41 years ago, the Crucible Theatre opened its doors for the first Snooker World Championship played there…
25 years ago, a 17 years old Ronnie O’Sullivan entered the Crucible arena for the first time to face Alan McManus. He lost 10-7 and his opponent, went on to reach the semi finals. Ronnie remains the youngest player ever to qualify for the World Championship main stages (qualify for, not play at … the qualifiers were played over the summer at the start of the season back then)
today … 16 matches are underway at the EIS, and tonight, or maybe early tomorrow morning, we will know the names of the 16 who will face the seeds at the Crucible from Saturday on. Among those playing today is… Alan McManus, who, should he qualify, could possibly face Ronnie, the seed n°2.
The rigging is underway at the Crucible
But, today it’s all about those 16 matches, that started yesterday.
here is how things stand for now …
Liang Wenbo – who had a 147 in the first round, and missed the black for a second one in the same match – played absolutely terrible yesterday. The 9-0 score is hard to understand, even if, to be fair, Jamie Jones played really well.
Someone else who played really well is young Lyu HaoTian, who leads Rory McLeod by 7-2. His safety game in particular was excellent. Also, remember, a win for Lyu today would propel him in the top 64, at the expense of Oliver Lines. Oliver would still stay on tour, via the one year list … at the expense of Sam Craigie who would be relegated.
Jack Lisowski is 7-2 up on Alan McManus. Alan showed signs of anger and frustration throughout the whole match, countless times slapping and banging the table, raising his arms, nodding his head… Fortunately it didn’t seem to affect Jack’s concentration too much.
And off the table Neil Robertson came up with this in the press …
Earlier this week Yan Bingtao was seriously warned by the referee for banging his cue after a particularly bad miss, and there were suggestions on twitter that Hossein Vafaei would often chalk his cue and move in the eyeline of his opponent. Neil’s interview suggests that those behaviours are mainly to be seen in younger players nowadays. Not sure about that. Cue bangs are ones of Maguire “trademarks” and McManus behaviour yesterday, although not happening when Jack was at the table, could certainly be a distraction particularly in a match as important as this one. At no point, I saw the referee intervening. I’m NOT suggesting in any way that those behaviours are/were deliberately aiming at distracting the opponent, I firmly believe that it’s just a case of emotions running high, not cheating. But there shouldn’t be double standards… If a behaviour is off-putting, something should be done about it.