2021 English Open Draw and other news

WST has published the 2021 English Open draw and qualifiers format: 

BetVictor English Open Draw

The draw and format for the 2021 BetVictor English Open is now available.

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format

The qualifying round will run from September 17 to 22 at the Barnsley Metrodome, followed by the final stages at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes from November 1 to 7. The matches involving the top 16 seeds and the two wild card nominations will be held over to the final venue.

Judd Trump, who beat Neil Robertson 9-8 in the final last year, will start the defence of his title against Matthew Selt.

Ronnie O’Sullivan has been drawn against Brazil’s top player Igor Figueiredo, while World Champion Mark Selby will take on Sanderson Lam.

British Open champion Mark Williams faces amateur Paul Deaville while top female player Reanne Evans will be up against Barry Hawkins.

On Yee is in the draw and, should she make it to the UK is due to play Stuart Bingham at the main venue. Ding Junhui is also in the draw. Let’s see what happens.

Ronnie might face Elliot Slessor in the last 64… probably one of the worst draws he could have.

WST has announced a new documentary series:

New Documentary: Make Or Break

Throughout the 2021/22 season, we’ll be following the fortunes of six of the most promising young players on the World Snooker Tour in our new video documentary Make or Break.

Episode one of the series is here:

Narrated by Alan McManus, Make or Break will include exclusive footage from behind the scenes at WST events as well as interviews with the six featured players:

Iulian Boiko – age 15 from Ukraine

Alexander Ursenbacher – age 25 from Switzerland

Wu Yize – age 17 from China

Oliver Lines – age 26 from England

Jackson Page – age 20 from Wales

Aaron Hill – age 19 from Ireland

The series will follow their progress as they aim to make their way towards a successful career in the sport. Episode two will be released in September.

It’s good to see WST finally put some young players in the spotligths and Alan is a great choice as a narrator.

After nicking Michael McMillan from the Snooker Scnene podcast, WST have published their own thing  and the first episode is with Judd Trump

Here is Eurosport take on this one:

Snooker news: ‘He’s very clever’ – Judd Trump on why Ronnie O’Sullivan will be at top for another decade

Judd Trump has praised six-times world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan for picking and choosing his events. O’Sullivan has pulled out of the season’s first two ranking tournaments at the Championship League and British Open, but Trump believes he is wise to be selective with his choices as he bids to extend his career. The world number two feels O’Sullivan will be inside the top 16 for another decade.

Ronnie O’Sullivan will be a serious contender for snooker’s biggest titles for at least another decade, according to fellow crowd-pleaser Judd Trump.

World number two Trump has praised O’Sullivan for picking and choosing his events after the six-times world champion opted out of the first two ranking tournaments of the season at the Championship League and British Open.

In a timely demonstration of sporting longevity, O’Sullivan’s fellow ‘Class of ’92’ member Mark Williams lifted the 24th ranking event of his career with a vintage 6-4 win over Gary Wilson that included two century breaks at Leicester’s Morningside Arena.

At the age of 46, he is the third oldest ranking event winner of all time behind fellow Welsh icons Doug Mountjoy (46) in 1989 and Ray Reardon (50) in 1982.

In his 29th year as a professional, it is the second ranking title Williams has won this year after his success at the inaugural WST Pro Series event in March.

“Myself, John Higgins (four-times world champion) and Ronnie O’Sullivan having turned pro together all those years ago, we are still hanging around like a bad smell,” he told reporters on Sunday.

I have dropped down the rankings a few times and come back up, but we just seem to be sticking around for a lot longer than people expected.

While O’Sullivan, 45, reached five finals last season, he failed to win a ranking event for the first time since the 2010/11 campaign, but Trump feels being selective is the key to being competitive for at least the next 10 years.

The Chigwell man is due face Stuart Carrington in the first round of the Northern Ireland Open at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast which begins on Saturday 9 October. Trump has curiously defeated O’Sullivan 9-7 in the past three finals of the event.

“I’ve got so much respect for him,” said Trump on WST. “Every time I play him, it is always a special occasion.

To be honest, I think he can play the game until whenever he wants to. He is that good.

“The way he doesn’t enter every event is only beneficial for him. He keeps the public wanting more and more. He doesn’t give you too much in one go.

“So, just as you think he is getting a bit bored with snooker, he’ll take that tournament off, he’ll pull out. He knows he’s not ready and I think he is very clever in that way.

“He’ll always be the crowd favourite just because of how easy he makes the game look.

John Higgins is up there with him, but Ronnie just makes it looks so easy. I think that is what annoys the viewing public because he kind of looks invincible at times.

