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  • World Open 2016 - Discussion

    So, the World Open starts tomorrow...

    Unfortunately it is one of the rare proper tournaments on the calendar this season. The people in charge have "successfully" replaced the best-of-9 format in ranking events with their beloved best-of-7s, so most of the season is now short-format crap, with even non-snooker tournaments such as the Shoot-Out counting towards the rankings. The distinction between the former PTC series and the major ranking events has now been erased, which means that players who win best-of-7 events are now considered by most people to have won a proper ranking event, and I think that's a travesty. I have spent more than nine years on this forum protesting against the shortening of events and the dumbing down of snooker, but it looks like that battle is well and truly lost now.

    I would like to think most of my posts on this forum, especially the longer ones, have been inspired by my love of snooker and my fascination with the game, so I tried to stay away during the first two "ranking events", because there just wouldn't be any point in me spreading around my negativity and trying to discredit the players' achievements like some sort of lunatic. If I don't like it, I don't have to watch it, and I will try to stick to that policy throughout the season. This tournament, however, is a good old ranking event, with matches of medium length and a world-class field, so it deserves a few words.

    Let's have a look through the draw then...

    Quarter 1:

    Shaun Murphy/Sanderson Lam v. Cao Yupeng
    Jimmy Robertson v. Wang Yuchen
    Stephen Maguire v. Xiao Guodong
    Michael White v. Kurt Maflin

    An interesting section to start with. Shaun Murphy is the top seed here, as he was the winner of the previous event called the World Open, held back in 2014. That was the first time Murphy won a major ranking event in China, and so far the only time. He will be looking for a better start to the season than last year, when he went something like 10 months without reaching a major quarter-final, before salvaging something from the season by winning the World Grand Prix. The signs are better for Murphy this time, with a run to the semi-finals of the Indian Open a few weeks ago. His toughest opponents in this section should be Michael White and Stephen Maguire. White has done very little in the build-up to this tournament. Last season was decent for him, but it ended on a very low note, with 1st round exits in the China Open and the World Championship, so he will be looking for better here and perhaps try to establish himself as a strong top16 player. Maguire worked hard to get into the top16 ahead of the World Championship last season, but then lost in the 1st round at the Crucible for the fourth year in a row. He hasn't really been a strong title contender in recent times, but he still reaches the business end of major events from time to time, and it's worth noting that some of his best results have been in tournaments outside of the UK, including the semi-finals of the China Open last season. He was also a quarter-finalist in the recent Indian Open. Of the Chinese players, Xiao Guodong is perhaps the most dangerous. On the verge of the top16 not that long ago, he has now dropped down the rankings quite dramatically after a horrendous last season. He has made a decent start to this season though, with a run to the quarter-finals of the short-format Riga Masters. Cao Yupeng is a familiar name as well, but unfortunately he has had no decent results to mention recently. Kurt Maflin is also worth mentioning, a semi-finalist of the China Open in 2015.

    Mark Davis v. Tom Ford
    Joe Perry v. Jamie Burnett
    Ben Woollaston v. Gary Wilson
    Ding Junhui/Michael Georgiou v. Robin Hull

    Probably not the strongest section, but it does have a couple of players who could go far in this tournament. Ding Junhui is the biggest name, a player whose major title drought has lasted for more than two years now, since the 2014 China Open. He dropped out of the top16 towards the end of last season, which meant he had to qualify for the Crucible, but he did so very convincingly and of course went on to reach the World final. Qualifying has been his biggest problem in recent times, while his performances at venues have actually been quite strong since the second half of last season. He hasn't played any snooker this season at all, so his form ahead of this week is a bit of a mystery. Joe Perry is his biggest threat in this section, comfortably in the top16 these days, after a series of really strong seasons. Like White though, he ended last season on a low note with two 1st round exits, and he has done nothing so far this season. He has won a few short-format events in recent times, including the PTC Finals which carried huge prize money, but he is still waiting for his first traditional ranking title, having come very close in Wuxi two years ago, losing 10-9 to Robertson in the final. Mark Davis has had success in China in the past as well, particularly in Shanghai and Wuxi, and he will certainly be looking to improve on what was a fairly mediocre last season for him. His record against Perry is quite poor, and both of them have struggled against Ding in the past. But of course there are other dangerous players in this section. Gary Wilson was a finalist in the China Open in 2015, but unfortunately failed to produce anything remotely similar last season. Ben Woollaston is perhaps an even bigger danger, but losing in the qualifying of both minor events at the start of this season is perhaps not the best sign for him...

