The week-end has been extremely busy at the snooker tables, and this girl has been very busy herself, hence the lack of post over the last two days.
So then … here is what happened.
Neil Robertson won the Riga Masters, the first ranker of the season.
Australia’s 36-year-old Robertson collected the trophy and a cheque for £50,000 after winning six matches in the Latvian capital.
World number ten Robertson brings his career tally of ranking titles to 14, joining Mark Selby in joint-sixth place on the all-time list.
Last month Robertson revealed he was full of optimism for the new season, having changed cue for the first time in 20 years, and he couldn’t have made a better start to the campaign. He becomes the first player to win the title in Riga twice, having lifted the trophy in 2016.
Lisowski made it to the final of a ranking event for the first time in his career, notably beating Graeme Dott 4-0 in the quarter-finals and Stephen Maguire 5-1 in the semis earlier in the day. But the 27-year-old from Gloucestershire was no match for Robertson in the final.
Former World Champion Robertson won the first two scrappy frames, then made a superb break of 117 to go 3-0 ahead. Lisowski pulled one back and had chances in frame five, but Robertson cleared from the last red for 4-1.
The sixth went to Lisowski and again he had chances in frame seven, but Robertson got the better of a safety exchange on the last red and went on to seal victory.
”It was a tough final, we both played fantastic to get there but then we struggled tonight because the balls ran awkward,” said Robertson, who has won at least one tournament in every year since 2006. “I really had to use my experience. Jack will learn a lot from this, he will win many titles because he is such a talented player and it’s good to see his game coming on.
”I want to build on this and win multiple tournaments this season. I’m really enjoying playing at the moment.”
Lisowski said: “It’s a step in the right direction for me. I’m just disappointed to put on a display like that in the final. It was the first time I had played on the match table and I couldn’t adapt to it.
“I scored very heavily all week and barely missed a ball. Then in the final I missed a straight pink in the first frame and that unsettled me straight away.”
Earlier in the semis, Robertson scored a 5-0 win over Stuart Carrington, who reached the last four of a ranking event for the first time.
The next tournament is the Yushan World Open in China, running from August 6-12.
This was Jack Lisowski first ever final, and Stuart Carrington also excelled himself by reaching his first semi final. Despite a somewhat depleted field, it was a good tournament. Zhao Xintong and Zhan Yong also did well reaching the last 16; Zhao took Shaun Murphy’s scalp. Graeme Dott, Liang Wenbo and Ricky Walden are both clearly returning to form as well , which is good to see.
The heartbreak of the tournament … has to be awarded to Liang Wenbo!
Barry Pinches won the Challenge Tour Event 3
Veteran Barry Pinches won the third event on the new Challenge Tour series by beating Jackson Page 3-2 in the final in Latvia.
Former pro Pinches, age 48, beat a player 32 years younger in the final to take the £2,000 top prize.
Norwich cueman Pinches, a former UK Championship quarter-finalist, moves up to fourth place in the Challenge Tour rankings, with the top two at the end of the ten-event series to be promoted to the World Snooker Tour.
Mitchell Mann 3-0 James McArdle
James Cahill 0-3 Charlie Walters
Jamie Curtis-Barrett 3-2 Andreas Ploner
John Foster 2-3 Steven Hallworth
Jackson Page 3-0 Felix Frede
Kevin van Hove 3-1 Dylan Emery
Jake Nicholson 3-1 Lucky Vatnani
Sean Maddocks 3-1 Daniel Womersley
Callum Lloyd 2-3 Brandon Sargeant
Saqib Nasir 0-3 Mitchell Mann
Barry Pinches 3-0 Charlie Walters
David Grace 0-3 Jamie Curtis-Barrett
Luke Simmonds v Steven Hallworth
Jackson Page 3-2 Kevin van Hove
Jamie O’Neill 3-2 Jake Nicholson
Joshua Cooper 3-2 Daniel Womersley
Patrick Whelan 2-3 Brandon Sargeant
Pinches 3-0 Mann
Curtis-Barrett 3-2 Hallworth
Page 3-2 O’Neill
Sargeant 3-0 Cooper
Pinches 3-2 Curtis-Barrett
Page 3-2 Sargeant
Pinches 3-2 Page
Barry Pinches is a lovely man who loves his snooker with a passion despite never really making it through to the top; he never got past the QF in any ranking event, but DID win a PTC, beating Ronnie in the final! He just loves to play and I’m sure he’d love nothing more than getting back on the tour.
The Pink Ribbon is down to the Pro stages
The biggest Charity Pro-Am is back again in SWSA in Gloucester. Because the clashes with the Riga Masters and the Challenge tour, one could fear that it would be a bit flat. Not at all. The Capital Venue was busy and buzzing all week-end. No tournament is more inclusive than this one: seniors and juniors, disabled and able-bodied, pros, top amateurs and complete “non-players”, from UK, Ireland, Asia and mainland Europe, all happily doing battle at the table for a great cause.
It continues today and tomorrow.
The best source to follow it, and have a look at the pictures is the SWSA Facebook Page
Be patient with results. With over 275 entries Clive Brown is a bit snowed under!
As for for Ronnie …
Those who follow his Instagram will know that he’s been in Sheffiled last week
Running and going back to training after a couple of lazy weeks …
Coooking on his boat …
AND practising! (at Vic Snooker Academy it seems)
And this came up on social media …
Not sure what to make of this. Actually the poster only just shows all the winners of the event since its first edition in 2004. I wouldn’t take this as a sign that any of the players on the poster will be there. I would be surprised if Ronnie entered.