First Day of the 2019/20 Season…

Yesterday was the first “playing” day of the new season … with the qualifiers for the 2019 Riga Masters underway at Ponds Forge.

You can follow the tournament on and here are yesterday’s results

There were a few interesting results:

Rookies Louis Heathcote and Chang Bingyu both won their first match as professionals, against Ryan Day and Ian Burns respectively. Chang’s match wasn’t streamed in Europe, by Louis’ one was and he played extremely well. Ryan Day himself wasn’t playing badly at all. Si Jiahui on the other hand was beaten soundly by Ricky Walden; Ricky, for what I saw of the match, played really well which pleased me because it’s always sad when a player of Ricky’s quality struggles badly because of injuries.

Returning professional Chen Zifan also started his season well with a win over Michael Georgiou.  Xu Si however was beaten by Ali Carter, who looked very strong.

Luca Brecel looked sharp as well, whitewashing And Hicks.  Yuan Sijun, who caught Stephen Hendry’s attention, also won, beating Noppon Saengkham by 4-2.

Yan Bingtao – seeded 16 here – beat Anthony McGill – seeded 18 – by 4-2 in a rather painful match. Yan is on the back of a poor season, ans so is McGill. Both probably lack confidence and both struggled.

4 thoughts on “First Day of the 2019/20 Season…

  1. Yes it’s problematic to have these two qualifiers at this time of year. But with travel and VISAs to plan, it may be necessary. It’s just an example of how scheduling grows over several years, and the sequence of events is very difficult to move. It’s very difficult to predict how any player will play, as their practice may have been very limited. There are at least two players who have suffered from travel difficulties with some bad weather around the world.

    Another schedule problem is caused by the announcement that 4th May 2020 will no longer be a Bank Holiday, so the World Championship will finish on a working Monday. This is a stupid announcement by the government, in that it could have been forseen years ago. Eleven months is NOT enough time to reorganise. Many major events have already been planned for that weekend, and thousands of people will have booked holidays. Myself, I have a work contract that covers that week.

    • I see the issue with the Bank Holiday being moved Lewis, however for everyone non UK based that Monday has always been a working day. If snooker is to be international it’s time they realise that having the WC final on a working day isn’t great. Especially with time difference adding to the issue. Somehow I’m happy this happened and I hope they will consider changing the schedule. Starting on Friday evening, or even afternoon, going back to best of 31 SF and rethinking table recovers

      • Yes I agree with that. But we know that it’s extremely unlikely that any changes will happen – they will view 2020 as an unavoidable anomaly, despite the drops in viewing figures, and the angst by sponsors and advertisers. Of course the World Championship should finish on a Sunday. Many things in snooker have remained unchanged since the 1970’s or 1980’s, and the chiefs don’t have the courage needed to contemplate rethinking things.

    • I remember watching the Dott v Ebdon final session on a crap streaming, at stupid hours in the night, having worked all day and having to work the next one as well. Not fun!

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