Judd Trump has reached the semi-finals of the World Championship for the fourth time of his career and has never had a better opportunity to win the title than this surprising tournament. On the other hand, Gary Wilson is in the third semi-final of his career, and at the peak of his powers.
Nobody could have predicted the two semi-finals we have at this year’s World Championship, with David Gilbert and Gary Wilson continuously re-writing their own histories. It seems unprecedented that they could meet in the final, but who knows?
The head-to-head record between Judd Trump and Stephen Maguire belies a gulf in age, and Maguire’s recent German Masters quarter-final win offers pause for thought, but Judd Trump’s performances at this year’s World Championship so far suggest he has his eyes on the final.
Neil Robertson is favourite for the World Championship after an excellent season and two dominant displays so far at the Crucible but he must make it past the runner-up in the two editions of the World Championship – John Higgins.
David Gilbert’s win over reigning champion Mark Williams is only the third biggest shock of the tournament, which says a lot about the entertainment factor at this year’s World Championship.
Gary Wilson lost ten frames to Mark Selby in his 13-10 win but rarely looked affected and was barely ever chasing a lead. Ali Carter often has games within games where he can be totally different players, but when he finds his rhythm as he did against Zhou Yuelong, he can rattle off frames in minutes.
21-year-old Zhou Yuelong is something of a mystery coming into this Round of 16 match, as he showed both sides of his game in his win over Mark Allen where he stormed ahead and then wobbled under the weight of the occasion.
This is possibly the hardest Round of 16 match to call between two players who coasted through their first-round matches and have plenty more to give.
Ding Junhui is favourite in most matches he plays let alone a fond favourite with viewers and players alike, but his good nature is sometimes his weakness as there is something to be said for his tendency to crumble under pressure.
It is a case of head versus heart in this match between amateur James Cahill, who comes into this match in the limelight after beating Ronnie O’Sullivan, and Stephen Maguire who has all the experience required to ruin the fairy-tale.
Last year’s runner-up John Higgins stakes another claim to win his fifth World Championship to draw level with Ronnie O’Sullivan, and will fancy his chances all the more after 'The Rocket’s early exit.
Mark Williams defended his World Championship title on Saturday by defeating Martin Gould 10-7 but his hunger to replicate his feat of last year could be called into question against David Gilbert who is in the form of his life and unquestionably hungry.
It is a shame for Shaun Murphy that he should show glimpses of his best form in his first-round thrashing of Luo Honghao after such a difficult spell, only to meet Neil Robertson in the second round.
Gary Wilson must be cursing his luck after coming through the qualifying rounds to beat talented Belgian Luca Brecel to face one of the favourites for the tournament in Mark Selby.