The Snooker World Championships are upon us again and its no hyperbole to say its been a superb season with the standard on the green baize never higher.
Judd Trump (5/1) has finally delivered on his promise landing The Masters in fine style and showing a more mature all round game, however he faces a tough opener against Thepchaiya Un-Nooh. Neil Robertson (6/1) has been a model of consistency and has gone deep in numerous tournaments winning the Welsh and Chinese Open.
The betting for this years event is headed by Ronnie O’Sullivan at 9/4. The best player to ever hold a cue has been in tremendous fettle himself given he is so selective of where he competes.
His win last time out in the Tour Championship was extremely impressive against an on form Robertson; making it a second successive final victory after annihilating the same opponent in the Players Championship 10-4.
And although he lost to Trump in the Masters final after a devastating first session from Trump, O’Sullivan enacted a sweet revenge in the semi final of the Tour Championship edging the deciding frame.
Another victory in the UK Championship means O’Sullivan has a superb strike rate of 3 wins from 10 events.
Given that he only truly focuses on the big tournaments makes it even more impressive. He is pitted on the tougher side of the draw but with the wheels having come off Mark Selby this term, O’Sullivan will fear no one. His ability to grind out the scrappier frames has notably improved and at 9/4 O’Sullivan looks a huge price to lift his sixth world championships.
Over two and three sessions it is hard to see anyone overcome the rocket and a starter against amateur James Cahill is just what he would like to feel his way into the tournament. If you wanted to enhance the price you could potentially roll up your bet on a round by round basis. This strategy can work well in knockouts and we wouldn’t be surprised if it yielded close to 3/1 or better.
Elsewhere blog favourite Ding Junhui has had his worst season in many years and is hard to back given his route to the final. Another up and coming Asian player Zhao Xintong looks the play for an outsider given his spectacular break making ability. He really has the look of a young Jimmy White and will be a tough test for Selby in the first round. Should he get through that a deep run looks certain with a favourable draw.
Recommendations: Ronnie O’Sullivan 2pts win @ 9/4
Zhao Xintong to win Quarter 3, 1pt win, @ 25/1
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