The final two second round matches start on Sunday morning, both with strong potential to go the distance. We've already seen one classic three-session match between Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo and I suspect Monday's audience could be in for a similar treat.
Back Marco Fu to beat Neil Robertson 5u @ 2.3411/8
It would be no surprise at all to see this one go to a deciding frame - which was needed for five of their ten previous encounters, another of which was a 3-3 draw. When they last met in December, Fu won 4-3 en route to the Scottish Open title.
Marco has definitely enjoyed better fortunes in recent months, arguably playing as consistently well as anyone in the world. He's lost narrowly in the semis of the last three majors - twice to Ronnie this term and to Selby here 12 months ago - and is very much a potential world champion. He should be buzzing with confidence after a comeback for the ages against Luca Brecel.
So of course is triple-crown winner Robertson, who was merciless against debutant Noppon Saengkham in the first round. However the Aussie hasn't been anywhere near so impressive, failing to reach a semi-final since losing 6-0 to Ronnie in Bucharest last August. Whilst he has the class to suddenly return to world-beating form, it's hard to see why he should start favourite.
Back Graeme Dott 3u @ 2.111/10 to win the 3.5 Frame Handicap (vs Barry Hawkins)
Hawkins has a similar profile to Fu. A late developer who has become a consistent majors contender and one of the best players in recent months. He's one of my initial outright picks and there's no reason to lose confidence as the draw has opened up nicely, but this hurdle may be tougher than match odds of 1.251/4 imply.
Considering the numerous fine players never to have played in a Crucible final, it is a tribute to Dott's matchplay skills that he's reached three, winning the title 11 years ago. He may have fallen way down the rankings but this gritty Scot has always loved these longer matches as illustrated in the last round, upsetting the odds against fellow tournament specialist Ali Carter.
Dott should also be buoyed by a 5-2 head-to-head advantage, though the last of those came 14 months ago. Since then, the pair have been a class apart. This will be Dott's first last-16 appearance of the season, while Hawkins is fourth on the one year ranking list.
I'm confident Hawkins will come through but reckon he'll have to fight. The ten frames required to win this handicap bet are well within Dott's range.
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