Friday sees the concluding day of action from India’s first ever pro snooker tournament as the inaugural Indian Open comes to a finish.
Four players remain in the competition with the two semi-finals and final being played over the course of tomorrow. Ding Junhui,
Stephen Maguire, Aditya Mehta and Robbie Williams are the quartet who will battle it out for the £50,000 winner’s prize.
One of the most important factors in the tournament being a success, was that one of the two Indian professional players had a good run through the event.
Luckily, both Mehta and Pankaj Advani have excelled over the week with both of them reaching the quarter-finals and Mehta making the semis.
Advani first defeated the experienced Marcus Campbell before knocking out two top 16 players, Mark Allen and Stuart Bingham, to secure a quarter final spot.
He met compatriot Mehta in that round, after he had beaten 2006 World Champion Peter Ebdon, Hammad Miah and two-times World Champion. Mark Williams.
It was a tense match between the pair, with Mehta eventually prevailing 4-3 after a nerve jangling final frame decider victory.
Semi-Final Line Up
Mehta faces another tough task on Friday morning when he plays Stephen Maguire in one of the semi-finals.
Maguire’s had a fairly straight forward run into the last four, with wins over Paul Davison, Tom Ford, Mark Davis and Michael White to secure his first final place since February.
That was in Newport at the Welsh Open, which Maguire went onto win, beating Bingham by the narrowest of margins, 9-8.
The Glaswegian is favourite going into the semi-final, with Boylesports offering the best odds of 1/2.
But you can’t rule out Mehta, after all he has already knocked out two World Champions and will have the full support of the Indian crowd on Friday. Bet 365 provide the best odds on him winning at 9/4.
The other semi-final sees recent Shanghai Masters winner Ding Junhui take on an in-form Robbie Williams.
Whilst this is the Liverpudlian’s first venture into the semi-finals of a full ranking event, he achieved the same feat in the Ruhr Open European Tour event a fortnight ago.
He’s also had a fairly simple route into the semi-finals, with a 4-1 win over world number 28 Andrew Higginson in the second round being the highlight. He’s since gone onto whitewash Mike Dunn and Anthony McGill and is sure to cause Ding a problem in their semi.
Ding is also a player inform and will be looking to secure back-to-back ranking event wins following his triumph in Shanghai last month.
After deciding frame victories over Barry Pinches and Mark Joyce in the first two rounds, he’s gone onto beat two other players right on the top of their game, John Higgins and then pre-tournament favourite Neil Robertson.
Ding is my favourite to win the tournament now although there is little value on him now, with Bet 365 providing the best odds of evens.
Boylesports provide the best odds on second favourite Stephen Maguire lifting the title at 21/10.
Can Aditya Mehta continue his tremendous run so far and win his first ever home event? It’d be a risk, but Betfred provide the best odds on him doing that at 21/10. William Hill, amongst others, provide the best odds on a Williams win at 9/1.
Coverage continues on liveworldsnooker.tv or via the streaming on the betting sites, with the first of the semi-finals, Ding v Williams, starting at 8am, the second following. The final will begin around 3:30pm.
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