Belgian Open 2008: Last 48 Draw

Following the Saturday morning matches, the situation is now as follows:

Last 48 Draw from CueSport TV:

* S. Mazrocis v G. Kopec (winner plays S. Maguire)
* S. Lemmes v J. Van Roy (winner plays M. Stevens)
* A. Higginson v J. Cope (Winner plays K. Doherty)
* C. Henry v M. Holt (Winner plays J. Perry)
* L. Munstermann v J. Vanden Bossche (Winner plays G. Dott)
* Y. Van Velthoven v G. Greene (Winner plays S. Bingham)
* D. Dale v T. De Witte (Winner plays M. Williams)
* K. Khavaran v M. Dierens (Winner plays Shaun Murphy)
* P. Geysels v S. De Sterck (Winner plays M. Selby)
* D. Lathouwers v D Harold (Winner plays B. Hawkins)
* K. Van Hove-Speltincx v M. Geudens (Winner plays Mark Davis)
* J. D’Hondt v N. Vanhee (Winner plays M. King)
* A. Vandersteen v G. Hendrickx (Winner plays N. Robertson)
* P. Raes v R. Walden (Winner plays Bjorn Haneveer)
* T. Ford v L. Brecel (Winner plays J. Michie)
* J. Grauls v A. Van Loocke (Winner plays R. Day)

Belgian Open 2008: Day One Results

Thanks to DerMoment1608 over at The Snooker Forum, I now have access to the results and high breaks from yesterday’s action in Belgium. To view them, please click here to visit the Snookermania forums.

As far as big breaks go, the highlights of the day were Neil Robertson’s excellent 142 break in the afternoon as well as Mark Selby’s attempt at a maximum earlier in the day.

The big result however was the victory of local player Jurgen Van Roy against 1991 World Champion John Parrott in what was the upset of the day. Although Parrott is not ranked as highly as he once used to be, Jurgen must have been delighted to have won the match 2-1 and give the Belgian supporters something to celebrate.

Today the final matches will be played and the places in the next round confirmed so check back later to see how things have finished up.

Belgian Open 2008: Draw and playing times

So today marks the start of the Belgian Open 2008 and here is a link to the draw for the tournament. Note that the top two from each group will progress to the last 32 stage which will begin tomorrow.

Also available for the tournament is a list of playing times for each of the players involved in the group stage. To view that please click here.

And once again to learn about how to watch the event online, please click here for my previous post on the tournament.

I imagine that the Global Snooker Centre will be the first place to provide live scores so keep checking back there to see what is going on. The most interesting story from the first morning appears that Mark Selby was close to a maximum break early on in his first match, what a start to the event that would have been!

Since that point, Neil Robertson has knocked in a 142 to make what I believe to be the highest break of the day so far.

Having trouble finding the full results and latest tables so it’s probably best to keep an eye on GSC for now…

Davis goes back to basics

Steve Davis may have six world titles and countless other tournament victories on his CV but he still hasn’t given up trying to improve his game according to the Eurosport website.

He is quoted as saying:

“I noticed I wasn’t striking the ball in the centre,” Davis said. “I was favouring cueing on one side and it was affecting my alignment.

“It’s all weird. All the shots seem different. I didn’t expect results overnight. I expected to struggle and miss the balls by miles but actually I didn’t pot too badly.

“I was trying to play quite basically so any win is a good win. I’m not going to criticise myself. I got through.”

For a man starting what I believe to be his 30th season as a professional to come out and indicate that he is working on his game in such a fundamental way is remarkable really, particularly given what he has achieved in the game. Having slipped out of the top 16 again at the age of 51 and with a full-time career as an analyst with the BBC waiting for him, some might have expected Davis to slip quietly into the background and concentrate on other activities now.

That would be to underestimate Steve’s love of the competition, or perhaps more to the point the game of snooker full stop however. Anyone who has remained at the top of the game for as long as he has won’t want to go down without a fight and it is good to see that he is still seeking to improve his level even now.

