All the top 49 players have entered the 2020 European Masters

This was posted by WST yesterday evening:

This month’s European Masters, the second ranking event of the 2020/21 season, will boast an outstanding field.

The top 49 players in the world rankings have all entered the event, with 50th-placed Marco Fu the highest ranked player not to have entered.

Neil Robertson will be defending the title, having beaten Zhou Yuelong 9-0 in the final in Austria last season. Other top stars in the field will include World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, world number one Judd Trump, Mark Selby, John Higgins, Mark Allen, Kyren Wilson and Shaun Murphy.

The tournament will run from September 21 to 27 at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes. All 128 players will start in round one. Matches will be best of nine frames up to and including the quarter-finals, best of 11 for the semi-finals and best of 17 for the final on September 27.

The draw and format will be announced shortly. The event will receive extensive coverage on Eurosport, with details of further broadcasters to be announced soon.

Prize money
Winner: £80,000
Runner-up: £35,000
Semi-finals: £17,500
Quarter-finals: £11,000
Last 16: £6,000
Last 32: £4,000
Last 64: £3,000
High break: £5,000
Total: £407,000

bold added by me.

So that’s very good news. The current covid-19 crisis has forced WST into a certain number of changes. Starting the World on a Friday and finishing on a Sunday was a very welcome one for all the snooker fans outside the UK. Now, this event will be played in one go, without “qualifiers”. In both cases, I hope it will stay that way in the future and that qualifiers will soon become a thing of the past for all “flat draw” tournaments.

As for Ronnie, he seemed to have changed his mind a bit about playing in everything after winning in Sheffield, but I still expect him to make the most of current circumstances. No qualifiers, events in the UK, and no or reduced media presence and crowd will suit him. It’s rarely playing that bothered him, it’s everything that comes “around it”: expectations, media duties, being constantly in the public eye… Of course, it’s because his status in the game, but it’s often been a real burden and one he’s been carrying it for over 28 years now.

2 thoughts on “All the top 49 players have entered the 2020 European Masters

  1. Yes, but although the Championship League looks like a lot of snooker, for each individual player it might just be 1 day actually playing. So it’s not like previous seasons where there has been a tournament most weeks, and for the top players almost continual matches. For the next 10 weeks, there’s only the Euro Masters and the English Open with a regular schedule. Even the Champion of Champions has a sparser format, with the last-16 and Q-finals played on the same day. Ronnie might well end up playing matches on around 12 days in the next 10 weeks. That’s not really a burn-out schedule, and we have no certainty that the proposed China events in 2021 will actually happen.

    Probably the same players who have signed up for the CL have entered the Euro Masters. Despite the ‘official’ reasons Marco Fu didn’t play in the World Championship, the truth is his eye problems have not improved. Mei Xiwen comes from Wuhan, the centre of the Covid-19 outbreak, and has been involved in charity work. Bai Langning comes from Jilin, which borders North Korea (I have played in a tournament there myself!), with more travel restrictions. And it would be a huge sensation if Steve Mifsud were to suddenly appear! All this means plenty of room for Stephen Hendry, Michael White and a few others.

    • Yes, also Marco came on social media recently, claiming that he hasn’t been able to practice for a long time and urging the HK authorities to allow reopening of the clubs. As for his eyes problems, it’s very sad but it won’t improve I’m afraid. The “floaters” and black spots don’t go away. I know because I have the same problem. Of course I’m much older than Marco and it doesn’t impact my professional life. What happens is that over time, the brain manages to “ignore” the intruders. But if you are a bit tired, or have a migraine, then it all comes back with a vengeance.

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