Round Two Underway at the Crucible Theatre
April 21, 2016 16:24
As I had mentioned in my previous post this week, a number of high ranked and notable players had already been eliminated from the World Snooker Championships at the first round stage.
Those included in this list were last years Champion Stuart Bingham, Shaun Murphy, Stephen Maguire and these were joined earlier by Martin Gould who lost 10-8 to Ding Junhui.
What I think is causing this, and other close finishes, is how close the qualifying event was to the main tournament this year. Those players like Ding and Ali Carter who had slipped outside of the top 16 are going to be even more dangerous after having had to go through 3 rounds of qualifying. Qualifying that is competitive and also over the longer distance.
There are two first round matches still to be completed as I write, Judd Trump is currently 8-7 against Liang Wenbo and Joe Perry trails 5-4 against Kyren Wilson in a match that will be completed in this evenings session.
The second round games have started this afternoon with an interesting match between Anthony McGill and Marco Fu. Marco is a dogged opponent and is tough to beat over the longer format. McGill on the other hand will be buoyed by his victory over Shaun Murphy in the first round so it really is a tough one to pick a winner from. That is though how it should be, each match should be tight as these are the best players in the world and with more tournaments and more competitive table time it is honing everyone's skills.
Tonight Ali Carter starts his second round match against Alan McManus. Carter is heavy favourite with the book makers after his first round victory but McManus will play some very decent match snooker to put Carter under pressure. If he is able to take any chances given to him then once again we could see an upset, although I personally think it unlikely.
The second round matches are now best of 25 don't forget so this adds an extra session to the proceedings.