Sunday, 20 April 2008

Snooker: World Championships - Under way!

Finally 17 days of snooker are under way at the Crucible in Sheffield. There are some great matches lined up for the opening round and it's as hard as ever to pick a winner.

At the time of writing some matches are already complete. Most noticeably Higgins beat Stevens 10-5. This was definitely one of the draws of the round. Up to now, Higgins hasn't had a great season and neither has Stevens, so Higgins needed to prove a point and re-affirm his authority in the game and Stevens needed a couple of wins to reclaim his top 16 place. Early on in the match Stevens played well, but Higgins was solid all day. At one point, the start of the second session, it looked like Stevens might make a comeback but again, Higgins showed his true class to close out the match. Stevens needs some really good results in next season's qualifiers to arrest his decline in the game. A lot of players and pundits feel that Stevens should still be in the top 16, and ability wise he should be. But he needs to re-apply himself, possibly change something in his life so he can get back to doing what he does best.

Neil Robertson was way too strong for Nigel Bond and eased into round 2 with a 10-4 victory. He played really solidly all the way through the match.

A couple of the matches I'm really looking forward to are Hendry vs Allen, Fu vs Junhui and of course Ronnie vs Chuang.

I think Mark Allen might upset Hendry. Allen is improving rapidly and Hendry simply isn't the force he used to be. Whoever wins, I'm really looking forward to watching the match which starts today.

Fu vs Ding is a really difficult one to call. Fu has recently beaten Ding in a ranking event but you could say Ding has more talent. Over the last couple of seasons, Ding has had real problems with his temperament and needs to keep himself under control and play well if he's going to beat Marco Fu.

I don't think I've seen Chuang play before, but I hope Ronnie plays well and Chuang pushes Ronnie all the way. It's always such a pleasure to see Ronnie play, normally it's irrelevant who he's playing against.

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