Indian Open snooker: Mark Davis knocks out John Higgins to reach quarters
Mark Davis extended his recent domination over four-time World champion and his long-time rival John Higgins with a polished 4-0 win on Friday to set up a quarterfinal clash with Thai sensation Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in the 300,000 Pounds Indian Open World ranking snooker tournament here.
Mumbai: Mark Davis extended his recent domination over four-time World champion and his long-time rival John Higgins with a polished 4-0 win on Friday to set up a quarterfinal clash with Thai sensation Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in the 300,000 Pounds Indian Open World ranking snooker tournament here.
While Davis, who first clashed with Scot Higgins back in 1995, played solid snooker to chalk up his sixth consecutive win in 10 meetings, southpaw Un-Nooh wasted little time to demolish Welshman Jamie Jones 4-1, posting a super quick break of 123 clearance in the fifth frame.
Also qualifying for the quarterfinals, which will be played at 7 pm and 9 pm on Friday, were England's Ricky Walden, Chris Wakelin, Robert Milkins and Joe Perry, besides Welshmen Mark Williams and Michael White.
Davis, 42-year-old from Hastings, England, and ranked No.18, gave few openings to Higgins who helplessly watch his rival race away with breaks of 72, 87 and 66 in the first, second and fourth frames.
The 39-year-old Scot Higgins, although ranked two spots higher, looked anywhere near his best. The closest he came to winning a frame was in the third when he briefly led Davis who, however, slammed a timely 33 to go 3-0 up. He then followed it with a run of 66 in the fourth for a commanding victory.
Even more dominating was 29-year-old Bangkok-based Un-Nooh who, after losing the first frame, simply dismantled 45th ranked Jones who squandered a 56-point lead in the third frame, allowing the Thai to go 3-0 up rather than making it 1-2.
"Reaching the quarter-finals in a big tournament such as this is obviously the best performance of my professional career. I am happy with my concentration and focus," said the Un-Nooh who is bound to improve his ranking from the current 61 after his performance in the Indian Open.
In the bargain, Un-Nooh, who upset World No.4 and defending champion Ding Junhui in the first round on Wednesday after having to qualify for the main draw, is now forced to postpone his departure from Friday to Saturday night as he never expected to perform so well.
"I did not think I would do so well in this tournament and so I had booked my ticket to Bangkok for Friday night. Now, I have to change it to Saturday, but I don't mind if I lose some money while re-booking!" said Un-Nooh who will be richer by 9,000 Pounds even if he loses to Davis.
Meanwhile, Williams, seeking his first ranking title since 2011, came from 2-3 down to win 4-3 against World No.6 Judd Trump who, hampered by a shoulder injury, was far from his best.
Yet, there was plenty of action as Trump compiled 104, 55 and 67, but Williams responded with 68, 108 and a decisive 63 in the last frame.
Williams next meets Milkins who ran out a comfortable 4-2 win over 2006 World champion Graeme Dott of Scotland.
Earlier, 22-year old Wakelin, who has never previously been beyond the last 32 of a ranking event, was in ominous form. He beat compatriot Nigel Bond 4-1 to reach the quarterfinals where he faces White who eased past Li Hang of China 4-2, aided by breaks of 94, 109, 62 and 77.
"I'm not finished here yet. I'm not here to mess about. I'm here to try to win the title. There's no point flying half way across the world just to nick a few quid. I'm here to pick up the trophy. The only problem is that it won't fit in my suitcase," said Wakelin who came through Q-School in 2013.
Perry completed the quarterfinal line-up with a hard-fought 4-3 win over fellow-Englishman Kyren Wilson and will next clash with Walden who overcame China's Tian Pengfei 4-2.
The results (Pre-quarter-finals): Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (Thailand) bt Jamie Jones (Wales) 4-1: 17-63, 73 (55)-10, 69-58, 79 (51)-01, 123 (123)-04; Mark Davis (England) bt John Higgins (Scotland) 4-0: 77 (72)-04, 87 (87)-01, 62-32, 66 (66)-01; Ricky Walden (England) bt Tian Pengfei (China) 4-0: 64-17, 65-12, 53-40, 75 (75)-20; Joe Perry (England) bt Kyren Wilson (England) 4-3: 81-40, 15-63 (62), 42-71, 63 (55)-61, 78-00, 25-55, 79 (55)-00; Mark Williams (Wales) bt Judd Trump (England) 4-3: 92 (68)-23, 20-112 (104), 108 (108)-04, 04-73 (55), 01-67 (67), 59-25, 70 (63)-21; Robert Milkins (England) bt Graeme Dott (Scotland) 4-2: 24-81 (69), 67 (60)-06, 63-24, 73 (68)-06, 05-76, 79-07; Michael White (Wales) bt Li Hang (China) 4-2: 94 (94)-00, 08-102 (50), 118 (109)-08, 36-89, 89 (62)-23, 77 (77)-00; Chris Wakelin (England) bt Nigel Bond (England) 4-1: 70(50)-52, 73-48, 96 (96)-00, 24-69 (69), 68-56 (55).