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Ssb - going dutch

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  • Ssb - going dutch

    The second European Tour event of the season marks a return for snooker to the Netherlands. It’s only taken 22 years.

    The only other Dutch event to carry ranking points was the 1991 European Open, in which Tony Jones beat Mark Johnston-Allen 9-7 in the final. This was one of three events in which Johnston-Allen beat Stephen Hendry (5-0 at that).

    It was played in Rotterdam, as this weekend’s tournament will be. The official poster included a shot of Jan Verhaas, a referee but also a Dutch legend, more recognisable than many of the players.

    There have been a few withdrawals: Ali Carter is undergoing treatment for testicular cancer. Jimmy White has had an operation on his foot. Neil Robertson, I assume, has remained in Australia to spend time with his family. Barry Hawkins is ill.

    Among the big names vying for the title are Judd Trump, Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy, John Higgins, Mark Williams and Stephen Maguire.

    For players lower down the list the tournament represents another chance to gain prize money, ranking points and build confidence.

    The level of interest locally remains to be seen. Snooker is not necessarily a sport that is going to flourish in Europe in the middle of July when there are so many other competing attractions.

    However, the Dutch snooker community have been waiting a long time for the game to return and for those who love the game this is a great chance to see it up close.

    Eurosport’s coverage starts on Eurosport2 at 8.30am UK time.