2022 Welsh Open – Held-over Matches Schedule

The 2022 Welsh Open Qualifiers are about to start.

The top 16 seed have their matches held-over.  They will be played on the first day at the main venue, Celtic Manor.

Here is the Schedule for theses matches (source: WST)

Top 16 Schedule Confirmed For BetVictor Welsh Open

The match schedule for the top 16 seeds, plus the two local wild cards, has now been confirmed for the BetVictor Welsh Open which runs from February 28 to March 6 at ICC Wales in Newport.

First round matches for the top 16 have been held over to the final venue and those matches will be played on the opening day of the tournament. They are:

Monday February 28
Jordan Brown v Mitchell Mann
Shaun Murphy v Andy Hicks
Stephen Maguire v Fergal O’Brien
Anthony McGill v Zhang Anda

Not before 1pm
Judd Trump v Dean Young
Kyren Wilson v Dominic Dale
Barry Hawkins v Alexander Ursenbacher
Liam Davies v Iulian Boiko

Roll on Roll off
Neil Robertson v Jimmy White
Mark Williams v Michael Judge
Yan Bingtao v Ashley Hugill
Stuart Bingham v Sean Maddocks

Not before 7pm
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Sam Craigie
Zhao Xintong v Oliver Lines
Mark Allen v Ken Doherty
Elliot Slessor v Dylan Emery

Not before 8pm
Mark Selby v Chen Zifan
John Higgins v Pang Junxu

Welsh Open 2022 Jordan Brown defending

Everyone else will need to win one match in Wolverhampton to qualify.

Really, no matter where the tournament is due to be held,  there should be NO qualifiers at all unless the tournament has a tiered structure, something Joe Perry, speaking in the latest WST podcast, and not for the first time, said he would welcome back.



6 thoughts on “2022 Welsh Open – Held-over Matches Schedule

  1. I’ve probably said this before, but a tiered draw wouldn’t make as much of a difference as you might hope. Unfortunately, it’s not the case that we can always look to the past for solutions… The reason is because the demographic has changed.

    With a random draw, a (lower-ranked) player has a 1/8 chance of drawing a top-16 opponent. In other words, about twice a season. It really is not the case they’re getting clobbered by Judd Trump every week. For example, Sean Maddocks will play Stuart Bingham in Wales, only the 2nd time in nearly 2 years he’s faced a top-16 player in a random draw (he played Selby in the Scottish Open). OK, he played top opponents in the UK Championship, but that draw is not random. The problem for these players is that they aren’t able to get past players ranked in the top 70 or so, who these days are too strong and experienced. There are many players lower down than that who are also tough. For some young players, getting to play on a top table (at a main venue) might be the highlight of their season, and a valuable learning experience.

    It might work if the draw is multi-tiered, like it is in the World Championship. There are 144 players in that draw. But I fear that would lead to a fracturing of the tour, with opportunities and money being starved from those outside the top-80, many of whom are still pretty good.

    To help players break through an easy first step would just be to have a ranking tournament for the youngest 16 players on tour. This gives them winnable matches, some money, and potentially vital ranking points. Pay them £500 a win, and the prize fund comes out at £7500. Get a clothes retailer to sponsor the young men (or women – Nutcharut Wongharuthai would qualify next season), you have a deal. They could even keep the suits! Nodoubt some matches could be streamed on YouTube, like they were yesterday. We hear a lot about the Senior’s Tour and Women’s Tour, why not do something for young professionals (not amateurs) who are at a critical stage in their careers.

    • The kind of tiered system I would want to see is indeed the kind of structure we have for the WC qualifiers, and I would go back to a points system as well, with points allocated taking the lengths of the matches and the prestige of the tournament into account rather than just the money the sponsors want to put into it. I also said this many times but here I go again … first round losers should be paid. They play their match, hence contribute to the tournament, and bring value to the sponsors and broadcasters. One of the downsides of the old tiered system was that higher seeded players were guaranteed points, win or lose, hence were protected. This should not be the case and actually is not the case at the World Championship. Also I would want to see the all “tiers” played close – both geographically and in time – to or at the main venue, no matter where that is, and with media coverage. I don’t agree with having a special tournament for the “younger players”. Some players start later than others on the main tour for various reasons, not necessarily related to their abilities. Some players currently on the main tour are simply not good enough, and for some at least, IMO, never will be. The Q-School is highly inadequate, we agree on that. One way to “improve” it without changing its structure ( … because I have no hope that WST would do that, it’s highly lucrative) would be to say that whoever drops off the tour, and hasn’t won “enough” matches ( what enough is to be determined) is not allowed on the Q-school in the next two years. That would stop some to requalify every couple of years, without ever being good enough to stay on tour, but still barring others to get to it solely because of their experience of the environment and conditions.