    Quarter 2:

    Neil Robertson v. Ian Burns
    Luca Brecel v. Thor Chuan Leong
    Barry Hawkins v. Robbie Williams
    Ryan Day v. Allan Taylor

    It's difficult to see any big surprises in this section, it really should be one of the four "seeds" that goes through. Neil Robertson is obviously the man to beat here. Looking back to last season, he was one of its best performers, winning the UK Championship and the Champion of Champions, but it's interesting to note that he didn't win a single match since the Welsh Open in February. It looks like that run of poor form is behind him now, as he started this season strongly by winning the Riga Masters. He actually won all of his matches in Riga very comfortably, which is not easy to do in the short format. He also won the Wuxi Classic twice in recent years when it was the season opener, so he clearly likes playing snooker in the summer. Barry Hawkins is the opposite case, he started the last two seasons very poorly and only found some form towards the end of them. In fact, he has reached the business end of the World Championship for four years in a row now, which is something no one else has done in this period. As for playing in China, Hawkins is one of the best players to have never won a major event in China, although he does have a couple of semi-finals here. If he were to meet Robertson in the last16 here, it would be their first meeting since the quarter-finals of the 2015 World Championship, when Hawkins won 13-12 in an extremely high-quality match. Also here is Luca Brecel, a finalist in the German Masters last season, but unfortunately that run has so far failed to inspire any consistency in him, so he remains an outside bet at best. He also doesn't have a good record in China, having lost in the 1st round in the vast majority of his appearances here. Ryan Day, on the other hand, is an excellent traveller and always a danger in these events. The draw is quite favourable for him here, so I won't be surprised if he reaches the business end.

    David Gilbert v. Rod Lawler
    Zhou Yuelong v. Hammad Miah/Huang Jiahao
    Peter Ebdon v. Zhang Anda/Hu Hao
    Judd Trump v. Yu Delu

    A slightly weaker section of the draw, where Judd Trump stands out as the big favourite. He has won four of his five major ranking titles outside of the UK, three of them in China, and he has also had success in Australia and Germany in the past, so he is clearly a pretty good traveller. He reached the final of the Shanghai Masters and won the China Open last season, so you could say that he plays his best snooker in China. He has been a fairly consistent presence at the top of the game since his breakthrough in 2011, but so far he hasn't really put together the kind of winning streaks some people were predicting. Can he raise his game this season? A decent start for him in Riga, a run to the quarter-finals, where he lost to the eventual winner Robertson. David Gilbert is probably his biggest obstacle here, a surprising finalist in the International Championship last season. That was Gilbert's first run to the business end of any major event, so it would have been a little optimistic to suddenly expect a series of great results from him. He did get to the last16 of the China Open later in the season though, and perhaps this could be another good week for him. Peter Ebdon is not as dangerous as he once was, but he had a decent run to the quarter-finals in India recently, so his form can't be too bad at the moment. Unfortunately it's a couple of years since his last quarter-final in the major events though. It's interesting, Trump and Ebdon have already played each other in five major matches in China in the past, Trump winning three of them, and there could be a sixth here. For some reason Ebdon always seems to play either Trump or Robertson in China. As for the Chinese players, Zhang Anda and Yu Delu have never reached the quarter-finals of any major event, even though they have been on the tour for a long time now, but this is the kind of section where we could see a surprise or two. Zhou Yuelong is perhaps the most dangerous of the Chinese players, a very promising player who doesn't seem to be struggling in the qualifiers as much as some of his compatriots. This will be his third appearance at a venue this season, and he should be the favourite in his opening match at least.

