasn’t excelled in any of the tournaments this season – struggling for form since capturing a fourth Crucible crown in May – so the 38 year-old will be keen on ending the calendar year on a high note.
The Jester will face Tom Ford in the World Grand Prix quarter-finals after the latter edged out Judd Trump in a dramatic deciding frame on the final black.
Having already beaten John Higgins in the first round, Ford is making his way through the draw the hard way, and it won’t get any easier when he takes on Selby next.
Elsewhere, Neil Robertson and Yan Bingtao set up a clash against one another after emerging unscathed from their respective second-round fixtures.
Robertson compiled breaks of 108 and 74 in a 4-1 defeat of Anthony Hamilton, while Yan went one better by inflicting a bagel on Martin Gould.
The first round, meanwhile, also concluded on day three with Ronnie O’Sullivan and Luca Brecel among those negotiating their initial challenges.
O’Sullivan produced an indifferent display but still had enough in the tank to get beyond Andy Hicks, while Brecel continued where he left off at the weekend with his Scottish Open success in a 4-1 beating of Jordan Brown.
Hossein Vafaei and Jimmy Robertson were the two other players who booked their spots in the last 16 of the competition as well.
On Thursday, the second round will conclude in the afternoon before the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix commence during the evening’s session.
Yan Bingtao vs Neil Robertson
Mark Selby vs Tom Ford
Lisowski/Maguire vs Bingham/Carter
O’Sullivan/Vafaei vs J Robertson/Brecel
Martin Gould 0-4 Yan Bingtao Anthony Hamilton 1-4 Neil Robertson Mark Allen 2-4 Mark Selby Judd Trump 3-4 Tom Ford
Jack Lisowski vs Stephen Maguire
Stuart Bingham vs Ali Carter
Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Hossein Vafaei
Jimmy Robertson vs Luca Brecel
Live coverage continues in the UK and Ireland on ITV4.
Featured photo credit: WST
I presume Alan McManus is absent from the ITV coverage this week due to a positive Covid test. He said during the Scottish Open coverage that he would be heading to Coventry with John Higgins.