The fourth quarter-final gets underway this evening at Alexandra Palace. Hazel Irvine introduces live coverage from the opening frames.
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Good evening to you. It's been a big day for the 45th President across
the pond and an important evening for us in the 43rd playing of
snooker as Ally Pally. We still don't know who will rule in this
particular place come Sunday night. We are at the quarter-final stage.
One more match to be played in the quarters. These are the three who
have made it through. Defending champion, Ronnie
O'Sullivan could reign for a seventh time. Beating Neil Robertson in an
oddly fragmented match yesterday. Ronnie is to play Marco Fu tomorrow.
A former runner up in the event. Marco Fu's form is immaculate as
Mark Allen found to his cost, losing 6-3. All eyes on Mark Selby, the
world number one, who faced a tricky opponent in last year's runner up,
Barry Hawkins. Barry ground his way into the lead for a spectacular
frame. In the next, the Jester got in the scoring groove and levelled
the match with a 76. And by frame three, it was starting
to go wrong for Mark Selby, the reigning world and UK champion, and
by the interval, Hawkins had stretched his lead to two frames.
His long potting giving him the edge here.
After the break, Hawkins threw away a great opportunity, when he could
not split the reds, and Selby showed resilience with a gutsy 71.
Hawkins took the next, then Mark Selby made the only century in the
match to still remain in touch. Last year's runner up, Hawkins, he was on
top early in frame eight to go 5-3 in front. But Hawkins went through
again for the second semi-final, sell sexual abuse's chance of a slam
has gone. A great win for me. Up there with
one of my best wins definitely. Especially in a venue like this. Up
there with beating Ronnie in the Crucible. I think. He is the world
number one. Any time you beat the world number one, you are doing
something right. Obviously disappointed to lose. Not at any
stage did I stump my authority on the match. Barry was getting in
first in all of the frames apart from the last. I was clearing up
from behind. You can't keep doing that.
I seem to enjoy the big occasions. There is massive buzz when you win a
match like that. No better feeling. I am through to the final again.
And up next is Ding Junhui against owe Perry. The Chinese player has
only won once at Alexandra Palace, one match since then. This is the
second time ever that 42-year-old Joe Perry has gotten past this round
in the Masters. It is fully two years since they
faced one another. Two time Masters finalist is our trump card, Mr
Doherty. Quarter-final appearances off late have been rare for both of
these men. How nervy, how big an occasion for both? It is a nervous
occasion, a big occasion. There is a full house tonight. The semi-finals
of the Masters at stake. But they are experienced players. They love
this atmosphere. They want to perform. That's always a little bit
of pressure. I'm sure it will be a really good match.
Let's talk about Joe Perry. He had been in the doldrums. Not in great
form since a final last July. And then he beat the world number two
and the former world champion, Stuart Bingham. Where did it come
from! Beware of the guy with a care free attitude. He was not expecting
too much. It freed him up a little bit. I commentated on the match. I
saw him playing as well as he has for a long time. It is there, it is
just a matter of bringing it out. And his success at Alexandra Palace,
he had one at Wimbledon but that was way back.
When he is on form, he can beat anybody. But spriting he has only
won one match here but this is a good opportunity for Ding Junhui
now. A good opportunity for both players.
And they will not be playing Mark Selby but Barry Hawkins. And from
Mark's perspective the chance to become the fifth man to hold the
slam, that will hurt? He was really, really disappointed today. But fair
play to Barry Hawkins. Any time that Mark Selby posed the question to him
he answered with great aplomb. He played solid. He loves this
tournament. He was a finalist here last year. OK. Well a quarter-final
place to be decided. Who is making it to the semi-final? Rob Walker
officially in charge, over to you. Good evening ladies and gentlemen
what a match in prospect. Friday night, we're in London and that is
the last quarter-final of the Masters. A world-class weekend of
snooker starts right here, right now!
APPLAUSE Please, welcome a player in
unchartered territory, bidding for a first Masters semi-final in nine
visits. Booking his place after a win against Stuart Bingham. Runner
up at the World Open earlier in the season, here comes the gentleman,
Joe Perry. MUSIC:
"Happy." And his opponent, a player bidding for his first Masters
semi-final since 11, the year he won the title at Wembley. This year,
winning the Six reds and the Shanghai Masters. A national hero in
China, enter The Dragon, Ding Junhui!
APPLAUSE Oh, it's a lively crowd in tonight.
In charge in the commentary box are two former Masters champions,
Stephen Hendry and Dennis Taylor. Ready for a Friday night in, fellas?
We are, Hazel. And this crowd, once again, a fantastic reception for
both players. APPLAUSE
It's a beautiful trophy that they are playing for. Thank you. The
first frame. Joe Perry to break. Joe has won the toss. He's getting
the quarter-final under way. It was great to see Ding coming in with a
big smile on his face. In the early day, Ding, in a strange country, a
little shy but it's great to see that big smile. A very likeable lad,
Stephen, you have been in China with him a number of times, I'm sure.