    Quarter 3:

    Stuart Bingham v. Stuart Carrington
    Allister Carter v. Mike Dunn
    Kyren Wilson v. Zhang Yong
    Daniel Wells v. James Wattana/Xu Si

    Another section where there shouldn't be any surprises. Three players clearly stand out. Stuart Bingham goes into this season without the pressure of being the World champion, although I thought he handled that pressure fairly well last season, even though he failed to win any titles. He reached the last16 of both minor events prior to this week, so it looks like he is in decent form for the start of the season. He was the most successful player of the Asian PTC series in the past, winning four Chinese PTC titles, and of course he added the 2014 Shanghai Masters as well. Ali Carter is himself a former Shanghai Masters champion, but he hasn't travelled to China all that often in recent times and certainly hasn't had any great success. He is seeded to play Bingham in the 2nd round here, having knocked him out of the World Championship in the 1st round last season, in a dramatic 10-9 finish. Carter generally has a good record over Bingham, but there is no doubt that Bingham is the better player at this point in time, so it could be a difficult match for Carter. The other main contender in this section is Kyren Wilson, yet another Shanghai Masters champion, the reigning one in fact. Wilson had a great breakthrough last season, not only winning his first major ranking title, but also adding a run to the semi-finals of the German Masters and ending the season with a very solid performance at the Crucible. It definitely looks like he is here to stay as a top player, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if he won the title this week, especially as he has already shown good form this season by reaching the final of the Indian Open a few weeks ago. As for any potential surprises in this section, they are difficult to call... Perhaps the veteran Mike Dunn, a semi-finalist in the China Open two years ago?

    Graeme Dott v. Duane Jones
    Mark Williams v. Andrew Higginson
    Michael Holt v. Fergal O'Brien
    John Higgins v. Oliver Lines

    One of the most intriguing sections of the draw. John Higgins is the highest seed, having climbed back up the rankings after his great resurgence in the past 18 months. He played some excellent snooker last season, winning two major titles, including the International Championship in China. Losing to McManus in the quarter-finals of the World Championship must have been disappointing for him, just as it was starting to look like he had a great chance of winning his fifth World title. He just didn't have that final push in him, and that happens to players of Higgins' age quite often. Mark Williams certainly knows all about that, as he has been the king of poor defeats at the wrong time in recent years. He too reached the quarter-finals at the Crucible, a rare good result for him last season, but a run to the semi-finals in Riga last month is a good sign for the season ahead. Williams' record in China is not in question, so he should be a danger here, as long as he doesn't put in one of his frustratingly poor performances again. Graeme Dott is another interesting performer in China, having reached eight major quarter-finals here since his "comeback" in 2010, which is a lot more impressive than his record in the UK events in this period. If you add a couple of good results in the German Masters as well, including a run to the semi-finals last season, it seems that Dott enjoys playing snooker abroad these days. A possible 2nd round meeting with Williams is in store for him here, a repeat of their match at the Crucible a few months ago, a match Williams won comfortably. Michael Holt could also be a major player in this section, having reached the final of the Riga Masters last month, beating a couple of strong players on his way. He lost to Robertson in the end, the opponent he beat in the 1st round at the Crucible last season. Looking past the short-format stuff, Holt's best result in a major event is a semi-final in the 2013 Shanghai Masters, so I'm sure he is another player who doesn't particularly mind travelling to China. His main problem in this section is Higgins though, he lost to him in Daqing last season, and he generally struggles against him. I'm looking forward to the last16 match in this section, could be some old rivals meeting again... I don't think any of the "non-seeds" will spoil the party here, but Oliver Lines is perhaps worth keeeping an eye on, a very promising player who reached the last16 in India, beating Dott on his way.

