Snooker: Fighting fit Lee can tan Hann.
STEPHEN LEE will be feeling good again after overcoming the ill effects of a cold during his 10-7 victory over Chris Small, and he should win his World Championship second-round match against Quinten Hann with something to spare.
Lee's supremacy over Hann has diminished in the last four years, but he remains the classier all-round player.
How Paul Hunter lost 10-9 to Hann having led 5-1 at one stage is anybody's guess, and that slow start must rank as a worry for Hann supporters.
Hunter's early capitulation, allied with Ken Doherty's poor start against Mark King, leaves our ante-post recommendation on Doherty to win more tournament frames than Lee up the Swanee. That bet looked an unlikely winner early last night, but stakes can be regained by backing Lee on the handicap list.
Anthony Hamilton is big at 4-1 to upset Mark Williams, seeing as he should have beaten the world No. 1 in the China Open final early last month.
But given Hamilton's past record of throwing away strong positions, and the fact that Williams can hardly play any worse than he did in his first-round win over John Parrott, it is hard to be too confident of an upset occurring.
Williams' highest break in beating the 1991 champ was 65 and Hamilton is value at
11-10 to register the biggest single contribution today.
John Higgins, happy with his form, will have come to terms with the fact that if he is to win a second world crown this year he will have to do it the hard way. But he is looking
focused this year, and that is good news for backers on the eve of his round-of-16 match.
However, Graeme Dott, whom Higgins meets for a last-eight berth, is getting stronger with experience, so it may pay to hold fire backing the world No. 3 at evens to win before Dott wins eight frames.
Highest break - Bet365 & S James: 4-6 Williams, 11-10 Hamilton.
S Lee -3.5 frames v Q Hann
6pts 5-6 (Coral)
A Hamilton to bt M Williams
1pt 4-1 (Bet365, Surrey)
A Hamilton for highest break
2pts 11-10 (Bet365, S James)
Stephen Lee Over a cold