The UK Championship opens its doors for a fourth day with the new format already creating plenty of headlines. Below is a preview of three matches from the first day of the second round action with the treble paying just over 3/1.
Michael White to beat Marcus Campbell @ 1/2
Michael White posted one of the best performances of the first round when demolishing the potentially dangerous Joe Swail 6-0.
Breaks of 57 and 89 in the opening two frames ignited a dominant victory and that bright start bodes well for his match against the unreliable Marcus Campbell.
The popular Scotsman edged past Lyu Haotian 6-5 in his opener and if he plays at the same level where he conjured only one break over 50 there won’t be any need to extend his stay in York.
White is one of the rising stars of the game and although this season hasn’t provided much evidence of that, aside from a quarter-final finish at Event 4 of the European Tour, he did win two matches at the Barbican last year, including a win over Ken Doherty and looks in the mood to at least match that result.
Campbell on the other hand has been lacking confidence all campaign and that was evident against Haotian, a player the world number 31 should really be dispatching with greater ease.
Campbell has only won more than one match at an event once this season and looks there for the taking.
Michael Holt to beat Alan McManus @ 8/13
Alan McManus could quite easily be rueing another early exit but was saved in a deciding frame black-ball fight when his 19-year-old first round opponent Joel Walker went in-off at the most cruel and crucial time.
At one point the veteran Scot led 5-2 but couldn’t get over the line until Walker accidentally pushed him over it and he looks vulnerable here.
Michael Holt had no such problems in his opening encounter, dismissing Lee Page 6-1 with a ruthless display that boasted four +50 breaks. If the Nottingham cuesmith reaches a similar level McManus will be in all sorts of trouble – as he has found himself for most of the season.
The 1994 Masters Champion, who was anchored in the top 10 for 16 years, has had a dreadful campaign bar a last-32 run at the International Championship and cannot be trusted at present.
Noppon Saengkham to beat Sean O’Sullivan @ 8/11
Both Sean O’Sullivan and Noppon Saengkham engineered upsets against Anthony Hamilton and Tom Ford respectively but strong preference is for the latter to continue his progress in North Yorkshire.
That result has to be judged as one of the highlights of O’Sullivan’s fledgling career, but he has shown hardly anything this season, in contrast to an extremely promising campaign on the bigger stage by his Thai opponent.
O’Sullivan has won consecutive matches only once this year, whilst Saengkham has produced deep and impressive runs at the Australian Goldfields Open and the 6-Red World Championship – both ranking events.
The second is clearly over a different format but the 21-year-old’s ability to string several results together is something that it still to be shown by his 19-year-old challenger.
Bright things may be ahead for both players but the reality is that Saengkham is much closer to realising them than O’Sullivan.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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