Riga Masters: Veteran Ken Doherty keeps title hopes alive with quarter-final berth

Only two top ten players remain in the 2017/18 curtain raiser.

Riga Masters: Veteran Ken Doherty keeps title hopes alive with quarter-final berth
It has been 20 years since Ken Doherty won the World Championship but he is proving this week that class is permanent (photo: Getty Images)

With the likes of Mark Selby, Ding Junhui and Ronnie O'Sullivan withdrawing before Neil Robertson, Stuart Bingham and Barry Hawkins were dumped out of the competition in the first round, the Riga Masters has been blown wide open going into the quarter-finals.

Anthony McGill vs Ken Doherty

Tenth seed Anthony McGill has somewhat stumbled his way into the last eight. His two opening matches against Stuart Carrington and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh both went the distance, before a more comfortable result stopped veteran Jimmy White in his tracks. Yet McGill will have to improve after barely setting the table alight with his form.

His quarter-final opponent, former World Champion Ken Doherty, has rolled back the years with a trio of excellent performances after being granted an invitational tour card. Doherty whitewashed World Championship qualifier Gary Wilson, before defeating Robin Hull and dangerous Chinese youngster Zhang Anda.

Andrew Higginson vs Stephen Maguire

Andrew Higginson went into his third round match with eight frame victories from just nine played in his first two matches. He also holds the highest break of the tournament thus far with a 140 but had to rely on a tight final frame decided to defeat Mark Davis.

Other than a second round scare against Oliver Lines when the Scotsman had to recover from 3-1 behind, Stephen Maguire had been faultless on his way to the last eight. He defeated both Gerard Greene and Jack Lisowski without dropping a frame, scoring 139, 83 and 93 in his most recent victory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Perry vs Ryan Day

After a tight opening contest with David Gilbert, Joe Perry has been in great form to set up one of the most mouthwatering quarter-final ties of the competition. He lost just one frame from nine against Tian Pengfei and Paul Davison, ending the latter's hopes after reaching his first ranking last 16 contest in 19 years as a professional.

In contrast, Welsh number two Ryan Day has undertaken arguably the hardest route of the tournament to make the last eight. He saw off Barry Hawkins 4-3 in the first round, before a similar result was formulated against seventh seed Kyren Wilson after he defeated the dangerous Robert Milkins between those tight contests.

Mark Joyce vs Mark Williams

Number 41 seed Mark Joyce showed his form when he comfortably defeated young Chinese star Xiao Guodong in the opening round. Comfortable victories over Nigel Bond and Sam Baird followed but he will have to step up his game again in the quarter-finals.

Like compatriot Day, Mark Williams has overcome a tough draw to make the last eight. He defeated fellow former World Champion Peter Ebdon in the first round and thrashed the talented Luca Brecel on Saturday morning. He then continued his surge towards the first title of the season with victory over Robbie Williams.
 

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