Make no mistake, he may have tried to downplay his win against Gerard Greene in the Shanghai Masters qualifiers but Greene is a very dangerous player to face at that stage and any kind of win for Steve was always going to be a good one. His reward in Shanghai will be a tie with Dominic Dale in the last 32 in what could be a close match. Dale, who is entering the event as defending champion, is in good form having pushed Mark Allen all the way in Northern Ireland and will fancy his of chances of making it to the last 16 again. One thing that is certain however is that Davis will do his utmost to stop that from happening.

Roewe Shanghai Masters Qualifying – Day Four (updated)

Today marked the final day of the Shanghai Masters Qualifiers and other than the match involving Liang Wenbo and Atthasit Mahitthi which has been held over until the venue, all of the matches have now been completed. Click here for the full draw.

Afternoon Matches

Day to remember for legends

With 14 world championship finals and six world titles between them both Steve Davis and Jimmy White are undoubtedly snooker legends, but success in recent years has been somewhat harder to achieve. Today however, both showed that they still have the talent and they still have to hunger for the game by winning their final qualifying matches this week and qualifying for the TV stages of the Roewe Shanghai Masters later this month.

First to win was Jimmy White who recorded a stunning 5-1 win over 1997 world champion Ken Doherty. Again as in many of his matches this season White’s performance wasn’t one full of high breaks, but his determination and ability to fight this week was enough to beat an opponent playing his first ever match at Prestatyn. With the venue being as small and as intimate as it is, Ken can be forgiven for being a bit lost away from the TV venues that he has become accustomed to, but he will nevertheless be disappointed with this latest setback. Hopefully he will be back though, Ken is one of the nicest guys on the tour and is still classy enough to fight with the best.

White was then joined in the TV stages by six times world champion Steve Davis who recorded a very impressive 5-3 win over the dangerous Gerard Greene. Greene on the back of a good win yesterday against Steve’s namesake Mark was always going to be a tough but to crack but breaks of 64, 50 and 54 were enough to see him home. Davis will meet defending champion Dominic Dale in Shanghai in what is bound to be another close match.

Fellow veterans follow suit

Northern Ireland Trophy finalist Dave Harold kept up his brilliant form today with an excellent 5-1 win over Rod Lawer. The most impressive aspect of Dave’s performance today was his scoring which with breaks of 62, 84, 44, 83 and 41 ensured that Lawler was always on the back foot.

Similarly impressive was Ireland’s Fergal O’Brien who won 5-3 in what was a high quality encounter with Ian Preece, highlighted by a break of 137 in the penultimate frame. Preece who yesterday recorded the highest break of the week and of his career fought well to level the match at 3-3 but Fergal moved up a gear when he had to and sealed the win.

Also progressing were Anthony Hamilton who won 5-1 against livewire Michael Holt and interestingly the 1995 World semi-finalist Andy Hicks who won his third match of the week in beating Michael Judge 5-2. In a match where nearly every frame seemed to go the distance, Hicks managed to follow White’s example and keep his nerve in these situations

Youth hits back

The veterans didn’t have it all their own way today however as Joe Swail slipped to a 5-3 defeat against teenager Judd Trump. In a performance highlighted by a tremendous break of 135 Trump showed some of the promise that has put him up to a career high position of 41 in the rankings to earn a match with Mark Selby in the last 32

Evening Matches

Welsh Wins

Two of the most comfortable wins tonight belonged to Welsh pair Matthew Stevens and twice world champion Mark Williams who both recorded 5-1 wins tonight. Stevens overcame Alan McManus, gaining some measure of revenge following defeat to the Scot in last week’s Northern Ireland trophy. Williams meanwhile beat Mark Joyce by the same scoreline as his quest to regain a place in the top 16 goes on.

Big Breaks

The match of the day however was that between Stephen Lee and Leicester’s Tom Ford. Ford started brilliantly with a run of 106 which set him on the way to a 4-1 lead and seemingly a comfortable win. Lee showed his class however and fought back well taking the next three frames. With the scores level though, Ford finished off the match as he started it with his second century of the match to seal an excellent win.

Similarly Stuart Pettman secured a place in Shanghai by winning the last two frames in his match against Nigel Bond to win 5-4. The match got off to a flying start with first Bond making a break of 119 before Pettman went one better with a 120 and then 114 to move into the lead. Bond then fought back to go 4-3 ahead following a lengthy seventh frame but it was Pettman who was to prevail and earn a shot at world number one Ronnie O’Sullivan in Shanghai.

