2018-19 World Snooker Tour Underway From Today
The 2018-19 World Snooker Tour season finally got underway today with the early round matches in the Riga Kaspersky Masters.
This is the first ranking event of the new season and actually has a lot of the top names and recognised players missing from the draw. There is no O'Sullivan, Higgins or Selby.
Shaun Murphy is already through to round 2 as I type this article and the other top seeds due to play later include Mark Williams, Neil Robertson, Kyren Wilson, Anthony McGill, Marco Fu and Luca Brecel.
Defending Champion Ryan Day is also in action and will play Ali Carter in the first round after gaining a walk over in his prelim match.
Held over to venue
Four matches form the qualifiers were held over to the venue with both Graeme Dott and Jimmy White coming through as 4-0 victors against local Latvian players.
The other two matches though both had a walk over as for whatever reason both Jamie Cope and Rhys Clark did not attend their respective matches. These were against Ryan Day and World Champion Mark Williams.
There were also a couple of walk overs in the first round as well as Sam Craigie and Yan Bingtao have both not attended matches.
Walk overs are a bonus to the player that goes through but are very frustrating when there are top up players that could have filled the draw.
I have been terrible at predictions in the past but I am going to have a go. The more modern flat draw system really does open it up and in my opinion really allows the better players to shine through.
In Riga the early round matches are all a best of 7 which is a short match so can sometimes be a bit of a lottery.
Looking at the top half of the draw and where he sits within it I think Shaun Murphy has a very good chance of lifting the trophy on Sunday.
You can view the full draw here.