The second day of the inaugural Turkish Masters on Tuesday sees the remaining held over matches from the qualifying round taking place along with some more first round action as the tournament begins to kick into full swing.
We have another three sessions of play over the course of Tuesday with plenty more big names taking to the baize and with various needs for ranking points you get the feeling this could be quite the competitive and dramatic day.
One of those big names is the former winner of The Masters in Yan Bingtao and he is up from the outset on Tuesday. He takes on the competent challenger of Joe O’Connor while the biggest Chinese star of them all is also in action in this session when Ding Junhui faces off against Robert Milkins in a really good looking match. The latest Chinese champion is also on show in this session when the European Masters winner Fan Zhengyi meets his countryman Zhou Yuelong, who will be desperate to join the growing band of Chinese winners himself. The other two matches in this session see Xiao Guodong taking on Oliver Lines and the held over qualifying match between Simon Blackwell, who came in late for Neil Robertson, and Iulian Boiko, who could be forgiven for caring about anything other than snooker right now.
Kyren Wilson has already played one match this week when he walloped Rory McLeod in his held over qualifying match and he will be back on the baize in this session to take on Tian Pengfei. Stephen Maguire is the other big name on show. He will know his Tour Championship points from two years ago come off at the end of the month so he needs wins if he is to avoid having to qualify for the World Championship. His opponent Thepchaiya Un-Nooh needs to win to preserve his tour place so that is a huge match. The held over qualifying match in this session sees the Shootout winner Hossein Vafaei looking to back up his run to the semi-final of the Welsh Open last week when he takes on the local amateur Enes Bakirci while in the first round the Scottish Open champion Luca Brecel meets Stuart Carrington and Elliot Slessor plays Andy Hicks.
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The evening session is all about Judd Trump beginning his quest for a second title of the season. He has to play a held over match from qualifying to get his campaign underway. That will be against Michael Georgiou on the main table. Shaun Murphy won his qualifying match and he will be in first round action when he goes up against Lyu Haotian. The other three matches all look competitive too. Jimmy Robertson takes on Cao Yupeng while Yuan Sijun faces Mark Davis. The other match is big for Ricky Walden who is battling hard for a place in the Tour Championship. The deeper he can go this week the better his chances will be. He starts his main draw challenge with a clash against the talented Sam Craigie.
I’ll go with a couple of bets over the course of the day here. They both come in the evening session with the first one being Jimmy Robertson to beat Cao Yupeng. I’m not having Yupeng as the favourite here. He is a solid player but he isn’t playing as well as he was at the start of the season whereas Robertson hasn’t allowed his standard to dip at all. In the last couple of tournaments he has made the semi-finals of the Players Championship and the last 16 of the Welsh Open. It took Neil Robertson and Judd Trump to beat him in those events and Yupeng is neither of them. The Chinese player is tough but he’s lost in the first round of the main draw of every tournament since the British Open this term apart from the UK Championship. I like Yupeng as a player but Robertson is the better one of the two and I think he’s a great price here.
The other bet I like is for Yuan Sijun to beat Mark Davis. Sijun was one of the earlier strongly touted Chinese players expected to go on and do the things that Yan Bingtao and Zhao Xintong have done. He then went AWOL for a few years but he is now back on the tour and in the last couple of months or so he has caught fire. Whether it is the success that Xintong and Fan Zhengyi have had recently or not only he will know but in 2022 he has already beaten Barry Hawkins and Ricky Walden and just ran into a train in Liang Wenbo in the European Masters and was unlucky to go down to Zhang Anda last week in Wales. Davis has been qualifying for events but losing in the opening round when he has been there. He lost to Matt Selt in Wales last week and Graeme Dott in the European Masters. Admittedly both are better than Sijun but Davis really didn’t play very well in either of them. I think the Chinese player is going well enough to come through here.
Back J.Robertson to beat C.Yupeng for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with William Hill
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Back Y.Sijun to beat M.Davis for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with Coral
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