Yeah, I think he has grown accost Yomed to the venue now. I remember
years ago he suffered at the hands of Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final.
But it has made him a stronger person and player for that
experience. I think you used to have a suit like that, Stephen, didn't
you? It's a little bit of tartan going on there.
See if Joe can carry on with the scoring. In his first-round match he
scored very heavily. Very impressive.
APPLAUSE A good pot to start. It is always
nice the first time. That was timed beautifully. He is looking as once
he pots the black it will be blocked up. It looks pretty straight on the
black. Not straightforward this little
opening. Easy to get in a red but obviously, after that, which colour
do you play for? Now he could play this red to the right corner and
stun it off the cushion and knock it away from the right-hand side of the
black. But I don't even know if the black can pot the left-hand corner.
It could be a power shot up for the blue.
He doesn't go. So that takes that out of the equation. This has to be
hit well. It's the top, left-hand side.
Now, does the pink go? I didn't see that one.
It's pretty tight. But he can just see enough of it.
If you hit the pink and the red at the same time, it's a foul shot but
clearly he made contact with the pink first. It's what is called a
split ball when you hit them both together. But that was definitely
the pink. I think this will be a high-scoring
match tonight. Both players are carrying form.
Both have two first-round centuries. It could be who makes the most of
their opportunities. He wants the cue ball to stop... Ding just caught
out there with the pace of the table. He has landed touching the
red so he can shoot it away down the table. Such a lively cloth. I think
that is the reason we have had so many century breaks, the table has
been playing beautifully. Well-judged to get in behind the
yellow. It's not an easy escape. No red to come off the curb good
afternooned just land on. He would like to land on the one to the left
of the black. But as you can see it's difficult to find an angle to
land tonne that one. He'll have to be precise with this.
Well, you can't get any better than that!
That was very well judged indeed there, from Joe Perry. Yeah, that
match, to beat Stuart Bingham 6-1, and that time, Stuart, in the only
frame he won, he made the highest break. 132 but that was surpassed by
Marco Fu who made a magnificent 140. Now that might be touching. It
seemed to nestle back. Because of the closeness to the pink
he can't get at the table. So no real advantage from the touching
ball this time. Don't forget he can't do much with
it. It's a little bit of a stalemate at
present. Ding Junhui with a 4-point advantage will want this resolved
before the referee might just say, a few more shots, Boyce and then maybe
set them up again. This time he can get up the table,
so no chance of a re-wrack. Back to normal!
This red will pass the gene, so. Ding Junhui caught that far too
thick, that's why the red came back up the table with the cue ball.
He can play it well, he can get a screw shot, he can get the white
somewhere on the angle to get back up to the reds. It depends on the
angle. Looking at the table he has a lovely
angle on the green. I don't think he will play his shot, as it's his
first scoring visit. But he has every chance of finishing
on a red. He has got the pink in the open. But maybe a bit too aggressive
at this stage of the first frame. If he does pot the pink, that's going
to be blocked up when it goes back on its own spot.
Always aims low on the cue ball, Dennis, doesn't he? A little bit
like Jimmy White. Touching the cloth, actually, and
delivering the cue slightly high every. -- lightly higher.
You could see the chalk transferring tonne the cloth when he played that
screw-back. That was a beautifully struck shot
it really was. It's the reason that the table is
brushed at the mid-session interval to get rid of all of the finger
marks, chalk marks. Nicely on the blue again. There is
an interested spectator. That's Joe's father, Peter. He's been here
for both his matches. Oh, hit the wrong ball there,
Stephen, didn't he. If he was going into the pink, he
needed a full-ball contact. He must have been going into the
pink but catching the side of this. There is still this red to the right
middle. It's a tough shot but it's the only one he can leave. Should he
miss it... No, a lovely shot! That is an ab-Hewitt cracking pot from
where the cue ball was. He just looks so relaxed out there.
He did against Stuart Bingham. A nice mannerism around the table.
Walker introduces Joe as Gentleman Joe Perry, and that's certainly what
he is. Fact he didn't pot the red cleanly,
means that the cue ball hadn't travelled as far as it would have
done. Somehow he has an awkward angle on the pink. He can play for
the red over on the left side cushion but it's not what he was
after. The other three are tied up
somewhat, they maybe available into the right middle pocket.
Well, he decided to take the more difficult pot to gain position.
If Ding has the angle he can follow through and flick the black away,
leaving himself on the pink. He's on this black. He's going to
have to go around the table. The red that's closest to the cue ball only
pots to the right corner. So between green and the brown.
