The quarter-final draw for the 2022 British Open threw up some interesting ties to come on Friday at the Marshall Arena.
After a busy few days in Milton Keynes, it’s down to the final eight contenders who will battle it out for the £100,000 top prize.
Let’s take a look at the four upcoming ties.
Mark Selby vs Mark Allen (1pm)
Selby compiled a wonderful 147 break in the opening frame of his 4-1 victory over Jack Lisowski on Thursday – sinking an incredible trebled red on 88 that will live long in the memory for snooker fans.
Allen, sporting a trimmer appearance having lost several stone in weight over the summer months, overcame Judd Trump in a deciding-frame thriller.
Two of only three players remaining who have experience lasting the distance in ranking events – and the only two members of the top 16 – Selby and Allen represents a big encounter.
Whoever wins on Friday afternoon will become the massive favourite for glory this weekend.
The pair’s head-to-head record is relatively even, with Selby boasting a narrow 11-10 advantage from their previous battles in all competitions.
The Jester seems to have turned a corner after a difficult last campaign, and history has told us that the further he goes in a tournament the more he’ll believe he’ll win it.
Noppon Saengkham vs Jamie Jones (7pm)
For a player who has done damage at the Crucible Theatre, it’s hard to believe that this run represents only the fifth time Noppon Saengkham has reached the last eight of a ranking event.
The popular Thai enjoyed an excellent Thursday in which he beat the highly fancied Zhao Xintong 4-1 before whitewashing Jordan Brown.
Jamie Jones has taken advantage of an easier draw, with the Welshman yet to face anyone from inside the top 32 this week.
Saengkham and Jones have only played each other on two prior occasions, and they were way back in 2013 and 2015 when they shared one victory apiece.
It’s a terrific opportunity for both of them to match their previous best runs in ranking events by reaching the last four.
Ryan Day vs Yuan Sijun (7pm)
Along with Selby and Allen, Ryan Day is the only other competitor in the British Open quarter-final draw who knows what it takes to etch his name on the trophy.
Day battled past former world champion Graeme Dott in the last 16 to set up an encounter with Yuan Sijun, who edged Anthony Hamilton 4-3 in a high-scoring affair.
Yuan is just one of several young Chinese cueists who could make a breakthrough into the higher echelons of the game at any moment.
The 22 year-old shares a 1-1 head-to-head record with Day but beat the Welshman 6-1 in their most recent meeting at the World Championship qualifiers in April.
After making three quarter-finals last season, the latter is hoping to reach his first ranking semi-final since winning the 2021 Snooker Shoot Out.
Robbie Williams vs Lyu Haotian (1pm)
Two more players with a huge opportunity to feature at the business end this week are Robbie Williams and Lyu Haotian.
Like Yuan, Lyu is attempting to follow in the footsteps of countrymen Yan Bingtao, Zhao Xintong, and Fan Zhengyi who in recent years have successfully joined the winners enclosure.
The 24 year-old compiled a brace of century breaks in a commanding victory over Matthew Stevens in the last round.
Williams, meanwhile, backed up his impressive defeat of Ding Junhui with a hard-fought 4-3 triumph against amateur top-up Steven Hallworth.
This duo has crossed paths only once before, way back at the 2014 World Championship qualifiers when Williams emerged as the winner.
Live coverage in the UK and Ireland is on ITV4, with more options available to watch from around the world.
Click here to view the full draw (times in CET)
Featured photo credit: WST