Selby And Murphy To Meet At British Open
World Champion Mark Selby has been handed a mouth-watering clash with Shaun Murphy in the first round of next month’s British Open at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
The random draw has been made for this prestigious event, which is returning to the World Snooker Tour calendar for the first time in 17 years. The tournament will run from August 16th to 22nd and is live on ITV4, as well as other broadcasters around the world.
Selby’s enticing encounter with Murphy is a repeat of this year’s Crucible final, which Selby won 18-15 to claim a fourth world title. A large crowd is expected, on the evening of Tuesday 17th August, to see Leicester’s home favourite Selby take to the baize for the first time since his World Championship win.
John Higgins was the last winner of the British Open all the way back in 2004. He has been pitted against Swiss number one Alexander Ursenbacher in an intriguing opening round tie.
World number one Judd Trump will get his campaign underway by facing Mitchell Mann. The pair had contrasting fortunes last season, with Trump racking up five ranking title wins and Mann losing his professional status. However, Mann recovered immediately by coming through Q School to return to the circuit and he will relish this David vs Goliath encounter.
Scotland’s seven-time World Champion Stephen Hendry will make his much anticipated first appearance of the season when he takes on Chris Wakelin, while 12-time women’s World Champion Reanne Evans faces former Masters champion Mark Allen.
Mark Selby vs Shaun Murphy – Tuesday 17th August 7pm
John Higgins vs Alexander Ursenbacher – Monday 16th August 1pm
Judd Trump vs Mitchell Mann – Monday 16th August 7pm
Chris Wakelin vs Stephen Hendry – Tuesday 17th August 7pm (second match)
Mark Allen vs Reanne Evans – Monday 16th August 7pm (second match)
Spectators will be welcomed through the doors for the first time this season and with tickets available for as little as £5, the British Open represents a tremendous opportunity to see the best players on the planet.
All matches up to the last 16 are best of five frames, the quarter and semi-finals are best of seven frames, and the final is best of 11 frames. There will be a random draw for each round of the event.
Last 16: £7,000
Last 32: £5,000
Last 64: £3,000
High break: £5,000
So where to start?
The draw is a pre-recorded affair. When I watched it on youtube it had subtitles, to help the fans with impaired hearing. The idea is excellent but the result was hilarious at times: Igor Figuereido became Eagle Figurine, Thechaiya Un-Nooh became Thepchaiya Undo, Xu Si was Juicy, and Zhang Anda turned into Jang Under … to cite only a few. I can only imagine that those were the result “automated” transciption generated by some kind of robot/program.
Ronnie has been replaced on the official poster by Shaun Murphy … who will play Mark Selby in a “repeat” of the last World final. Hum… what were the chances? I have no doubts that WST will try to make the best of it … but the best of a best of 5 isn’t excatly comparable to a best of 35 (Only my opinion 😎). Whatever … one of them will leave the tournament after the first round. Will they leave the poster too?
Also, what were the chances for Mark Allen to draw his ex, Reanne Evans? I’m sure that the two are pleased … NOT. But the press will be delighted: Hector Nunns is already on the ball. Will Mark Allen request for her to be removed again as she is a “distraction”? I doubt it. Instead they will probably both give it 200%. This is the ultimate grudge match.