World Open Qualifiers 2010: And then there were 64

Photo courtesy of Janie Watkins

Day Three has now reached its end at the EISS and the last 64 players involved in the World Open are now known. As has been the case throughout these qualifiers so far, upsets were few and far between but there were a couple of notable exceptions…

It is four years since former world amateur champion Darren Morgan was relegated from the main tour but as he has demonstrated at Masters events since then, he still knows how to play the game. That he proved once again today as he recorded an impressive 3-2 victory against talented young Chinese professional Xiao Guodong to book his place in the third round where he will face countryman Matthew Stevens in an intriguing tie. Matthew should win but you just never know…

Also through is Igor Figueiredo who today became the first ever Brazilian to qualifying for the TV stages of a ranking event following a comprehensive 3-0 victory over the struggling David Gilbert. He will now face Mark Williams in one of the third round matches to be held over until the venue stages in Glasgow.

Otherwise however, despite the shorter format, results were relatively predictable with the likes of James Wattana, Joe Jogia, Tony Drago, Marcus Campbell and Nigel Bond all progressing to the last 64 stage. It was a shock though to see Robert Milkins lose out against David Morris, a young player who has been threatening to make a breakthrough for a couple of seasons now, perhaps this could be his time to shine?

Looking ahead to tomorrow, there are some matches that on paper at least could be thrillers as the top 16 players enter the fray. Marco Fu for example is looking better than he has done for a while, but in Alfie Burden should be given a stern test, despite the ranking differential. Also standing out is the clash between Martin Gould and Matt Selt, two players who are on an upward curve in their careers and who are both playing well at the moment.

One match that does not involve a top 16 player is that between Ken Doherty and Joe Perry, although given the calibre of the two that does not make it any less eye-catching as they battle for a place in Glasgow. Finally, the all-Scottish clash between Alan McManus and Anthony McGill also promises much and given the venue it is a shame that the match could not have been held over to the venue.

Hopefully I will have time to upgrade the rankings following tomorrow’s play.