Difficult route for Perry as to reach the semi-finals stage he needs to win matches having possible opponents as Murphy in the next round and Selby or Maguire in the quarters.
The Gentleman Joe lost the Wuxi Classic final in 2014 against Neil Robertson, 9-10, while in 2015 after losing the Masters quarter-final, 4-6 to Allen, he raised his game to win Asian Tour Event 3 and Players Championship Grand Final. In 2008 he reached the semi-finals of the World Championship by beating the likes of Graeme Dott and Stephen Maguire. Against Ali Carter he stood within two frames of victory at 15-15. But it was Carter who ultimately prevailed 17-15 to reach the final. Four years earlier he played the quarter-finals at the Crucible.
Zhang reached the last 16 of a full ranking event for the first time in his career at the 2013 Australian Goldfields Open. He won four matches before losing to Mark Selby in Bendigo. This is Anda’s second year when he’s playing at the Crucible, first time being in 2010, at his debut season in the professional snooker tour, when he knocked out Craig Steadman, John Parrott and Andrew Higginson to reach the final qualifying round, then stunned Ricky Walden 10-8 with breaks of 134 and 103 in the last two frames. On the televised stages Anda looked to produce a massive surprise when he led the seven-time world champion 9-7, only for Hendry to fight back and win 10-9. This season he disappointingly reached only the last 32 round of a minor ranking tournament, 2-4 vs Un-Nooh at the Asian Tour Event 1. In the world qualifying stages he knocked out an “out-of-date” player like Anthony Hamilton is and won the next two rounds in deciding frames against Joyce and Wenbo.
The previous two meetings between the two took place earlier this season, Perry white washing Anda in both matches, in December by EPT 5 and February at the EPT 6.
H2H: Perry 2-0
Prediction: Joe Perry to advance.
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