All bar one of the first round matches of the Welsh Open will be played out on the second day of action in Newport on Tuesday as we continue deeper into what is the final Home Nations event of the season.
Most of the big names made it through their held over match on Monday so the schedule on Tuesday is full of the star attractions who will be involved in some good matches throughout the three sessions on the day.
I think it is fair to say that there is a low key beginning to the day on Tuesday with the highest ranked player on show being Ali Carter. He will be on the TV table in this first session when he starts his week off against the former women’s world champion Ng On Yee. The Shootout champion Hossein Vafaei was part of the Eurosport coverage on Monday and he’ll be on the baize on Tuesday when he faces Robbie Williams on the streamed table.
There are two other matches taking place in the morning session and they are both on the outside tables where Mitchell Mann will look to build on taking care of the defending champion Jordan Brown on Monday when he meets Ben Hancorn. That is a big chance for both men to make the second round and the same is on offer on the other table where Rory McLeod meets Yuan Sijun who continues to flatter to deceive a little.
Ronnie O’Sullivan is yet to grace this tournament but he will do that on Tuesday afternoon when he plays his held over qualifying match against James Cahill on the main TV table. The streamed table will follow the progress of Ding Junhui who is in desperate need of results to avoid his slide down the rankings. The same can be said of his opponent Michael Holt. The outside tables sees Ben Woollaston going up against Liang Wenbo while the Players Championship semi-finalist Jimmy Robertson meets one of the host nation players Jamie Jones.
Mark Williams remains the only Welshman to have won this title and he’ll look to make it a step closer to winning it for a third time when he takes on Kurt Maflin in the second match on the main table on Tuesday afternoon. Neil Robertson will continue his quest for a fourth title on the season when he competes on the streamed table on Tuesday. He will face Hammad Miah. There are a couple of other matches in this session. One of those sees Cao Yupeng meeting Joe Perry while Scott Donaldson faces the home player Andrew Pagett in the other.
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Judd Trump will headline the evening session as far as the main table is concerned. He was well below his best on Monday but lives to fight another day and that will come against Craig Steadman on Tuesday. Mark Allen is the star name on the streamed table. He will take on a Iulian Boiko whose mind must be on anything but snooker right now. Two other matches take place in this slot with Thepchaiya Un-Nooh desperately needs to start winning ranking points to stay on tour so his clash with Fergal O’Brien is a big one. Mark Davis meets Matthew Selt in the other game.
John Higgins will headline the second part of the evening session. He will be on the main table when he takes on the Iranian amateur Soheil Vahedi who made it through to the main draw. Jack Lisowski is in deep danger of having to go to qualifying for the World Championship. He can start his turnaround on the streamed table on Tuesday when he takes on Chris Wakelin. The other match sees Zhang Anda going up against Mark Joyce.
I’ll go with a couple of bets over the course of the day and they both come in the afternoon session where first of all I like Jimmy Robertson to beat Jamie Jones. I’m very surprised bookmakers can’t split these two. The only reason why I think that could be the case is because Jones is playing in his home tournament and will naturally be harder to beat but this is a Robertson who a couple of weeks ago beat John Higgins and Luca Brecel fair and square and who is having a decent season. In fact, these two are having very different seasons and their form difference can be summed up by a look at the one-year rankings where Robertson sits at 15 and Jones at 91. That highlights how Jones has struggled this term. Robertson has played well throughout the campaign so even allowing for the fact this is the home event for Jones, I think Robertson will come out on top in this one.
The other bet sees Joe Perry taking on Cao Yupeng. These two met in Milton Keynes last week when Perry won 5-2 so I’m a little surprised that he is the outsider in this match. I mentioned last week that there had been some evidence that Perry is beginning to find some form. It looks like his spin in the Championship League at the beginning of the year has sparked him into life. Cao is going the other way. He began the season very well but has slowed up a little in recent times. As well as Cao, Perry also beat Dave Gilbert in February and might just be shaping up to finish the season strongly. I think he is a big price at even money here.
Back J.Robertson to beat J.Jones for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with Coral
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Back J.Perry to beat C.Yupeng for a 3/10 stake at 2.00 with William Hill
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