What a wonderful World Championship it’s been and what a wonderful match we were treated to last night between John Higgins and Mark Selby.
I felt sorry for Mark. He couldn’t have played any better - indeed was playing well enough to capture the title - and he was still eliminated.
But that’s because Higgins is such a great pressure player. He needed just one chance in the decider (or the third incarnation of it after two re-racks) to clinch victory.
What a win for John. It must rank in his all time top five.
Credit to both players for the quality of the snooker they produced and the spirit in which the match was played.
There were bizarre moments, too. Alan Chamberlain, the referee, refused Selby’s request to clean the last red in frame 24. I assume this was because Alan didn’t want to replace it in a slightly different position on such a key shot but it was a surprising decision.
The crowd certainly got involved but were respectful and only added to the atmosphere.
Higgins needs to forget about that win – brilliant though it was – and concentrate on his semi-final against Mark Allen, who has already proved through his defeat of Ronnie O’Sullivan that he is no respecter of reputations.
Indeed, in only his second match as a professional at the 2005 Northern Ireland Trophy he beat Higgins 4-1.
But this is a best of 33 frame match and John has the experience to end Allen’s giant-killing run.
Neil Robertson became the first Australian in 27 years to reach a Crucible semi-final in overcoming Stephen Maguire.
Eddie Charlton last featured in the last four in 1982. A Robertson victory in the final would be great for snooker. The game has stagnated in Australia but he can provide it with an injection of interest.
But Shaun Murphy is quietly going about his business with ruthless intent.
I’d personally make him favourite right now but the fun will be in finding out.
It’s been an enthralling tournament and we’re set fair for a grandstand finish.