Betfred World Snooker Championship Update: Week 1…
TWO of the 16 qualifiers have reached the second round of the Betfred World Championship 2021.
JAMIE JONES and Former World Champion Stuart Bingham managed to survive round one of the Crucible cauldron as play ventures into round two for the weekend and beyond.
Stuart Bingham, once a Champion in 2015, had been knocked out of the top 16 earlier on in the season and was struggling to keep his place there.
But, with his mountains of experience and confidence in his game, the former Master’s Champion of 2020 made a steely break in a decider against China’s Ding Junhui.
It’s another letdown for China’s no 1, who came close to winning the Championship in 2016 but lost to Selby in the final.
Unfortunately, with every passing year, Ding’s chances of securing snooker’s most coveted trophy become slimmer as there is a host of other decent Chinese players who could yet take Ding’s crown.
Yan Bingtao is still in the tournament and with his excellent Masters win this year to veteran JOHN HIGGINS, we may well end up uttering the words Yan Bingtao, World Champion, in future.
Sam Craigie, a debutant, who has come from the Levels Snooker Club stable of talent, made a promising start against the 2018 World Champion Mark Williams, but was unable to ride the course as Williams ran out a comfortable winner 10 – 4.
Mark Selby made light work of Norway’s Kurt Maflin, who did well last year at this event, but was unable to produce the form as Selby was in fine fettle, defeating THE VIKING 10 – 1.
As the lockdown restrictions ease, it has been a revelation to see audiences at snooker’s Blue Ribbon event with the second round set for up to 50% capacity.
The final is also hopefully set to see the 100% capacity, but how many that turn up will be interesting.
To not mention the World Number One Judd Trump would be a disservice, who has won a remarkable 11 ranking titles over two seasons, and said he was enjoying his snooker in the first round at The Crucible with being able to play in front of crowds again.
Some of the players have said they have struggled with the snooker bubble of Milton Keynes this season and are delighted to escape that venue of the Marshall Arena and play in the well-known surroundings of Sheffield in the UK.