Snookerbacker

March 28, 2015

China Open Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:35 am
Poor Ronnie isn't able to make it again.

Seems legit.

Monday sees the start of this season’s final stages of the China Open from Beijing. This is now a firmly established tournament in the calendar and guess what? IT’S NOT BEST OF 7’S!!!

What it is however is the final event of the season before all cues head to Sheffield, firstly for the qualifiers at Ponds Forge which begin just three days after this ends, in which time the draw will have to be done before heading to The Crucible for the main event which starts on 18th April.

This is also the event which will decide who will be heading to the qualifiers and who will be seeded straight through to The Crucible. As things currently stand the last place on the list would appear to be between Stephen Maguire and Michael White, unless someone lower down the list has a magical week and ends up winning this and other results go their way. To keep abreast of this list as China progresses there is no other place than this to visit.

One player who we won’t see until things get underway at snooker’s mecca is Ronnie O’Sullivan, who yesterday withdrew from this event for, errrrmmm, ‘health reasons’…..

Oddly, only a week ago when he was being interviewed by Jill after his defeat to Judd in Llandudno, I predicted that poor old Ron wouldn’t be playing here. Call it intuition if you will, or more accurately you could call it that I saw a massive smirk appear on his face when Jill said ‘and you have a trip to China coming up’. But he’s got a sick note from his doctor, who no doubt is a consummate professional in his chosen field and has had an excellent season and climbed the medical rankings.

Other than Ronnie, the only other member of the top 16 as they stand not to make the trip is Mark Allen, who no doubt wants to concentrate on getting himself sharp for The Crucible safe in the knowledge that his place there is safe, you can’t really blame him for that and perhaps it might give him an edge, though the gap between this ending and the start of the main event is long enough for this to not really matter too much to those who are making the trip and certain of their Crucible spot. No burnout excuses this year boys.

The draw for the China Open is here and the first two days schedule of play is detailed below. I’m refusing point blank again to give the wildcards a name, there’s no need for them to be there and I hope they all get walloped first round by their unlucky opponents.

Recommended Bets: 3 points on Mark Selby at 13/2. 1 point each way on Shaun Murphy at 12/1. 1 point each way on Stephen Maguire at 20/1.

Match Bets: 2 point acca on Alan McManus, Peter Ebdon, Jamie Jones and Mark King pays almost 9/1 at Bet 365. 2 points on Gerard Greene to beat Barry Hawkins at 3/1. 2 points on Kyren Wilson to beat Dark Mavis at 2/1. 1 point on Marcus Campbell to beat Ding at 4/1.   

Monday
2.30am
Gary Wilson v Liang Wenbo
Ricky Walden v Cao Yupeng
Kurt Maflin v Ali Carter
Zhou Yuelong v Wildcard
Alex Davies v Wildcard
Peter Lines v Wildcard

7am
Dechawat Poomjaeng v Neil Robertson
Barry Hawkins v Gerard Greene
Kyren Wilson v Dark Mavis
Alan McManus v Jack Lisowski
Jimmy Robertson v Dominic Dale
Robin Hull v Wildcard

12.30pm
Ding Junhui v Marcus Campbell
Andrew Higginson v Judd Trump
David Morris v Stephen Maguire
Peter Ebdon v Zhang Anda
Ryan Day v Liam Highfield
Fergal O’Brien v Mike Dunn

Tuesday
2.30am
John Higgins v Yu Delu
Marco Fu v Ashley Carty
Nigel Bond v Robert Milkins
Jamie Jones v Matthew Stevens
Anthony Hamilton v Zhou Yuelong/Wildcard
Joe Swail v Zack Surety

7am
Mark Joyce v Mark Selby
Stuart Bingham v Peter Lines/Wildcard
Joe Perry v David Gilbert
Ken Doherty v Michael White
Elliot Slessor v Matt Selt
Joe O’Connor v Michael Leslie

12.30pm
Robin Hull/Wildcard W/O Ronnie O’Sullivan
Jamie Cope v Shaun Murphy
Mark Williams v Alex Davies/Wildcard
Daniel Wells v Graeme Dott
Jamie Burnett v Mark King
Anthony McGill v Alfie Burden

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