“When he doesn’t win, they think he’s not trying so he’s built up this image that he can’t be beat and it adds a lot of pressure to yourself I think.”

At 44 years and 254 days, O’Sullivan became the oldest man to win the World Championship since Reardon (45 years and 203 days) in 1978 when he overcame Kyren Wilson 18-8 in Sheffield to lift his sixth Crucible title a year ago.

Trump admits the strain to keep producing under pressure means it is impossible to play in every tournament.

“Over the past two or three years when you keep winning events, you kind of see what he has been through,” said Trump. “The past 15 years, the expectation he has had on himself.

I just think he knows what he is not ready to give it his all and he’ll skip those events. For me, when he wants to stop playing, he’ll stop playing, but he’s good enough to be top 16 for at least another 10 years.

Trump lost his world number one spot to world champion Mark Selby after a two-year stay at the summit following his 3-2 defeat to Elliot Slessor in the last 32 of the British Open on the same day he turned 32.

He is set to reclaim top spot after the Northern Ireland Open with Selby set to lose £102,000 from his points tally on the two-year list, but Trump feels the ranking system puts far too much emphasis on earning £500,000 for lifting the world title.

Trump celebrated his first ranking event with a 10-8 win over Selby at the 2011 China Open.

He claimed his first eight in six years, but has lifted another 14 in the past four years in a remarkable period of consistency.

Trump totted up a record six in 2019/20 and another five during the pandemic in 2020/21, but is bemused about losing the top spot.

“Nobody has ever won six events in a year,” said the 2019 world champion, who begins his bid for a fourth straight Northern Ireland title against Andrew Pagett in Belfast.

“The year before I won the Masters, the World Championship and another couple of events.

“Then the following year I won five events. There is always that comparison with Ronnie or the world champion about who is the best in the world.

“But for me, I don’t think you can compare winning the World Championship to winning six events in a year that nobody has ever done before.

“If somebody came up to me, and said to me: ‘You’ve won the World Championship, but Mark Selby has won six or seven events, do you think you are the best in world?’

I’d say no. For me, Mark Selby would be the best in the world because he has shown it on a consistent level. The World Championship is a special event, but it is only one event.

“For me, it gets too much recognition just because of the prize money. In a dream scenario, there would be three or four events on that kind of level with that kind of prize money.

“It is too lopsided because the world champion is always going to be number one and for me to prevent that over the past two years is literally an impossible task.”

About the latter bit, I’m not sure Judd would see things in the same light if he was the World Champion. At the the World Championship luck is usually less a factor than in any other comp because the length of the matches. Kyren Wilson and Anthony Mc Gill may disagree, but statistically this remains true.


3 thoughts on “2021 English Open Draw and other news

  1. Yes, the English Open has the same format as the NI Open – 5 days of qualifiers on 2 tables behind closed doors (although a 10am start). Only Marco Fu is missing, which means 5 Q School top-up players (plus 2 wildcards), so David Lilley just misses out, but of course there is a chance that Ng or Ding might not make it or someone will withdraw.

  2. Judd is a fantastic snooker player and always seems like a nice chap, but he can’t possibly think that winning a selection of smaller events (including 2 Gibraltar Opens behind closed doors!) makes you a better player than winning the World Championship!!! Correct me if I’m wrong but out of everything he’s won in the last 2 years, only 4 of the 11 (German Masters, Players Championship, World Open & China Championship) don’t involve bo7’s in the early rounds?

    Granted he can only beat what is in front of him and he does it an awful lot, but in those tournaments there’s a bit of a lottery aspect to the early rounds. Judd is great at getting through them of course, credit to him, but it tends to mean no big obstacles until the latter stages. Whereas the World Championship tends to see you having to beat 2 or 3 World Champions overlong matches to get your hands on the trophy.

    Strangely the current UK Championships and Masters setups should be good for Judd. You’ve said it on here before that if he wants to be remembered in the same way as the Higgins/O’Sullivan/Hendry/Davis/Selby bracket, he really needs to start winning the big tournaments more regularly…

    • Trump is very good at short matches, that’s why it was so satisfying that he lost both at the CLS and te British Open. 🙂 He will say whatever sounds good from his perspective: that the Gibraltar Open is of equal value with the Worlds is laughable of course, but when he won his hitherto only World (and may it stay this way), and had the Masters, he was very excited to win the UK to hold all three majors in the same year – until he did not and started singing different tunes. – To be fair Ronnie has his fair share in saying the Worlds were “overrated”, but at least he had five by then.

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