World Snooker Championship quarter-finals
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World Snooker Championship: quarter-finals preview, predictions, order of play

Eight players remain in the hunt for glory as the 2024 World Snooker Championship reaches the quarter-finals in Sheffield.

An underwhelming second round in the competition sparked into life right at the very end, with Monday’s evening session producing a couple of memorable climaxes.

Tuesday and Wednesday will see the quarter-finals crammed into two neat but frenetic days of play, making it arguably the most enjoyable round of any World Snooker Championship.

Let’s take a look at the contenders left vying for the coveted trophy and a top prize worth £500,000.

World Snooker Championship quarter-finals

David Gilbert vs Stephen Maguire

Session 1: Tuesday, April 30th at 10am
Session 2: Tuesday, April 30th at 7pm
Session 3: Wednesday, May 1st at 2:30pm
Prediction: Stephen Maguire

A fascinating encounter between two former semi-finalists pits qualifiers Stephen Maguire and David Gilbert against one another.

At times during his last-16 clash with Robert Milkins, Gilbert produced a scintillating standard, albeit his hapless opponent offered a limp performance in response.

Maguire, meanwhile, wasn’t quite at his best but conjured enough to overcome the challenge of his old rival, Shaun Murphy.

The Scot, a former world number two, has been in the doldrums for the last couple of years but confidence will be on the rise again.

Both Maguire and Gilbert prefer an open and attacking style of play, which could lead to an entertaining encounter full of big breaks.

The fact that they are both prone to the odd bad miss here and there could add to the drama further.

Maguire leads Gilbert 5-2 in their overall head-to-head, although their highest-profile clash at the 2020 Masters went the way of the latter.

This is a tough one to call, and each player will surely feel an element of added pressure knowing what’s at stake.

Six-time ranking event winner Maguire ultimately has more experience at this stage of events, something that could prove to be the determining factor.

Kyren Wilson (12) vs John Higgins (13)

Session 1: Tuesday, April 30th at 2:30pm
Session 2: Wednesday, May 1st at 10am
Session 3: Wednesday, May 1st at 7pm
Prediction: John Higgins

What a clearance it was by John Higgins on Monday night, pinching victory from Mark Allen on the final black in the deciding frame.

Higgins has made a career out of gutsy moments like that, but the bottle facet of his game had strangely deserted him over the last few seasons.

What kind of renewed belief this will instill into his psyche will be interesting to see as he mounts his latest challenge to add to the four Crucible crowns he’s already accumulated.

Higgins will face a familiar foe in Sheffield in the quarter-finals having already played and beaten Kyren Wilson in three previous World Snooker Championship editions, including a 13-2 drubbing of the Englishman 12 months ago.

Wilson looked decent during his 13-6 defeat of Joe O’Connor, although he didn’t really have to shift into top gear against the debutant.

Following that win, the Kettering cueist admitted that he has been approached about a breakaway tour and he would consider his options if one materialises.

With his future on the main tour perhaps uncertain then, the 32 year-old will be motivated to win a world title this year and finally break his duck of having never won a major.

To continue his challenge, Wilson will have to do something that he’s only done once before – beat Higgins in a full ranking event match.

He’s capable of doing so, but one suspects Higgins will represent a rejuvenated force after his nerveless win in the second round.

World Championship Prize Money
Winner: £500,000
Runner-up: £200,000
Semi-finalists: £100,000
Quarter-finalists: £50,000
Last 16: £30,000
Last 32: £20,000
147 break: £40,000
Highest break: £15,000

Judd Trump (3) vs Jak Jones

Session 1: Tuesday, April 30th at 10am
Session 2: Tuesday, April 30th at 7pm
Session 3: Wednesday, May 1st at 10am
Prediction: Judd Trump

Judd Trump has coasted through to the quarter-finals of the 2024 World Snooker Championship, marking the tenth time he has reached this stage in Sheffield.

This season’s five-time ranking event winner produced a professional performance to dispatch of Tom Ford with a 13-7 scoreline in the last round.

The 2019 world champion hasn’t touched on his peak form yet, but even if he doesn’t reach those heights again he’ll still be a massive favourite against Jak Jones.

