Jester can show his serious side in tussle with Hawkins
Ding should triumph with his heavy scoring
Hawkins v Selby
Reigning Crucible champion Mark Selby scraped past veteran Mark Williams in his Masters opener but the world number one should get more enjoyment from facing last year’s runner-up Barry Hawkins.
The Jester from Leicester looked under serious pressure in his curtain-raiser but, as always, found the will to win, showing why he is the best player in the business.
Williams used all his experience and attempted to swing frames in his favour by turning them scrappy, but Hawkins will be more reliant on his scoring, as he showed in his 6-1 first-round triumph against Shaun Murphy, and Selby can run out a ready winner.
Selby showed glimpses of brilliance in his first-round win, mustering breaks of 139, 109, 89 and 62, and however this game pans out it’s difficult to see Hawkins cause an upset.
Selby has won his last three meetings against The Hawk without dropping a frame and, although those wins were recorded in a shorter format, he’s a three-time Masters champion and should be more suited by the longer distance.
M Selby -1.5 frames
2pts 4-5 Betfred
Perry v Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui overcame his Alexandra Palace hoodoo by defeating Kyren Wilson 6-3 in his first-round match and the Star of the East can make similar light work of Joe Perry.
Ding’s triumph was his first win at the Masters for six years but he looked in decent nick and a repeat of his heavy scoring should be enough to end Perry’s tournament.
The Chinese cueman has struggled for large spells this season but the Christmas break looks to have sharpened him up
Ding Junhui -1.5 frames
1pt 4-5 SkyBet