      • You idea of Q School would end the careers of some very promising players, whilst not preventing players who continually go back to Q School after dropping off ranked 80.

        As for multi-tiered draws in most competitions, that would prolong the qualifiers, and in my view be a fast-track to two divisions, which in turn would lead to a professional tour of 80 players, almost all of them British (overseas players would find it even harder to get established).

        You have to have variety. It’s going to be necessary to be able to hold tournaments of many different types: some tiered, but not all (because of the overheads of those qualification matches). That is why any ‘ranking point’ system can’t work. We have to get away from ridigly defined ‘structures’, and let tournaments develop organically.

        As for a ‘young professionals’ tournament, it’s just a simple idea which is easy to implement, and would have a very positive benefit. Yes, players develop at different ages, but that’s no more the case than in all the other events. However, a ‘young professionals’ tournament would actually be quite an attractive event for promoters and viewers, and demonstrate the political message that WST actually cares about the sustainable future of the game. I’m not getting that impression by anything else they have done. If I were a potential sponsor, I’d have major doubts about working with an organisation who doesn’t seem interested in the future.

      • How long the qualifiers last depend on how many tables you put in operation. We currently have qualifiers “dragging” because we have only two tables… If all tournaments were held from start to finish at the final venue or close to it, that would break the UK centric nature of the tour to a significant extend, provided we go back to “pre-covid” normality and WST is serious about going global.
        Also, I don’t think that my idea about the Q-School would end the career of any really promising young player. I don’t think that asking three wins/year (for instance) is over the top. It would end the career of some I definitely think should be better considering another career path because they are going nowhere.
        Personally, I’m all for “two divisions” provided that both divisions get enough events, decent money and media exposure. I know that’s probably utopia though at least in the immediate future.
        Supposing your idea of a “younger players” tournament was adopted, Mink wouldn’t probably be in it. She’s 22. That’s still quite young, but not young enough. Yet I think that she should be in any event aimed at promoting the future of the game, because the future is not just a matter of how old players are, it’s also about showing commitment to diversity, and openess. She’s young, she’s a woman and she comes from a country where the game is loved but is in danger to fall behind by lack of resources.

      • Two divisions of professional snooker is no good. It would quickly become one division, with the ‘second division’ dissolving into an amateur tour, like Q Tour. You know that.

        Let’s imagine: we could have a ‘Thai Masters’, which included the 4 Thai players, plus a number of other top players, and not-so top players. Altogether, a 16-player invitational. Because of its WST backing, and ranking status, players would be interested in participating, sponsors and broadcasters would recognise it as an ‘official’ tournament. A decent addition to the calendar. Anyone not interested in going there, or failing the entry criterion (ranking not high enough), could instead enter a similar tournament in Liege, held the same week. Are you going to get 128 players going to Bangkok (or Liege) for qualification matches? No. That’s the problem with enforced rigid structures.

        Now, the point about ‘young professionals’ is that it has an objective entry criterion (unless someone fiddles their date of birth). With the current system in place, WST can’t have a committee choose which players can enter a ranked event. Even by WST standards, that wouldn’t be fair. The idea won’t solve all the problems, but it would make things a little bit better.

      • Re the two divisions, yes I know that, but ideally that’s what I would like to have if it was sustainable.
        Regarding your question about players willing to go places for “qualifying matches” … well that’s exactly how it is for everyone who isn’t British. They have to be in the UK, get residence/work permits and visas for the right to try to qualify for their home tournaments, be it held in China, Thailand, Germany, Belgium or any other place outside UK that would host a tournament. Indeed, currently, if not British, players have to expatriate because it’s all UK centric, actually England centric even, and that in turn makes it more difficult for the tour to become truly international and global. So yes, I would want that, and I’m sure it wouldn’t suit most of the British players but it would be much fairer to everyone else.
        I know that a global/inclusive rating system would solve a lot of those issues but it’s not gonna happen any time soon and you know it. Primarily because it would weaken WST supremacy and control over the sport.
        BTW, Liege is a very nice city, very lively and culturally active. It has accomodations for big events, is easily accessible by road and rail, is close to the German and Dutch borders and not that far away from France. It would be a good place for a big tournament.

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