Snooker: Old favourites rolling back the years at the Crucible

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This year’s World Snooker Championship is seeing a host of former regulars revisiting the latter stages, while the modern established favourites struggle in Sheffield.

Marco Fu, Mark Williams and Alan McManus have all bagged themselves a spot in the quarter-finals, while the likes of Stuart Bingham, Shaun Murphy and Neil Robertson were first round casualties.

For Scot McManus this marks just his third last-eight result in the last 23 years, while the same applies for two-time champion Williams since 2004.

And then there’s Fu, who hasn’t gone this far since a semi-final run in 2006.

At the time of writing, tournament favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan finds himself 9-7 down to the man he beat in the 2013 final Barry Hawkins, while Judd Trump is also on the back foot, 10-6 behind to China’s Ding Junhui.

Seventh seed Mark Allen is up against it too, with the Northern Irishman 11-5 down to impressive 24-year-old Kyren Wilson.

So all in all, backing outsiders has been a rewarding way to go this year.

O’Sullivan is still 2/1 favourite to be this year’s world champion, with four-time champ John Higgins 9/2.

Mark Selby and Ding are each 11/2 as the second week of action gets underway in Sheffield, with Trump 12/1.

As for the aforementioned veteran trio, Williams is 16/1, Fu is 22s and McManus can still be backed at 66/1.

That may seem a long shot, but experience and guile appear to be the success stories so far in this year’s World Snooker Championship.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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