Marco Fu and Stephen Maguire meet in UK snooker quarter-finals
Of the 15 previous meetings between 2004 UK champion Stephen Maguire and Marco Fu, the Scot is 9-6 up. Snooker’s man ‘on fire’ is odds-on at 8/11 to win their quarter-final clash at this event, which is sponsored by Coral.
Hong Kong cueman Fu is a dangerous foe for Glasgow native Maguire, though, having knocked out seventh seed Shaun Murphy in the last 16. That is why he is only 11/10 for victory again here.
Maguire will take this opponent seriously, as Fu thumped him 13-4 at the 2006 World Championships at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre. Recent meetings have been much closer, however, though in shorter formats.
The last two encounters have gone to a deciding frame, and odds of 29/10 say Maguire and Fu will go the distance once more. Coral also offer some match specials on both players winning and recording the highest break, which represent real value. Maguire is a 9/4 chance to achieve this, and Fu comes in at 3/1.
In other quarter-final action, odds-on 10/11 tournament favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan takes on Anthony McGill, who upset fellow Scot and three-time UK champion John Higgins. ‘The Rocket’ has really taken off prior to this encounter, though, recording a maximum 147 break to seal a 6-0 whitewash over Matthew Selt in the last 16.
O’Sullivan is thus a strong odds-on 1/10 favourite to end up-and-coming McGill’s run here, and a better 3/10 to win and record the highest break of their battle. Another 6-0 romp for Rocket Ronnie is a 6/1 shot, who has won all four previous head-to-heads with this opponent. McGill is the same price just to cause another upset, but it is highly unlikely.
Judd Trump, the 2011 UK champion and 5/2 second-favourite for a second title at York’s Barbican Centre, has met Mark Davis at this event before and won, back in 2009. When held in Telford, this tournament had a longer format, being the best of 17, but now it’s the first to six frames.
As Bristol’s ‘Ace in the Pack’ has been triumphant in 12 of the 16 total meetings between himself and 19th seed Davis, Trump is strong odds-on 1/4 match favourite. A shock loss is a 3/1 chance, but ‘Naughty Snooker’ should be in session here.
Finally, gritty Glasgow potter Graeme Dott will be targeting another upset, after taking the scalp of trophy holder Neil Robertson. The former world champion faces ninth seed Stuart Bingham and, discounting the single frame Snooker Shoot-out and World Six-reds Championship meetings, they have won three previous head-to-heads apiece.
Bingham is odds-on 4/7 favourite for their latest encounter, but ‘the Pocket Dynamo’ is an attractive 11/10 to use dogged style to disrupt any rhythm and spring another shock. Back Dott to reach the semi-finals.