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.
Last 16: £6,000
Last 32: £4,000
Last 64: £3,000
High break: £5,000
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.