Five star performances

Less close however were the matches involving Jamie Cope and Stuart Bingham. Cope, looking to break into the top 16 for the first time this season managed to see off Welshman Jamie Burnett without losing a frame whilst Bingham did likewise against 36 year old Mike Dunn.

Today’s results in full:

Round Four

Steve Davis 5-3 Gerard Greene 19-65(50), 80(64)-34, 74(50)-0, 68-18, 65(54)-25, 40(30)-70(40), 60-68, 57-34

Dave Harold 5-1 Rod Lawler 92(62)-0, 84(84)-0, 71(44)-38, 83(83)-4, 36-61, 53(41)-6

Fergal O’Brien 5-3 Ian Preece 80(50)-53(39), 57(57)-66(48), 66(39)-12, 74(50)-0, 37-74, 0-90(82), 137(137)-0, 63(36)-18

Ian McCulloch 2-5 Ricky Walden 66-44, 70(40)-13, 8-46, 46-63, 50-73(42), 0-69(40), 14-73(35,38)

Joe Swail 3-5 Judd Trump 0-135(135), 69-22, 38-54, 42-64, 77(66)-16, 73-63, 0-92(92), 52-65(38)

Ken Doherty 1-5 Jimmy White 37-92(44), 28-73, 0-82(82), 24-80(42), 88(50, 38)-0, 8-70(37)

Anthony Hamilton 5-1 Michael Holt 62(32)-39, 66(52)-54, 76(76)-32(32), 61(43)-14, 48(44)-83(72), 71(67)-28

Michael Judge 2-5 Andy Hicks 66-67(38), 67(40)-54(54), 79-6, 25-69(39), 0-71(59), 23-86(82), 43-73(64)

Barry Hawkins 5-2 David Morris 73(56)-12, 66-54(54), 6-85(70), 67(47)-21, 49(44)-70(38), 87(49)-4, 103(103)-0

Stuart Bingham 5-0 Mike Dunn 70-34, 71(38)-36, 94(68)-52, 74(74)-10, 70-42

Stephen Lee 4-5 Tom Ford 0-106(106), 9-71(71), 87-25, 14-81(45,35), 13-69(56), 64(36)-14, 71(56)-64, 65(40)-1, 0-138(100)

Mark Williams 5-1 Mark Joyce 97(38,37)-4, 53(41)-54(37), 101(77)-4, 68(67)-43, 76(38)-28, 63(39)-60(35)

Matthew Stevens 5-1 Alan McManus 67-37, 70(46)-43, 81(80)-0, 74(73)-28, 1-83(69), 69(36)-28

Jamie Cope 5-0 Jamie Burnett 69-48, 71(42)-45, 67(33)-55(55), 81(48)-1, 62(45)-17

Nigel Bond 4-5 Stuart Pettman 119(119)-18, 0-120(120), 1-115(114), 74-49, 70-1, 0-88(88), 66-13, 47-72, 13-72

Roewe Shanghai Masters Qualifying – Day Three

Click here for the draw.

White sets up Doherty clash

Crowd favourite Jimmy White maintained his 100% Prestatyn record this season by beating former Welsh Open finalist Andrew Higginson 5-3 on Thursday afternoon. Although White failed to hit top form in terms of his scoring, he showed his experience to come through several close frames to reach the fourth round, finishing the match appropriately by winning the eighth frame by just five points. He now faces the 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty in what is an intriguing match-up for the right to play in Shanghai later this month. Doherty, the likeable Irishman, will be looking to build on a solid start to the season himself however and put a run together that will help him to regain a top 16 position for next season.

High break

Scoring well however was Welshman Ian Preece who not only progressed to the next round with a 5-2 win over Marcus Campbell, but also recorded his highest break in professional competition. His previous best was a 134 break that he made in qualifying for the 2004 World Championship but in frame six today he bettered that by five points with a sublime 139 to put him 4-2 ahead at the time. Next up for him is a tricky clash with Irishman Fergal O’Brien tomorrow.

