First, and most importantly, I’m wishing all my friends, Chinese and all citizens of this world, a happy, healthy and successful Year of the Rooster. In this time of doom and gloom where intolerance, racism, sexism and fear of the “different” are raising their ugly heads again, I feel it’s essential that we remember that we are all human beings first and foremost. We all aspire to live in peace, to have good time with those dear to us, we all care for our families. Our differences are minor as compared to what we share: humanity. Let’s celebrate life and friendship at every opportunity.
Ronnie went to celebrate his win in the China Open Qualifiers, and the Chinese New Year with a Chinese friend! Here he is with Zhao Xintong, at Vic Snooker Academy in Sheffield.
Now regarding the China Open 2017 Qualifiers …
All results are on Cuetracker as usual.
I’ve already covered the top 16 part: 12 of them will be in Beijing, Neil Robertson and Mark Allen didn’t enter, Marco Fu and Barry Hawkins lost in Preston. Ronnie will face Gareth Allen in the last 64 in Beijing barring wilcard.
fifteen Chinese players were involved in the qualifiers – Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo have their matches held over – and six of them won their last 128 match. Zhou Yuelong is the only teenager amongst them. There is always a lot of pressure on the Chinese lads when it comes to their home tournaments, and experience prevailed. Zhao Xintong lost by 5-3 to Mark Williams in a match that was even closer than the score suggests. There will be wildcards as well most certainly and this will again trigger moans and angered posts on social media. Well folks, here is my views: the CBSA wants for their young players the same kind of opportunities than the ones the UK amateurs are offered through the top up system all season long. This isn’t possible because the first rounds of the Chinese events are – absurdly – played in the UK and the top-ups come from the Q-School losers list, with the Q-School also played in the UK. Therefore the top-up system is strongly biased towards UK amateurs. As long as this is the case, the Chinese, who invest a lot of money in the sport, will insist on the wilcards. I can’t blame them.