It was another fantastic day at the Crucible yesterday as the four seeds duly emerged from the QF round.
Here are yesterday’s results
And the updated draw
Those are the reports by WPBSA
Stephen Hendry and Michael Judge are the first two winners to emerge from a bumper quarter-finals Friday at the 2020 ROKiT Phones World Seniors Snooker Championship.
Seven-time world professional champion Hendry continues to roll back the years in Sheffield. Fresh from a brilliant recovery against Nigel Bond on Thursday night, the Scot produced another eye-catching display to defeat Aaron Canavan 4-1 in the afternoon session’s first match.
Hendry did have to bounce back from an early setback, though. On a break of 60 in the opening frame he missed a straightforward red and was made to sit as 2018 winner Canavan pounced with efforts of 39 and a 32 clearance to steal it.
However, ‘The King of the Crucible’ quickly rediscovered his stride, looking more like his old-self here as he registered runs of 75, 81 and 53 to claim four consecutive frames and seal a 4-1 victory with a near 95% pot success rate.
“There was some good stuff in there. I’m lacking match composure, but I’ve been working on some good stuff and my long game was great today. I am happy to still be in.” Hendry said to Rob Walker after the match.
Hendry would face career rival Jimmy White in a romantic semi-final clash should ‘The Whirlwind’ defeat Peter Lines later today. Asked about the prospect Hendry added “Magnificent. It would be amazing to play Jimmy out here again”.
Later in the afternoon session reigning UK Seniors champion Judge stayed on course for a unique seniors circuit double after dispatching Wayne Cooper 4-1.
Both players struggled to settle early on, but it was Dubliner Judge who adapted best in establishing a 3-0 advantage. Yorkshireman Cooper managed to avoid the whitewash with a swift effort of 59 in frame four, but Judge decided the outcome in the next – a break of 48 helping him get across the line.
Speaking after the result the former world number 24 said “I kind of put a bit of pressure on my myself because I really didn’t want to miss out on the semi-finals. I felt good coming in, but as I went on even though I was ahead, I started feeling more and more nervous so I was just glad to get over the line and hopefully I can relax tomorrow and play a bit better. I have nothing to lose.”
If Ken Doherty can overcome Darren Morgan later there would be an all-Irish last four affair on Saturday afternoon. Judge practices with Doherty on his table in Dublin and thinking about a potential meeting said “It would be great to play Ken here at the Crucible. It would be an honour, but I think Darren will have something to say about that first.”
The last four line-up for the 2020 ROKiT Phones World Seniors Snooker Championship is now complete after Jimmy White and Ken Doherty claimed the final two spots during Friday night’s quarter-final session at the Crucible Theatre.
Reigning champion White set up a mouthwatering semi-final clash with career-long rival Stephen Hendry after defeating fellow main tour professional and 2017 winner Peter Lines 4-1 with a trio of sixty-plus breaks.
‘The Whirlwind’ lost a scrappy opening frame but responded with a well-constructed contribution of 79 to square it before a 62 helped him move 2-1 in front.
White continued to look determined, and with a gutsy run of 41 from the last two reds – including a glorious green down the side cushion with the extended rest – he went one away from progression. The ever popular and evergreen Londoner then finished the job with a 66 in frame five to keep at bay ‘The Crucible Curse’ and keep alive hopes of a third World Seniors Championship title.
The Hendry-White rivalry is the stuff of sporting legend. The pair famously contested four World Championship finals here at the Crucible Theatre in the 1990s with Hendry winning all four, although White did overcome his nemesis during their first and last meetings at the iconic venue.
There will be plenty of reminiscing, but plenty at stake when the two cross cues here once again tomorrow afternoon for a place in the final.
After his win, White spoke to Rob Walker; “When I got in the balls I felt really good. I’m getting more confidence in my cue action and I’m going for my shots. I’m back attacking.”
Looking ahead to his blockbuster tie with the Scot, White added “I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to it. I understand three million people will be watching on primetime in China tomorrow, but I love all that.”
Earlier in the evening – thirty years on from their first meeting as professionals – Doherty eliminated 2011 winner Darren Morgan in a quality encounter.
‘The Darling of Dublin’ set his stall out with a classy 67 clearance to deposit the opening frame but Morgan retaliated with a frame-winning 30 finish in the next. Further breaks were traded in the following two frames as Doherty made a 72 to move back in front before Morgan levelled once more with the help of a 66.
World professional champion here in 1997, Doherty inched ahead again before shutting the door on the Welshman as he compiled a decisive effort of 80 in the sixth frame to triumph 4-2 with a 91% pot success rate.
Doherty will meet fellow Dubliner and practice partner Michael Judge in an intriguing semi-final with both still hoping to create first-time history later in this tournament. Judge is aiming to hold the World and UK Seniors titles at the same time, whereas Doherty is trying to add this crown to his junior, amateur and professional world titles.
“I’m delighted to get through, it was a tough game; Darren played some really good stuff there. It’s nice to play and get a few breaks – I was delighted to get a break at the end there. I’m looking forward to the all-Irish clash for sure.” Doherty said after the game.
The semi-finals – which feature the tournament’s four seeded players – will take place from 12 noon with the White v Hendry showdown first up and Judge v Doherty to follow. The winners will then meet on Saturday evening for a best-of-nine finale to determine the destiny of the championship.
So that’s our “program” for this afternoon and it’s not to be missed!
This has so far been an awesome tournament!
Excellent commentary has been provided by Mike Dunn, Dennis Taylor, Ken Doherty, Peter Lines, Patrick Wallace, Tony Knowles, Rodney Goggins and of course this man
Rob Walker has been everywhere except at the table playing. His formidable enthusiasm and his energy have brought something very special to the event. Thanks Rob!
The theatre of dreams is waiting …
who will be crowned Seniors World Snooker Champion tonight?