Round 1 runs come to an end

All but one of the players still in the draw who played in Monday’s first round matches bowed out today with defeats for Lee Spick, Andy Lee, Robert Stephen, Stephen Craigie, Matt Selt and Matt Couch. Indeed the sole remaining player Atthasit Mahitthi is yet to progress to round four as his match with Liang Wenbo has been held over until the venue.

Selt and Craigie’s impressive runs in the tournament were ended by experienced pros Jamie Burnett and Mike Dunn respectively. Burnett in particular played well, recording a break of 114 and not dropping a frame in a 5-0 win while Dunn secured a 5-2 victory. Both Selt and Craigie however will take a useful 900 points from the event along with some match experience that can only be useful for the rest of the season.

Couch meanwhile went down 5-2 to Alan McManus who maintained his impressive recent form and set up a rematch with Matthew Stevens who he beat 5-2 in Northern Ireland just last week.

High standard

Arguably the match with the highest standard today however was Gerard Greene’s 5-3 victory over Mark Davis, a match containing one century and five over breaks over 50. Given Davis’ good form in his last couple of ranking events going back to last season when he qualified for the World Championship, this was a very good result for Greene who lost to Doherty in Northern Ireland. Next up is snooker legend Steve Davis and Greene will be hoping for better luck than in their meeting in the first round of the 2005 World Championship where Davis prevailed 10-9.

Today’s results in full:

Round Three

* held over to Shanghai

Gerard Greene 5-3 Mark Davis 22-68, 108(108)-8, 75(44)-21, 23-77(53), 59(53)-44(36), 83(83)-6, 7-86(57), 70(57)-0

Jimmy Michie 4-5 Rod Lawler 44-72(34), 10-73(48), 43(38)-74(32), 76(38)-50, 68(36)-1, 63(41)-34, 35-76, 64(59)-57, 29-60(51)

Marcus Campbell 2-5 Ian Preece 64(31)-50(36), 33-60(49), 62(44)-44(36), 1-84(54), 0-139(139), 35-78

Ricky Walden 5-3 Lee Spick 39(39)-76(45), 69(69)-7, 99(99)-0, 2-84(80), 10-108(48, 60), 63(42)-45, 81(38)-41, 110(101)-6

Judd Trump 5-2 Andy Lee 71(52)-18, 58(58)-61(46), 70(38)-63, 79(68)-7, 89(70)-47(47), 35-57(33), 66-33

Andrew Higginson 3-5 Jimmy White 55-65, 54(36)-63, 38-74(43), 62(40)-53(40), 6-74(74), 74(74)-1, 80(68)-17, 54-59

Michael Holt 5-1 Robert Stephen 104(74)-6, 64-50, 68(49)-18, 0-68(51), 77(36)-50, 66(61)-9

Dave Gilbert 2-5 Andy Hicks 9-60, 21-68(44), 42-45, 70-0, 27-57(54), 71(71)-29, 42-58(34)

Tom Ford 5-2 Andrew Norman 129(125)-0, 0-106(91), 93(62)-16, 27-71(70), 72(55)-46, 80(45)-6, 79(35)-47(39)

Mike Dunn 5-2 Stephen Craigie 117(39,69)-0, 97(91)-8, 0-79(31,48), 64-52, 0-67(46), 71(47)-30, 77(71)-24

*Liang Wenbo 0-0 Atthasit Mahitthi

Rory McLeod 3-5 Stuart Pettman 106(45,57)-0, 41-53(39), 50-66(36), 66-52, 62-61, 22-72(72), 11-67(48), 50-78(47)

David Gray 3-5 David Morris 20-65(43), 65(43)-21, 66(51)-42(37), 9-62(35), 7-82(73), 73-50, 26-82(82), 20-56(34)

Jamie Burnett 5-0 Matt Selt 64-54, 80(54)-42(36), 60(38)-15, 115(114)-0, 57-47

Alan McManus 5-2 Matt Couch 86-51, 28-52, 68(60)-35, 70(69)-8, 31-86(54), 72(51)-36, 72(46)-16

Adrian Gunnell 3-5 Mark Joyce 45-67, 67(48)-4, 11-65, 41-73(39), 76(46)-0, 72(40)-34, 50(40)-74(45), 8-90(77)