Riga Masters 2019 … off to a bad start

Well, well … this is not the best start of the snooker season

It seems that a rather high number of players will not be able to make it to Riga, or anyway not in time for their scheduled matches. Amongst them the defending champion, Neil Robertson, plus Duanes Jones, Joe O’Connor and Louis Heathcote. Neil on twitter was hinting that they were about 15 of them due to fly together …

Here is Duane Jones Facebook account of what happened:

Well I can’t believe what’s happened tonight, I was meant to fly to riga in Latvia at 6:50pm this evening to play in the riga masters tomorrow afternoon, checks in at the airport and puts my bags through then boards the plane. While waiting for take off we got told a plane has burst a tyre while landing in the airport and there is a delay as the airport had to clear all the debris off the runway before anymore planes could takeoff/land, 2 hours later we are still on the runway waiting and after the debris were cleared we then had a further 2 hours delay as a electrical storm as hit the flight path over continental Europe so we had to wait for it to clear before we could leave and all flights were grounded until further notice. So after 4 hours waiting on the plane to take off we then could told to leave the plane until further information. Another two hours waiting and we get told that the flight is cancelled and we need to re-arrange another one 😂😂 no other flights can get me and the other pros on board to our matches in time from Luton or any other airport in the uk. So no riga masters for me this year and too top it off it’s 1:33am and I got a lovely 3 hour drive back to South Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 I cant write my luck sometimes, shoot me now

That’s very unfortunate on so many accounts!

Of course it’s very unfortunate for the players affected. They will certainly get their points and money from their first match – Jason Ferguson already got in touch with them – but the opportunity to earn more is gone.

But it’s also very bad for the Riga Masters itself, one of the very few mainland Europe based tournaments still confirmed in the calendar. If Neil’s tweet is to be trusted that’s more than 1 in 4 player forced to withdraw from the event due to circumstances beyond their control. It’s not going to do the future’s hopes of the tournament any good.

At the time of writing the matches are still scheduled on WS website. Only the indication of which are on television is gone. But I can’t see how they can solve the issue …

4 thoughts on “Riga Masters 2019 … off to a bad start

  1. Sorry, I can’t see where the risk is “to travel to a place like Latvia on the night before the tournament”. Under the given circumstances they wouldn’t have reached Munich or Rome or Gibraltar or Malta (you name it) either, would they?

    • Maybe not, although there must be more flights toward Munich or Rome than Riga. That said, you don’t travel on the night before to go ANYWHERE if you must be there a

    • Maybe not although there a more flights towards Rome or Munich than towards Riga I guess. That said you don’t travel ANYWHERE on the night before if you MUST be there unless you are a novice traveler. Delays and cancelations are not that uncommon and, knowing that, you have to take it into account. When I travel to an event – to do photography, so If I’m late it isn’t as bad as it is for a player at risk to miss their match – I always depart the previous day in the morning latest. It’s that simple. And regarding Neil Robertson specically, he has a bit of history being latish for matches, although it had been a while.

  2. Yes, and if several players drop out from the same section of the draw, there will be some byes in the third round. In fact, there were several withdrawals from both the qualifiers and the first round proper, due to VISA issues.

    It is a bit risky to travel to a place like Latvia on the night before the tournament. But this does damage the Riga Masters. Even if the tournament continues next year, players might not bother after their experiences this year.

Comments are closed.