He could go yellow and brown but he isn't anywhere near, you can see by
his reaction. He was a long way short that time.
So it's a close opening frame here. It's always nice, eve no-one the
best of 11, to get the first frame under your belt.
He didn't want the cannon on the yellow. This is a shot to nothing
for Joe Perry. He'll be playing a safety as well as
taking the pot on. Contact on the brown that he would
have liked. It almost looked certain like he was going to finish on the
yellow. So tacking the white in behind the yellow.
He couldn't risk trying to nestle on the yellow to block off the escape
route down the right side of the table. It happened earlier, I can't
remember who, planning to roll up on the ball but didn't reach it and
left a three ball after the foul. So Joe didn't want that to happen
there. I think he has blocked the escape route down the right side to
land on that right that is tight on the cushion.
I think Joe Perry is one of the best tactical players in the game. That
was very clever the way he played that shot.
He had to swerve it. Has he hit it hard enough? This is a good escape
because he had to swerve it to make the angle!
Stephen mentioned earlier, there, Joe Perry was one of the best
tactical players in the game, and proving it again there with that
very good safety. He doesn't have to swerve it this
time but head like the same outcome just to land on this red. That's
going to come up a long way short. It's a fast cloth but it's not that
fast. Joe will have a look at the red near the blue. If he is hammered
with the black he'll have it put back, and he is.
He must be careful not to overcompensate here.
Leave it to the left, to the corner pocket.
APPLAUSE He might be able to swing the white
over towards the yellow. He has to be careful not to put the red into
the pottable position. Head rather go for the bigger target
of the green and the brown but from this angle he can't really get over
there. As though he was frightened of
bringing that red into play. Will Ding attempt that?
Well, he has the white back up the table but it's costing him seven
pints it's left a half chance. He hit that far thicker than he
intended. Is that could prove to be a
frame-winner. 20 points the difference. The black
tied up so he's going to need the blue, the red and yellow. Needs to
pull over. Otherwise he will be the wrong side of the yellow when he
pops the blue. -- pops the. It needs to keep going. And it has. That is
why we have had so many century breaks. Just be alone needed to win
the opening frame. Just over 23 minutes.
Pretty solid first frame from Joe Perry. All departments of his game
look pretty sharp. On point with safety. Looks very confident.
It doesn't really matter, the fact that he hasn't got on the pink. Try
a little trick shot here. No fireworks in this opening frame.
Very tactical but Joe Perry looking very solid here this evening. He
takes the opening frame and leads 1-0. He's been scoring heavily.
There were a couple of pots bear that indicate the form is very much
with him. That particular shot, you have to be so accurate. Into the
middle pocket. There is the red that set up winning the frame. Safety has
always been very good. Those particular pots are evidence that
he's cueing very well. He has that carefree attitude. We
heard that he had fallen out of love with the game but it seems to be
working well for him. Can you identify with that? I think every
player can. Every player goes through the bad times as well as the
good ones. Sometimes you get so frustrated practising and practising
and you are not seeing the fruits of your labour. It can be very
frustrating. Every player would have gone through that, I'm sure. At the
age of 42, he's talked a lot about players of that vintage having an
awful lot to do with the younger players blowing hot and cold. They
might beat a big-name player and then they fall. The consistency,
does that come with it age? It's not a young man's game any more. It is
the fortysomethings playing better than they did in their 20s. It's
quite bizarre. It comes with age and experience. So many good young
players on the circuit now. A lot of the lads in their latte years are
playing some of their best snooker. Ding Junhui is 29, Joe Perry is 42.
It is the veteran who has taken the lead.
COMMENTATOR: A couple of veterans in the commentary box here. One a lot
older than the other. It will be great to see Stephen Hendry getting
his cue out again for the world seniors. Who knows, if he wins that,
gets a wild card, you might see the former world champion back at the
Crucible. Wouldn't that be something special?
I think he's just OK. I thought he was going to leave a red to the
right corner but he has gone far enough. To keep it safe. Not that
many years ago, they were all saying about a young man's game. But a lot
of the 40-year-old to well. The great John Spencer, three times
world champion, Ray Reardon, six times world champion, they were at
their peak in their early 40s. Played their best snooker. They had
a great final way back in 1975 at the New London Theatre. Somebody has
a problem with the APs. Can you turn it off for the time being. We are
hearing the interference in. It was one of the great finals, of the
Masters in 1975. John Spencer won it on the black.
Looks as though he can see enough of this red. Or is he playing the one
in front? It's quite difficult. Nice little double-kiss that led him
to miss that red. I think it would be a good strategy
for Ding to play aggressive safety shots to get the reds opened up.
This kind of exchange will suit Joe Perry more. I think, in my opinion,
he's the better tactical player, the clever player, in this sort of
situation. I think that just indicates what
Stephen was saying. 83% safety success to Ding's 77%.
