Congratulations to Shaun Murphy who has gained a measure of revenge over John Higgins tonight for last week’s World final by defeating the Scotsman 6-2 to capture the inaugural World Series Grand Final out in Portugal…
Having both come through close matches to reach tonight’s final it looked like we were in for another close affair as they went into the mid-session interval level at 2-2. From there though Murphy managed to step up a gear as he made back to back centuries to move 4-2 in front before the next couple of frames were more scrappy affairs. John did have his chances in both but perhaps understandably was not at his best and Shaun managed to come through to take a 6-2 victory and a rather nice little glass trophy.
But while there was a trophy and a 50,000 euros first prize up for grabs, it was obvious from the body language of the two players that the result was not of paramount importance tonight. Indeed what the World Series is all about is bringing snooker to fans in mainland Europe and promoting the game overseas, an aim that has clearly been achieved this weekend as the crowd figures in Portugal have risen from single figures at times on Friday to over 200 (according to David Hendon’s Snooker Scene Blog), yesterday and 350 today. Also from what Dave (and commenters on his blog), have said it sounds like the promotion of the event over in Portgual has been good, perhaps something that the tournaments over here could learn from.
I did not manage to see as much as I would have liked but it is good to see a mix of the established players doing well, but also the likes of 14-year-old Belgian prodigy Luca Brecel looking totally at home against the big names and managing to make it all the way to the final. I’m sure that it will not be the last that we see of the European U19’s Champion and you can read some interesting quotes from Graeme Dott about him over at the World Series website here.
The only slightly negative comment that I would have on this weekend is perhaps the obvious one, that of the camera angle used by Eurosport to show the table. Personally as somebody so used to the ‘normal’ camera position, it meant that I found the tournament difficult to watch and hopefully it is something that can be resolved for the future.
Speaking of the future, we will not have long to wait for the start of the 2009/10 season as that gets underway next week in Killarney. For more information on the event, click here.