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Welsh Open 2013 - Discussion

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  • Welsh Open 2013 - Discussion

    So, the Welsh Open is about to start...

    I guess it's fair to say that the Welsh Open is not among my favourite tournaments these days. It's the only major event to feature the underwhelming best-of-7s in the early rounds, which somewhat takes away that feeling of prestige the other ranking events share. It was supposedly introduced to get all matches on TV, a plan that looks even more stupid now when top16 players like Ali Carter lost in the qualifiers, and matches like Greene-Baird or Higginson-Wasley get on TV.

    Like Germany, the draw here is a bit of a mess...

    Quarter 1:

    Ding J./D.Poomjaeng v. Mark King
    Mark Allen v. Marco Fu
    Gerrard Greene v. Sam Baird
    M.Williams/Liu C. v. Robert Milkins

    The first part of the draw is probably the strongest, with four players who could potentially go through. Allen against Fu is the match of the round for me. They played at the UK Championship, where Fu prevailed 6-3, so Allen has a score to settle. Fu has been surprisingly strong this season, already two good runs in ranking events, which is more than Allen has had. I wouldn't be surprised if Fu played a bad tournament here, following his German Masters final, but I would be surprised if Allen's season continues without a major run. Ding Junhui could have hoped for a kinder draw as the first seed, as King is very good at taking out out-of-form seeds such as Ding. I'm sure the likes of Maguire and Williams know all about that. Well, I say out of form, but Ding actually played alright in the last two events, where it took good stuff from Robertson and Selby to take him out. It could be Allen against Ding in the 2nd round, and anything could happen in a short match...

    I'm not sure what to say about Williams at this point... He has a favourable draw again, but he seems to go out against the first player who plays decently against him, which could well be Liu Chuang here. Milkins also has a lot of experience at this level, so he will be looking to do a "Holt" and take advantage of Williams' poor form here. Gerrard Greene could also be dangerous, having knocked Carter out in the previous round, but his last notable performance is now more than five years ago. It really should be Williams, shouldn't it?

    Quarter 2:

    Neil Robertson v. Ian Burns
    Stuart Bingham v. Craig Steadman
    Ricky Walden v. Tom Ford
    J.Higgins/G.Allen v. Ken Doherty

    Robertson and Bingham find themselves next to each other in the draw again. They didn't meet in Germany, as Bingham got knocked out, but it looks very likely they will meet here. Robertson has been one of the most consistent players in this part of the season, along with Selby and Murphy perhaps, so at this point I fancy him to reach the business end of any tournament. On the other hand, Bingham looks less dangerous than a couple of months ago, and seems set to follow last season's pattern when his form dropped after the new year. He has a very good record in best-of-7s over the last couple of seasons, so maybe that could inspire him, but then again, so does Robertson.

    Walden and Higgins were also in the same part of the draw in Germany, but both got knocked out early. In fact, Higgins should have played Doherty in the last32. Somehow I can't see him losing to Gareth Allen, even if it is just best-of-7, but Doherty has the class and experience to take advantage if Higgins continues with his underwhelming performances. Doherty was certainly a bit of a bogey player for him a couple of seasons ago, but of course they were much closer in the rankings at that time. Ricky Walden is another player who has disappointed recently, going out early in the last three major events. He has also had a couple of big wins over Higgins in the past, so he is first in line to take advantage if Higgins is out of sorts. But having won this event in 2010 and 2011, Higgins clearly likes playing here, so I expect him to be up for it.

    Quarter 3:

    J.Trump/M.Dunn v. D.Dale/D.Wells
    Andrew Higginson v. Michael Wasley
    Graeme Dott v. Fergal O'Brien
    Shaun Murphy v. Pankaj Advani

    Trump is a similar story to Williams, it's about time he reaches the business end again, but his draw isn't as easy as Williams'. Well, it's not all that hard either. It should be Trump against Dale in the last32, in another round of the rivalry that started a couple of seasons ago. They met a couple of times in the longer matches, but a best-of-7 is a great chance for Dale to get the scalp. Higginson could also benefit from being in this part of the draw, especially as Mark Davis once again failed to get through in this format. He is of course a former finalist of this event, back in 2007, and he played alright in Germany as well, taking out Stuart Bingham, before losing to Robertson in the 2nd round. Having said all that, I have confidence in Trump to turn it around, although I'm sure he would prefer a longer tournament. Anything could happen here.

    Murphy and Dott should contest for the other QF spot here. Both are in pretty good form at the moment. Murphy hasn't missed the business end of a major tournament for a while now, while Dott's form is as good as it's been over the last two seasons or so. They've met on a couple of occasions recently, Murphy winning both times, at the UK Championship as well as the recent German Masters. I think he has to be the favourite to go through again.