    Quarter 4:

    Ricky Walden v. David Grace
    Anthony McGill v. Lee Walker
    Marco Fu v. Sam Craigie
    Matthew Selt v. Matthew Stevens/Liu Yiqi

    No really big stars in this section, but it's probably still one of the strongest sections of the draw. Ricky Walden is the highest seed, a winner of three major ranking titles in China in the past. He reached a couple of finals at the end of last season, but before that things were going horribly for him, with a prolonged run of bad form and poor results. Hopefully he can play himself into form a little earlier this season. He is an unpredictable player who could easily go out in the 1st round here, but it wouldn't be a surprise if he won the title either. He is seeded to play Anthony McGill in the last32 here, and that's a really tough draw for him. McGill too had a disappointing last season, but showed some good form at the Crucible, beating Murphy in the opening round. He has started this season much better, with runs to the quarter-finals in Riga and all the way to the title in India, where he beat some strong opponents. As I said earlier, the term "ranking title" has pretty much lost its meaning now, with various short-format and circus events counting towards the rankings, so I won't give McGill any more credit than I give to players who have won PTC events in the past, but it's still a decent title, and perhaps the start of a major breakthrough for him. Marco Fu is always dangerous as well, although last season was slightly less consistent for him than the previous couple. His best results came in the longer events, runs to the quarter-finals of the International and the UK Championship, and of course the run to the semi-finals at the Crucible, where he pushed Selby almost all the way. Matthew Selt also reached two major quarter-finals last season, but unfortunately his beloved Australian Open has been taken off the calendar this season, so he will have to find another event to play his best snooker in. Could it be this one? Also in this section are David Grace, a very surprising semi-finalist in the UK Championship last season, and Matthew Stevens, who unfortunately hasn't done anything of note in the game in over two years. Fu enjoys a good record over most of his opposition in this section, particularly Stevens, whom he beat in their last four matches, and he also had a good win over McGill in a three-session match at the Crucible last season.

    Alan McManus v. Jamie Cope
    Liang Wenbo/Chris Wakelin v. James Cahill
    Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v. Mark King
    Mark Selby/Jimmy White v. Alfie Burden

    And another interesting section to conclude with... Mark Selby is the big name here, the reigning World champion and world number one. The World title was actually the only major title he won last season, but I'm sure he considers that more than satisfactory, especially since he wasn't among the really big favourites at the Crucible on this occasion. He is not really known as a China specialist, but he has won major titles here before, so he should be one of the men to beat. The only problem could be a slight lack of motivation that inevitably comes after a big success, and we know he had a slow start to the season in 2014 as well, following his first World title. Who could potentially take advantage if Selby is out of sorts? Liang Wenbo for a start, playing some of his best snooker again, at the age of 29 now, and looking like he has finally matured as a player and as a person (although the jury is still out on the latter ). Liang was a finalist in the UK Championship last season, and I'm sure he will be looking to finally win his first major ranking title now. I'm not sure what kind of form he is in though, because he hasn't actually played any snooker this season. Thepchaiya Un-Nooh also had a minor breakthrough last season, his best result coming in the International Championship where he reached the semi-finals, but unfortunately he seems to be a very inconsistent player. What about Alan McManus? I think I said his resurgence was coming to an end a couple of times towards the end of last season, only to be proved wrong in a big way. His run to the semi-finals at the Crucible was superb, and his match against Ding was one of the best semi-finals I can remember at the Crucible. I'm not sure whether he can produce that kind of snooker again though, at least not with any great consistency. It's a tough opening match for him against Jamie Cope here. Normally I wouldn't even bother mentioning Cope anymore, but he beat McManus 4-2 in the qualifiers for Riga recently, and won the other three matches against him in the past as well. And finally, Mark King showed he too can still play a bit when he reached the quarter-finals in Beijing a few months ago.

