Judd Trump is favourite to be celebrating at the Crucible
Higgins eased for glory after tough draw
DEFENDING Betfred.com world champion John Higgins, 9-1 before the Crucible draw was made on Monday, was eased to 10-1 by bet365 after learning that he will open proceedings on Saturday against dynamic Chinese ace Liang Wenbo.
Higgins is chasing a fifth world title but his proximity to Liang and
his fellow Scot Stephen Hendry has led bookmakers to believe that
retaining his title will be tough for the Wizard of Wishaw after a
season in which he has failed to claim any silverware.
Ronnie O’Sullivan’s worst fears were confirmed when he drew a
first-round meeting with red-hot China Open champion Peter Ebdon, who beat Alfie Burden 10-0 to qualify. O’Sullivan is 8-1 to win a fourth Crucible crown in the coming weeks.
Judd Trump, pipped by Higgins in last year’s world final, has been a
solid 13-2 favourite in recent months but the Keynsham potter
shortened to 11-2 after drawing Dominic Dale.
World No. 1 Mark Selby is 1-6 with the sponsors to beat first-round
opponent Barry Hawkins.
Betfred specials – total century breaks: 5-6 73 or fewer, 5-6 74 or more; total breaks of 50 or higher: 21-20 391 or more,11-8 370-391, 4 369 or fewer; total frames: 13-8 589 or fewer, 6-5 590-610, 11-4 611 or more.
Draw – top half: J Higgins v Liang Wenbo, S Bingham v S Hendry, G Dott v J Perry, S Maguire v L Brecel, S Murphy v Jamie Jones, S Lee v A Higginson, A Carter v M Davis, J Trump v D Dale.
Bottom half: M Williams v Liu Chuang, R O’Sullivan v P Ebdon, M Gould v D Gilbert, NRobertson v K Doherty, Ding Junhui v R Day, M Allen v Cao Yupeng, M Stevens v M Fu, M Selby v B Hawkins.