The International Championship 2017 qualifiers were played in Preston from September 26 to September 29, 2017 and most of the top players involved did qualify for the main event to be played early november in Daqing, China.
The notable exception is Marco Fu who fell to the young Thai, Akani “Sunny” Songsermsawad, a player with the most unconventional cue action!
Four of the top 16 players have their first match held over to the venue: Mark Selby, the World Champion, John Higgins, the n°2 seed (?), Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo, China n° 1 and 2. More Chinese players have their matches held over as well; indeed the trio involved in the Asian Indoor Games (a competition played in Turkmenistan till September 27, 2017), Zhou Yuelong, Yan Bingtao and Zhao Xintong were spared the qualifiers in Preston. However Hossein Vafaei and Soheil Vahedi, the two Iranian players involved in the same competition were required to rush to the UK to play their last 128 match… Probably another great example of the fair playing field.
Anyway, all detailed results are on Cuetracker.
Ronnie was amongst the last batch of players to qualify yesterday evening in Preston. He certainly didn’t snail trough it as he needed just over an hour to beat Gerald Greene by 6-0:
Here is the last frame of the match:
MissingClip (the full match)
Ronnie next opponent, in the last 64 is likely to be the very dangerous Yan Bingtao. Next up could be Rick Walden or Peter Ebdon in the last 32, possibly Barry Hawkins in the last 16 and John Higgins in the QF… easy!
6 thoughts on “International Championship 2017 – Most top players qualify, including Ronnie.”
Yes I call him “Sunny the Elephant”, a national symbol in Thailand. He does this strange elephant’s trunk thing with his right arm to line up the shot! And his technique with the rest needs to be seen to be believed. Mike Dunn tweeted a very amusing picture from Pond’s Forge…
A fourth young Chinese player, Lyu Haotian, also got his match held over after winning a gold medal in Turkmenistan, playing 9-ball pool. However, two of the matches are all-Chinese so it might suit both players anyway.
It is interesting to see Ronnie’s break-off variations. It’s become a critical shot in the last few years, with many frames being lost directly after a poor first shot. I’ve seen a number of players reverting to the old 2-cushion break, and a couple of other exotic options.
I also noticed that Ronnie played with a different cue. I don‘t know if it‘s his ultimate one, but I know that John Parris is usual to build a couple of cues for Ronnie. Then Ronnie tries both of them before deciding which one he‘ll get definitely. I‘m sure that Ronnie or John Parris himself will soon comunicate the ultimate choice.
“John Higgins, the defending Champion”. Is not Mark Selby the defending Champion?
Indeed. My bad. I got confused with the China Championship. Why is John Higgins match held over then? Because he’s seeded n°2?
I’ve only watched the first 2 frames so far, but Ronnie looks good physically. He looks noticeably thinner (he said today that he has lost 9 pounds in 4 weeks), and he looks a bit more groomed (shorter haircut, and clean-shaven). He was starting to look a big haggard lately, with the longer hair and constant 5 o’clock shadow. Plus, I think that one of the interviewers in one of the Asian events he played in recently actually asked him something about being fat, so maybe that was motivation for him to lose weight…
I also noticed that in the 2nd frame he broke off right-handed, with the cue ball starting out near the green. Interesting…
Yes, I also noticed that he’s experimenting with different breakoffs lately. He said in an interview some time ago that it’s one weaker point in his game.
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