Jones has done admirably well to embark on successive runs to the last eight at the Crucible Theatre.

The Welshman, by his own admission however, has not played well during his first two outings here in 2024 and has been somewhat fortunate to come up against a pair of Chinese opponents in Zhang Anda and Si Jiahui who were even worse.

It’s unlikely that Jones will be able to get away with another subpar display against world number two Trump, although he probably would have thought the same heading into his fixture against Si.

Trump has won four of their five prior showdowns, and it would be a huge shock if he doesn’t add to that head-to-head superiority on this occasion.

Stuart Bingham vs Ronnie O’Sullivan (2)

Session 1: Tuesday, April 30th at 2:30pm
Session 2: Wednesday, May 1st at 2:30pm
Session 3: Wednesday, May 1st at 7pm
Prediction: Ronnie O’Sullivan

A bit like Trump, the other big favourite in this World Championship hasn’t quite hit his smoothest stride in the event.

Ronnie O’Sullivan has done enough to negotiate his initial two hurdles, but he has barely been pushed and he comprehensively beat Ryan Day 13-7 in the second round.

Against Stuart Bingham, the Rocket will face a player who has history of beating him at this point of the tournament.

An emotional Bingham memorably ousted O’Sullivan in the 2015 quarter-finals en route to claiming his own world crown.

Aside from that, Bingham has fared pretty dismally against the world number one, and other than a nondescript Championship League clash, he has failed to enjoy success over O’Sullivan since 2015.

Still, the 47 year-old former Masters champion won’t be someone to shy away from putting a bit of pressure on the game’s greatest.

Whether or not that will be enough to rattle the history-chasing O’Sullivan is questionable, particularly given the trophy-laden campaign he has already mustered.

Many people’s dream scenario of a Trump versus O’Sullivan semi-final looks to be in store.

2024 World Snooker Championship Draw

Round 1 (bo19)

Luca Brecel (1) 9-10 David Gilbert
Robert Milkins (16) 10-9 Pang Junxu
Ali Carter (9) 7-10 Stephen Maguire
Shaun Murphy (8) 10-5 Lyu Haotian

Mark Selby (5) 6-10 Joe O’Connor
Kyren Wilson (12) 10-1 Dominic Dale
John Higgins (13) 10-6 Jamie Jones
Mark Allen (4) 10-6 Robbie Williams

Judd Trump (3) 10-5 Hossein Vafaei
Tom Ford (14) 10-6 Ricky Walden
Zhang Anda (11) 4-10 Jak Jones
Mark Williams (6) 9-10 Si Jiahui

Ding Junhui (7) 9-10 Jack Lisowski
Gary Wilson (10) 5-10 Stuart Bingham
Barry Hawkins (15) 8-10 Ryan Day
Ronnie O’Sullivan (2) 10-1 Jackson Page

Round 2 (bo25)

David Gilbert 13-4 Robert Milkins (16)
Stephen Maguire 13-9 Shaun Murphy (8)

Joe O’Connor 6-13 Kyren Wilson (12)
John Higgins (13) 13-12 Mark Allen (4)

Judd Trump (3) 13-7 Tom Ford (14)
Jak Jones 13-9 Si Jiahui

Jack Lisowski 11-13 Stuart Bingham
Ryan Day 7-13 Ronnie O’Sullivan (2)

Quarter-Finals (bo25)

David Gilbert 13-8 Stephen Maguire
Kyren Wilson (12) 13-8 John Higgins (13)

Judd Trump (3) 9-13 Jak Jones
Stuart Bingham 13-10 Ronnie O’Sullivan (2)

Semi-Finals (bo33)

David Gilbert 11-17 Kyren Wilson (12)
Jak Jones 17-12 Stuart Bingham

Final (bo35)

Kyren Wilson (12) 18-14 Jak Jones

Click here for the latest live scores and session times.

Featured photo credit: WST

One Comment

  1. Jay Brannon

    I think in this year’s event we may not see players hit any peak performances due to how tight the pockets are playing. We’re significantly behind in terms of centuries this year. Some of the sessions during round two were pretty hard viewing, especially the Si/Jones clash.

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