World Open Qualifiers 2010: Stevens and McManus through as Holt continues to struggle

Today saw Matthew Stevens and Alan McManus come through potentially tricky ties against countrymen Darren Morgan and Anthony McGill respectively. For all the scores please click here to visit Global Snooker.

I hope to be able to post more information about the matches later tonight but firstly am going to get to work updating my provisional rankings page which may take a while…

EDIT: Please continue reading for my observations on some of the day’s matches…

Welsh number three Matthew Stevens today managed to avoid an upset against his evergreen countryman Darren Morgan today but not without a scare as Darren took him to a deciding frame before eventually going down 3-2. This result now lifts Matthew back up inside the provisional top 16 for the first time in a couple of years and with the opportunity still to add points during both Shanghai and this tournament, he may well stay there following the first revision to the rankings in early October. A word of caution should be said as he does have points to defend from the 2008 Bahrain Championship shortly after that, but a seeding at the UK Championship should certainly help him to do so.

Another Welshman was not so lucky however as world number 12 Ryan Day’s indifferent start to the season continued with defeat at the hands of Mike Dunn, result that sees the three-time ranking event finalist drop to 20th on the provisional list. Ryan has always seemed to perform well over in China and he will need to reproduce some of that form again in Shanghai if he is to maintain the top 16 place that he has held since 2007/8. For Mike though this is an excellent result that sees him move up into the top 32 for the first time in his career, a spot that he narrowly missed out on at the end of last season.

Elsewhere there was also an upset in store for Mark Allen who lost out to Scot James McBain in what appears to have been a high quality match in which both players made centuries.

Without checking I expect that this will be the first time that James will have qualified for the television stage of a ranking event and although I do have certain reservations about the short format of the tournament and the amount of ranking points on offer, I do think that it is great that players such as James have the opportunity to earn a place in front of the cameras and that we see a few different faces at the venues.

Others who qualified today that we are not so accustomed to seeing on TV include talented young Irishman David Morris, Matt Couch, Joe Jogia, Liu Song and almost Alfie Burden, who lost out against Marco Fu despite having held a two frame lead and had a shot at the pink to win the match. Alfie has at least secured a strong haul of ranking points which combined with those earned during the PTC, see him move up into the top 64 provisionally following the changes to the ranking system.