And Then There Were Four…

Two days to go at the 2013 Haikou World Open and we are down to the semi-finals, as four former ranking event winners will battle it out for the trophy this weekend. It has been a strange tournament, with flashing lights, rain, overzealous photographers and flies all interfering with play, but despite all of that, it promises to be an exciting climax to the event…

Read More

ITV4 To Broadcast Snooker’s World Open

ITV4 is to show full coverage of snooker’s Haikou World Open, which begins next Monday.

Extensive live coverage of the tournament in China begins on Monday 25 February, running from 6.10am to 3pm each day until the final on Sunday March 3. It marks a return to snooker for the ITV network, as the sport’s first ranking event shown since the 1993 British Open.

Read More

Carter Withdraws From Haikou World Open

Ahead of the start of the Haikou World Open this Monday, it has been announced that recent German Masters winner Ali Carter has been forced to withdraw from the tournament on medical grounds, related to his ongoing battle with Crohn’s disease.

Hopefully Ali will be fighting fit in the near future and in particular ahead of his next scheduled tournament, the PTC Grand Finals, where he is set to meet John Higgins at the last 32 stage.

Ali’s withdrawal means that over in Haikou, the winner of the wildcard round contest between Nigel Bond and Zhu Yinghui, will receive a bye to the last 16.

ITV Returns To Ranking Snooker

For those of you who may not have seen it earlier today, good news coming from Dave Hendon at Snooker Scene Blog, who has revealed that this year’s Haikou World Open will be broadcast by ITV, marking their their return to ranking event snooker for the first time in 20 years.

With the BBC down to just three professional tournaments these days, it is important that snooker maintains its presence on terrestrial television and this can only help in that regard. As someone who writes a blog, for all of the tournaments in existence these days, the increased amount of interest when one of the terrestrial events is ongoing is noticeable, and hopefully this news will boost the level of interest in the World Open, in the UK at least.

It is also pleasing to see that Clive Everton and Neal Foulds will be among those commentating, arguably the two best commentators around at the moment, while Peter Drury, who has been involved with snooker in the past for ITV, will also be on hand.

A lot of people have been reminiscing over ITV’s previous coverage of ranking events in recent times, though for me, I can only really remember their coverage of the Nations Cup towards the end of the 1990’s, as the ‘dream team’ of Scotland did battle against the other home nations.

Times have changed since those days, but it is good to have ITV back on board, hopefully this will lead to even bigger things going forward…