He has the opportunity to play-off the bunch here. The more aggressive
shot. You can never be entirely sure whether reds will end up. So, he
will play the more conservative shot.
Ding will certainly open them up here, you feel. He might have fluked
it. It looked on. That shot. The red was always going to go towards that.
A three-ball plant. It's always going to go close. It's gone in his
favour. If this is dead straight on this
red, it could leave the black into the opposite corner and it clears
the black spot area. Fantastic petition will shot. -- fantastic
positional shot. What a chance now. That wasn't easy by any stretch. You
can see, there is no other reds available in that area. So he played
for that. Great shot. From that fluke, he did raise his hand, he has
created a great opportunity here. This is definitely his strength.
Very few, if any, in the game better, in my opinion. Absolutely.
He's up with the all-time greats in the century department. He has made
435 in his career. Meanwhile, he just overscrewed that
slightly. Should be much more comfortable on the black than this.
There's some of background noise. Ding Junhui can hear it. APPLAUSE
He might not be on a red. That was all caused by the previous
positional shot when he didn't get on the black, as intended. It's end
of break unless he takes on a very risky double. He can't really
because he would leave a read. Good safety shot. Like Stephen, I thought
he was going to go on and make a sizeable break there. APPLAUSE
This is the shot where he was hampered slightly. Just overscrewed
it slightly. I don't think it will be getting put
back. The pink is available. Needs a good positional shot. He can
get on the black. Something banged just as he knocked the pinking.
There was a noise. On his backswing. He couldn't even stop. Not sure if
it is backstage. This is a tough shot no. He got up
very quickly. Indicating immediately he got a bad contact. At first
glance, he hasn't seen anything. -- left anything.
Just that last shot that Ding played just as he was about to deliver the
cue, I certainly heard a noise. There was quite a bang somewhere. He
couldn't stop himself. Has he got away with that? He made a
mess of the safety shot. Look where the finished... So close to the red
he can't even planned the red in. It is far too thin, careered into the
other red. Look where the cue ball finished. No wonder Joe was
scratching his head. I don't know if you can see the bottom cushion. Just
missed the red to the right of the green. Get up to the red, get on the
black and clear up. The most important thing was to make
sure he potted the red. He has had to play that with check side to
secure the angle. That is a great shot. What a chance. These are
tough. Especially if you miss it, you are guaranteed to leave it on.
Just got into it a bit too much. It all depends on the angle he has on
the red. Just depends whether he can get the correct side of the blue to
keep the break going here. Pretty straight. APPLAUSE
He might just be able to screw back and leave the reds to the left of
the four reds and pink. That's where he wants to place the cue ball. Just
a matter of screwing it back about 18 inches. He is thinking about the
more difficult yellow. I think the blue is the better one. Just leave a
medium length pot. There is a shot to play lots of top spin of the
blue, four cushions to leave the black in the right-hand corner. He's
not look that that one. Or has he? I think he looked at the possible
plant. Once again, might get that red in the middle of those. If he
hadn't got into that area, he might have got onto that. But he can still
have a go at the plant. Pick a spot where you would want to hit the
first red. Hit the spot on the question just to the left of the
pocket. If he does take it on, it is an element of safety in his mind. In
fact, he's not even going to bother with the plant. APPLAUSE
What a pot that was. He's not on the green but he will be tight in behind
it. He will be disappointed that he
didn't win the frame at that visit. A couple of slack positional shots
earlier on. I think if he was straight on that
red to the yellow pocket he would take it on but the angle wasn't
right to come back for the black. Don't know if Joe can take this red
to the left corner and avoid contact with the black. I don't think so.
You need to get some contact on the cue ball. He's just had a look at
that shot you mention. He'll go close to the black, you'd say.
Change of plan. So important to get close to the
cushion. The modern day players are such good long potters. You will see
them setting up long pots to practice.
Almost got the snooker. Not quite. Needs to get back to the safety
area. We've had a couple of fairly
tactical frames. The first frame lasting almost 25 minutes. This one
has been going just over 21. He can take the red on this time and get
back down the table. Terrific cueing there. Tucked up
behind the brown. He hasn't covered the easy out to
the left-hand side of the table. Careless.
I think he can score enough without needing the rednecks to the pink.
He's looking good. -- without needing the red next to...
STUDIO: Joe Perry looking good for a 2-0 lead here. If you want to follow
this match, it continues all evening until the last ball drops via the
BBC sport app or the red button. If you've are the plans, I'll be back
later but in the meantime, from Ken and me it's farewell.
Why would James Delaney hate the India so?
If they have a fear of water, God help them.
The fourth quarter-final gets underway this evening at Alexandra Palace. Hazel Irvine introduces live coverage from the opening frames.