The Shanghai Masters 2017 qualifying round (last 128) took place in Wigan on 11, 12 and 13 October 2017, except for the held-over matches that will be played at the main venue.
There were a number of unexexpected results, especially considering that this tournament is played over best of 9, not best of 7. Kyren Wilson, Neil Robertson, Shaun Murphy, Ricky Walden and Anthony McGill all failed to qualify.
The situation is particularly worrying fro Neil Robertson who lost to rookie Chris Totten, from 2-0 up as well, in a match that didn’t feature any break over 50. It was Chris Totten first professional win. Neil needs results soon or he will miss the Masters come January, and could drop out of the top 16 before the end of the season. Having won the UK Championship in 2015 he has a lot of points to defend come December.
Kyren Wilson, who became a father again recently, lost by 5-3 to Gerard Greene, the same Gerard Greene who was withewashed by Ronnie in the International Championship qualifiers recently despite playing well in that match. This time he wasn’t to be denied.
Shaun Murphy lost in a deciding frame to yet another young Chinese prospect, Yan SiJun. After the match Shaun tweeted that he couldn’t have played much better and indeed he had 4 breaks over 50, one in each of the 4 frames he won, and still lost.
Speaking of young prospects, Sam Craigie pushed Ali Carter all the way, only losing in the deciding frame. Hossein Vafaei, Akani Songsermsawad, Lyu Haotian, Wang Yuchen, Yan Bingtao and Zhou Yuelong all won their match and, except Akani and Hossein, won very easily. Barry Hearn would no doubt claim that this proves that the system works. To me, the fact that all of those succesful younsters are Asian, and, except Hossein, come from countries where snooker is supported by the authorities, with development structures in place, proves just the opposite. Throwing unprepared young amateurs to the wolves will destroy more young people than it will create future stars. It also shows how important a supporting environment is for those young expats who have to cope with an alien culture and a foreign language on top of their budding career. The Vic Snooker Academy is doing wonders of good for them. As further proof, Cao Yupeng and Yu Delu, both on the tour for quite some time, all of a sudden seem to find their way again after several miserable seasons.
Finally, a word about Ronnie who qualified as well, whitewashing Chris Keogan. Kris has a lot of potential, and I’m certain that he works hard. But his earnings on the tour aren’t enough to make a living, so he’s a teaching assistant at Hungerhill School in Doncaster. Ronnie played well in this match, he made no century but had 52, 64, 77 and 50 breaks along the way. His long potting was much better that it was against Greene, and his safety was good as well.
Here is the match:
All results are on Cuetracker.