    Possible QF line-up:

    Shaun Murphy v. Ding Junhui
    Neil Robertson v. Judd Trump
    Stuart Bingham v. John Higgins
    Ricky Walden v. Mark Selby


    There we are, it should be a high-quality line-up at the business end, whatever happens. The only notable players missing are Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Allen and Martin Gould, which is pretty impressive, considering one round has already been played. I know the Chinese events don't usually generate much discussion on this forum, mainly due to the time zone, but hopefully a few of us will be watching. I wish a good snooker week to anyone who does.

  • #2
    Did you just type all that?
    If so - That's gotta be longest internet post EVA!
    ---
    Seriously, thank you for the info and enlightened view point!
    "I got injected with the passion for snooker" - SQ_FLYER
    National Snooker Expo
    25-27 October 2019
    http://nationalsnookerexpo.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Odrl View Post
      So, the World Open starts tomorrow...

      .......

      I know the Chinese events don't usually generate much discussion on this forum, mainly due to the time zone, but hopefully a few of us will be watching. I wish a good snooker week to anyone who does.
      Odrl you are plain scary mate...how long did it take you to type that all up! Thank you for the proper start to any tournament, as usual.

      I plan on watching some. Will tape everything and see what's what in the evening when I get back home from work...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by daffie View Post
        Odrl you are plain scary mate...how long did it take you to type that all up!
        Not that long actually, just short of nine hours. But that's about 10 minutes of typing every hour, and 50 minutes of doing other stuff. The attention span is a bit weak these days...

        Comment


        • #5
          I know the feeling very well...being in the twilight of my life...

          Comment


          • #6
            its started and I cant watch anybody know how or where. Computer stream only please...
            I try hard, play hard and dont always succeed, at first.!!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sharkster63 View Post
              its started and I cant watch anybody know how or where. Computer stream only please...
              PM sent...
              Up the TSF!

              Comment


              • #8
                Any live streams for this event please
                Ronnie O' Sullivan seven times the record breaking Snooker Master

                Comment


                • #9
                  pm sent.....
                  Up the TSF!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Mark Selby beats Jimmy White 5-1, Mobile phone went off really loudly in the crowd while Jimmy was down on the brown for a possible 4-2 scoreline and Selby went on to win the match after Jimmy missed the brown.
                    Ronnie O' Sullivan seven times the record breaking Snooker Master

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Why has Jamie Burnett not travelled .
                      Neil

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by neil taperell View Post
                        Why has Jamie Burnett not travelled .
                        not seen any explanation anywhere yet.

                        looking forward to the match later, Ding vs Georgiou - going to have to record it as need to be in the office
                        Up the TSF!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Tom Ford beats Mark Davis from 4-0 down to reach the last 16 and will now play Joe Perry who got a walkover against Jamie Burnett, Mark Davis will be gutted at that result I reckon
                          Last edited by Mr Snooker; 25th July 2016, 11:37 AM.
                          Ronnie O' Sullivan seven times the record breaking Snooker Master

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Is there a live feed to watch?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Odrl View Post
                              So, the World Open starts tomorrow...

                              Unfortunately it is one of the rare proper tournaments on the calendar this season. The people in charge have "successfully" replaced the best-of-9 format in ranking events with their beloved best-of-7s, so most of the season is now short-format crap, with even non-snooker tournaments such as the Shoot-Out counting towards the rankings. The distinction between the former PTC series and the major ranking events has now been erased, which means that players who win best-of-7 events are now considered by most people to have won a proper ranking event, and I think that's a travesty. I have spent more than nine years on this forum protesting against the shortening of events and the dumbing down of snooker, but it looks like that battle is well and truly lost now.
                              1
                              I would like to think most of my posts on this forum, especially the longer ones, have been inspired by my love of snooker and my fascination with the game, so I tried to stay away during the first two "ranking events", because there just wouldn't be any point in me spreading around my negativity and trying to discredit the players' achievements like some sort of lunatic. If I don't like it, I don't have to watch it, and I will try to stick to that policy throughout the season. This tournament, however, is a good old ranking event, with matches of medium length and a world-class field, so it deserves a few words.
                              Amen to that mate! At least one thing hasn't changed yet, you great previews, cheers!

                              Comment

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