The European Masters qualifiers concluded yesterday. Of the 12 members of the top 16 who needed to qualify, three failed to do so: Mark Allen, Stephen Maguire and Stuart Bingham.
Mark Allen though didn’t play badly at all: he was beaten by an inspired Sunny Akani in a match that featured 8 breaks over 50 – 4 each – and two centuries, a 136 by Allen and a 135 by Akani. Mark was full of praise for his younger opponent. He was impressed both by Sunny’s game, and Sunny’s endearing personality.
John Higgins was made to work very hard to overcome Chris Wakelin. It’s a shame for Chris that he had to face John Higgins, because he’s playing his best snooker for a long time.
Anthony McGill, Ricky Walden and Andrew Higginson all “confirmed” their recent return to form as well.
Wu Yize had an excellent win against Michael Holt: their match also featured 8 breaks over 50 in the 9 frames. Wu’s win quite incredibly attracted scorn on twitter from someone who, on the other hand, regularly praises some British young prostects. Allegedly Wu – and all the young Chinese (sic)- are “one dimensional” and only “good potters”. The bare facts are that Wu, who only just turned 18 two weeks ago, is in his first year as a pro and has won 5 of the 8 matches he’s played. One of the young Brits getting regular praise in his second year as a pro and has only won 2 matches in 28 he’s played… Don’t get me wrong, being a pro is not easy, and there may be circumstances that we don’t know about, that prevent the young man to deliver his full potential for the time being. I wish him well. What really annoys me is the total lack of objectivity shown by some British fans – you know who you are – who always downplay the Asian players’ successes and never give them the recognition they deserve.
Other than than, the English Open is underway, with mainly the held-over matches today.
Ahead of the event, Ronnie has answered some fans’ questions
One thought on “2022 European Masters Qualifiers conclude – 2021 English Open starts”
Yes Sunny Akani was magnificent, and continues his fine run in first-round matches. Wu Yize was actually very erratic at the beginning of his match – he alternated brilliant pots.with missed blacks off the spot and found himself 3-0 behind. But then he managed to hit back and the match became close. Ultimately he should have lost, but was given one final chance… The whole match was ridiculously open, and Michael Holt’s terrible results continue. There have been great players who started out playing like Wu. It’s a question of how he develops; his talent is not in doubt. And yes, we do need overseas players like Akani and Wu to fulfill their potential – snooker’s future depends on internationalisation, and these two can be great to watch for any fan.
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