Before analysing what happened today, lets go back to yesterday evening (afternoon for us in Europe): there was an Opening Ceremony, as is usual in China, just before the start of the evening session and here are a few images shared by Worldsnooker on twitter:
The players were represented by Shaun Murphy, Marco Fu, Mark Selby and Ronnie. You know, he’s that guy who isn’t in a suit …
Now about today’s action. Here are the results:
There weren’t many surprises today, in general the favourites went through. From the top 16 involved, only Mark Allen lost, and his conqueror is Matthew Stevens, a player who was tipped as a future star at the start of his career and has probably massively under-achieved. A number of private issues certainly had an impact on his career, but Matthew seems to be playing better again, and looks healthier as well. That’s really good to see.
Matthew Selt’s defeat to Tom Ford is also a surprise, particularly with 5-1 score. Of course Tom is a very dangerous player on his day, a very heavy scorer, but still, I would have expected a much closer match. Not sure what happened there, as I didn’t see it, but … maybe Matthew Selt spent the night watching his good friend Stephen Hendry in the MasterChef cooking show? Only joking.
About the matches I watched here is my take on the Ronnie 5-2 win over Sam Baird .
As I expected, Mark Selby played much better today in beating Noppon Saengkham, than he did yesterday. He looked his very solid self again, scored well and was always in control. He finished with a beautiful 123:
Judd Trump had little trouble in beating Daniel Wells by 5-2, although the way the first frame went, one could have feared a repeat of the World Open disaster. The commentators were discussing the impact of Judd’s laser surgery on his ability to sight the balls properly as he was regularly hitting them too thick or too thin but seldom as he intended. However from frame two he adjusted and normal service resumed. After the match Judd explained to Worldsnooker what the situation is about his eyes and the surgery he’s had:
“I was going into a lot of the later matches at night and my eyes would dry up. Anyone who has worn contact lenses knows how hard it is to keep them in daily, let alone play snooker. I felt like it was holding me back a bit. I’ve had it done and although its not quite right just yet hopefully the more I play the better I will get. That is probably why my confidence hasn’t been quite as high as usual because I sight the ball slightly differently.”
Judd also had a good chance to make a 4th competitive maximum break in frame 5, but couldn’t get position on the black with the last red, was forced to take the blue instead and the break ended at 105. Watch it here: