Snooker - Robertson to face Trump as Murphy sets up O'Sullivan quarter-final

Neil Robertson won seven straight frames to complete a 13-7 win over Mark Allen in the World Championship last 16 at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre.

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Snooker - Robertson to face Trump as Murphy sets up O'Sullivan quarter-final
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Neil Robertson on his way to a 13-7 win over Mark Allen in the last 16. (Tai Chengzhe)

The 2010 world champion and world number one will face Judd Trump in the last eight with Trump completing a 13-7 win over the Welshman Ryan Day having led 10-6 when play resumed on Monday evening.

Day managed to pick up the 17th frame with a run of 54, but grew increasingly frustrated as he failed to capitalise on several obvious chances that were presented to him by 2011 finalist Trump.

In the end he cut a disheartened figure as Trump picked up the closing three frames without ever finding top gear. Robertson's match against Trump will invoke memories of their meeting in the 2011 first round when then champion Neil Robertson suffered a surprise defeat to the Bristolian.

One Welshman already into the quarter-finals is Dominic Dale, who snared the one frame he needed from constructing a 12-4 advantage yesterday in completing a 13-4 win over Michael Wasley. Wasley could not replicate the form that saw off Ding Junhui in the first round of the tournament.

Shaun Murphy secured a meeting with champion Ronnie O'Sullivan in the quarter-finals after managing to end Marco Fu's hopes with a 13-8 success.

The 2005 world champion led 9-7 heading into the final session and always looked the likelier figure to prevail. A 9-7 lead quickly became 12-7 with Murphy contributing a 69 and 75.

A 92 from Fu extended the match beyond the mid-session, but a fine long red followed by a superb positional shot on the black provided the platform for Murphy to run in a match-winning effort of 66.

Robertson did not mess about having recovered from trailing 7-6 on Sunday night to carry a 9-7 lead into the closing session. Northern Irishman Allen was guilty of playing a few loose shots, but was largely frozen out with his opponent running in 59, 69, 94 and 92 to seal the contest in his favour.

The one slight blight on the landscape for Robertson was missing out on a 100th century of the season in the 20th frame. With the match safely locked down, the Melbourne man saw a red stay out along the top cushion when a ton seemed likely.

"I felt like a cricketer on 190 or 290," said Robertson. "I thought I hit the black in the 19th frame perfectly and thought it was in and was about to celebrate. I had it planned in my mind, I was going to look at Hendry in the commentary box and Willie (Thorne) who's given me all sorts of stick over the years about how bad a break-builder I am.

"The wall was lifted up and for everyone to enjoy it. But it just wobbled so I'll have to wait a bit longer. I got in nice and early in the next frame and it was a brilliant break again. The red on the cushion I thought I hit it pretty good, but it caught the near knuckle and didn't go in. I've got another match now to make it but the most important thing today was the performance, and how well I played and to try and win as early as possible.

"Every century I've made this season I haven't taken any liberties, disrespected my opponent or played any shots that I shouldn't have played. Every century I've made here this week has been perfectly made in terms of shot selection and I haven't played anything overly risky. So I guess that's the most pleasing thing about it.

"Today it would've been quite easy to lose my focus at 12-7, but I maintained it and got the job done. It's something people have been tweeting me about and I think it's really fun - it's brought something else to talk about at the Championship. Hopefully I get it in the next match and it'll be an amazing achievement."

SECOND SESSION REPORTS

Shaun Murphy needs four more frames to secure a quarter-final meeting with world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan after opening up a 9-7 advantage over Marco Fu in their last-16 match at the Crucible.

In other action, Neil Robertson holds a 9-7 lead over Mark Allen after he won five of their eight frames on Sunday night on the other main table. The winner will face Judd Trump or Ryan Day in the last eight with Trump holding a 10-6 advantage in that match.

Australia's 2010 world champion Robertson trailed 7-6 against Allen at one stage, but won the final three frames of the session - including a 137 in the 14th frame - to leave himself four short of the winning post.

Murphy progressed from 4-4 to lead Fu 8-4 that included knocks of 67, 50, and 102, but Fu reduced the deficit to two by claiming three of the final four frames including a wonderful knock of 136 in the 16th and final frame of the session.

Dominic Dale needs one more frame to secure a meeting with Barry Hawkins after opening up a 12-4 lead over Michael Wasley.

FIRST SESSION REPORTS

Australian Robertson - the champion in Sheffield four years ago - and Allen both played decent snooker, with Robertson making a century (his 98th of the season) in frame five.

But it was the Northern Irishman who looked like taking control of the match as he went 60 points ahead in frame seven with the scores at 3-3.

Yet a freak in-off on the pink derailed his break, and Robertson stepped in to make a 55 clearance to lead 4-3.

Allen bounced right back, however, making an 82 to tie the match up once more ahead of the evening's second session.

Murphy, the 2005 champion, enjoyed a similarly back-and-forth battle in which no frame was ever safe - most notably the third, when Fu earned three snookers on the yellow to steal it from 67-31 behind.

Murphy hit back in the next in similarly surprising fashion as Fu accidentally brushed a ball with his shirt sleeve while clearing up the colours, allowing the Englishman to pinch the frame on the back to make it 2-2.

The nip and tuck continued after the mid-frame interval, Fu making breaks of 69 and 109 while Murphy knocked in a 50 and a 61 to ensure that the match stayed level going into Saturday night's second session.

Second round scores/schedule

Sunday, 27 April

10:00

Shaun Murphy (Eng) 4-4 Marco Fu (HK)

Mark Allen (NI) 4-4 Neil Robertson (Aus)

14:30

Judd Trump (Eng) 10-6 Ryan Day (Wal)

Dominic Dale (Wal) 12-4 Michael Wasley (Eng)

19:00

Shaun Murphy (Eng) 9-7 Marco Fu (HK)

Mark Allen (NI) 7-9 Neil Robertson (Aus)

Monday, 28 April

13:00

Dominic Dale (Wal) 13-4 Michael Wasley (Eng)

Mark Allen (NI) 7-13 Neil Robertson (Aus)

19:00

Judd Trump (Eng) 13-7 Ryan Day (Wal)

Shaun Murphy (Eng) 13-8 Marco Fu (HK)

Tuesday, 29 April

Quarter-finals (Best of 25 frames)

10:00

Barry Hawkins (Eng) v Dominic Dale (Wal)

Mark Selby (Eng) v Alan McManus (Sco)

14:30

Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng) v Shaun Murphy (Eng)

Judd Trump (Eng) v Neil Robertson (Aus)

19:00

Barry Hawkins (Eng) v Dominic Dale (Wal)

Mark Selby (Eng) v Alan McManus (Sco)

Wednesday, 30 April

10:00

Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng) v Shaun Murphy (Eng)

Mark Selby (Eng) v Alan McManus (Sco)

14:30

Barry Hawkins (Eng) v Dominic Dale (Wal)

Judd Trump (Eng) v Neil Robertson (Aus)

19:00

Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng) v Shaun Murphy (Eng)

Barry Hawkins (Eng) v Dominic Dale (Wal)

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