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 snooker.org 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.