    Quarter 4:

    Stephen Maguire v. Anthony Hamilton
    R.Day/Liang W. v. M.Stevens/A.Burden
    Barry Hawkins v. Alan McManus
    M.Selby/S.Davis v. Joe Perry

    A pretty strong quarter to conclude with, especially if we overlook the fact Maguire has been dreadful recently. He was whitewashed by Mark King in Germany, while Hamilton managed to beat Trump, so it's hard to say who the favourite is. These two once played in the QF of the WC, but that's going way back. In February 2013 we are likely to see a tough battle with little fireworks. Matthew Stevens isn't likely to produce fireworks either, but he is probably the most solid player in this part of the draw. He was awful at the Masters, but played alright to reach the QF in Germany. Ryan Day is another decent hope for the home crowd here. He proved he was still capable of playing some decent snooker at the UK, where he beat Ding Junhui in a big match for the second time in 2012. I wouldn't be surprised if Stevens and Day both played well here, like they did two years ago. Liang Wenbo doesn't look like a particularly good bet at the moment, but he's had big wins over Day and Stevens in the past, so I wouldn't rule him out. In any case, it's Maguire's performance that's the key in this part of the draw. If he plays his best, nobody is really safe.

    The last part of the draw is occupied by some of the more methodical players here. Mark Selby finally lost in Germany, after two major titles at the UK and the Masters. Not unexpected really, you can't keep your best form forever. I think he is solid enough to win his first two matches here, no matter how tired or jaded he is. But Barry Hawkins could be a problem again. He played very well in Germany, only losing to a very good Marco Fu, and he's had two big wins over Selby in the last year, so he isn't afraid of him. I think we might see him at the business end again.

    Possible QF lineup:

    Ding Junhui v. Mark Williams
    Neil Robertson v. John Higgins
    Judd Trump v. Shaun Murphy
    Stephen Maguire v. Barry Hawkins


    My quarter-final lineup looks brilliant, but I'm sure we'll get quite a few surprises along the way. Should be a decent week.

  • #2
    Hi Odrl,

    Thanks for a great startpost as always. I'm looking forward to this tournament. As you say it's a shame about the shorter form matches in the earlier rounds, but still should be very enjoyable. Of course I will be taping everything during the afternoon, to watch when I get back home from work later on

    Comment


    • #3
      Am I the only one watching this morning?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by simplysnookeryt View Post
        Am I the only one watching this morning?
        Nope.

        I've decided to watch the Day-Liang match this morning. Liang has had a bunch of chances in the first two frames, but the scoring has been very fragmented. First real chance for Day now...

        Comment


        • #5
          I've got the other game on, Ding had 2 breaks of 107 but Poomjaeng won the last frame.

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          • #6
            That was quick, Liang wins the last three frames all in one visit. This was the best scoring from him in quite a while. Might be dangerous after all.

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            • #7
              First time I think I've seen Poomjaeng play and he's just cleared up well to pull one back at 3-2. Not the stroll in the park I thought it would be when Ding went 2-0 up.

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              • #8
                Just made it home to see the end of the first match.

                As ever zero coverage on the bbc for this event, maybe they'll show a frame or two at the weekend.

                Clicked on live scores to see the state of play and what a mess their new layout it. I liked the new front page last week which showed different events very clearly but now when you click on a game all you get is one extra text line on the same page, it used to open a new page with a lot more detail. I hope it goes back pretty soon.

                Oh well it's the streams for me this week. Hope Allen is still in form and plays well this week.

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                • #9
                  Welcome to Zooport snooker fans around the world...








                  Last edited by cally; 11th February 2013, 02:10 PM.

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                  • #10
                    where can you watch it online please.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by neelix1963 View Post
                      where can you watch it online please.

                      www.frombar.tv

                      I watch streams from this site when no live Tv coverage is availible

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                      • #12
                        Bbc2 wales if you got sky u can view it no problem from any place in uk

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                        • #13
                          What a start by the world N1, 144!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Odrl View Post
                            It really should be Williams, shouldn't it?
                            Promising start.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Looki View Post
                              Promising start.
                              Yeah, better than usual, but Milkins will be the real test.

                              Nice win for Selby as well, all the winners have gone through with some decent snooker so far.

                              On another note, I wish I could find humour in ridiculous tables, the way the commentators do, but it just ruins the match for me. Mark Selby missed that red along the cushion by a mile. Davis should have had the balls for 3-1, but he was robbed of the chance.

                              Comment

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