Neil Robertson and Kyren Wilson have emerged as the new favourites to win this year’s Riga Masters following the completion of the second day of action in Latvia..
The Australian and the Englishmen are the only players left standing from the world’s top 16 and are currently on different sides of the draw.
Robertson, who won this tournament two years ago, beat Craig Steadman 4-2 to clinch his place in the last eight while Wilson – fresh from reaching the semi-finals of the World Championship for the first time – beat Anthony Hamilton by the same score.
While both players are the front runners going into the tournament’s final day, there are other strong performers who will feel like they can go all the way.
World number 17 Stephen Maguire, winner of five major ranking events, will next meet Wilson after beating Joe Perry and Joe O’Connor on the second day of the £50,000 tournament.
Former World championship semi-finalist Ricky Walden appears to have returned to his best form after a difficult season last year in which he struggled with a back injury. There were signs in the World Championship three months ago that he was finding his form again when he beat Luca Brecel in comfortable fashion.
And the Riga Masters has seen him continue that form and he will next play Robertson in what is expected to be a high quality quarter-final encounter.
Jack Lisowski, who impressed during the whole of last season, reached the last eight with a convincing 4-1 win over Zhang Yong who earlier in the day knocked out world champion Mark Williams.
Awaiting Lisowski in the last eight is former world champion Graeme Dott who is now three wins from winning his first major ranking event since the 2007 China Open. The Scot thrashed Mark Davis 4-0 to book his place in the quarter-finals.
The remaining quarter-final sees Chris Wakelin take on Stuart Carrington.
Both players featured in this year’s World Championship but both lost their first round matches. Wakelin, playing his debut at the Crucible, lost a thrilling final frame decider to Judd Trump.
The action begins on Sunday morning.
Riga Masters Quarter-final draw
Chris Wakelin vs Stuart Carrington
Neil Robertson vs Ricky Walden
Stephen Maguire vs Kyren Wilson
Graeme Dott vs Jack Lisowski