22.12.08

MURPHY LEAVES IT LATE

Shaun Murphy began the Maplin UK Championship in a slump but his capture of the title means he will start 2009 in a confident frame of mind.

The final was a curious affair. Marco Fu didn’t play particularly well while Murphy produced his best form only in patches.

The match got bogged down with many mistakes but this made it all the more gripping. Around 2 million BBC2 viewers were still watching after midnight.

I have to say, though, that if snooker is to appeal to a younger audience then it has to start its major finals at an earlier hour. Don’t forget, in the burgeoning market in central Europe they are an hour ahead of the UK.

Murphy had the good grace to admit that the standard had not been great and Fu was, as ever, sporting in defeat.

Shaun becomes the 17th winner of the UK Championship and the tenth player to have won the world and UK titles.

It was about time he won another big tournament. He was very consistent last season but failed to capture a ranking event. I’d have to ask him but guess he would probably prefer losing in four first rounds and winning the UK Championship than, say, getting to five quarter-finals.

I admire his unshakable self-belief. This is an important asset in any sport but particularly in one like snooker where mental strength outweighs physical attributes.

With a major title under his belt he will be a real danger man for the rest of the season.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

agree WRT the timings

ive been saying on snooker forums for years that the semi final and finals sessions should start @ 1pm and 7pm uk time

Anonymous said...

Respect is due to the audience in Telford who were attentive despite the long and late hours.

Anonymous said...

they send shocks through the earphones ;)

Monique said...

I support the idea of starting earlier ... it was about 3 am before I got to bed having watched it with friends in the club in Brussels and the club itself no being close to home! Surely I'm not the only one...

Anonymous said...

Well at least there was an audience for the final unlike many of the earlier matches. Pretty embarrassing considering this is the second most important tournament. Dave, do you know if WSA keep any stats regarding the percentage of seats sold per tournament?

Jonathan said...

David, do you know to what extent the timings (in particular the 8pm start) are governed by the BBC? I can't think of a good reason to start so late, particularly as in a close match, it is even more likely to go on into the small hours. Ebdon-Dott, Higgins-Selby both world finals of recent times that finished very late, both beyond midnight I believe. This can't be good for anyone involved, not least the players, whose standard of play must surely be affected.

Dave H said...

The BBC dictate the start times

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is time world snooker informed the bbc what the tournament times will be - the game is bigger than anything- including the bbc

Anonymous said...

I think the session times should be 1pm and 6pm on the final sunday. This should mean getting the result in the monday papers and hopefully a decent report of the match not like today where a few of the earlier editions were saying Murphy leads 8-6 etc.

Maybe the match wasn't the best but i think it was considerable better than when Tony Meo played Dean Reynolds in the British open a few years back.
Regards
Dean

Anonymous said...

@ Dean...

id leave 6 hours between start times (as per my first post) so that the players have more time for a meal between sessions.

thats why i say 1 and 7

could easily be 12 and 6 if you want a 6 start

if the match frames are fragmented and slower then it should still see them getting a decent session break.

i often feel that in finals the players dont get anywhere near enough of a break to get out, get a proper meal and get ready again (not to mention get a hit on a table if they wish to)

Anonymous said...

Hey, I used to love Tony Meo!

Anonymous said...

I don't necessarily think that an 8pm start is a bad thing, however what they could do is ensure that less frames are being played in the evening. For example, 11 frames in the afternoon session, but if, say, someone reaches 8 frames, the session is stopped early to ensure some play in the evening.

Anonymous said...

I think apart from the fact that it's an 8 o'clock start, another factor for the World, UK and Masters final is that there's a potential 11 frames in the final session.

I think there are grounds for playing 9 in the afternoon (which still guarantees some play in the evening). Then even leaving it at 8 o'clock wouldn't be so bad.

Maybe 2pm for the first 9 frames, and 7:30 for the remainder, would be better for the best-of-19s.

Merry Christmas and all that
Chris

Anonymous said...

I think apart from the fact that it's an 8 o'clock start, another factor for the World, UK and Masters final is that there's a potential 11 frames in the final session.

I think there are grounds for playing 9 in the afternoon (which still guarantees some play in the evening). Then even leaving it at 8 o'clock wouldn't be so bad.

Maybe 2pm for the first 9 frames, and 7:30 for the remainder, would be better for the best-of-19s.

Merry Christmas and all that
Chris

jamie said...

Late night snooker has its attraction though it fits with the ambience of the sport. I was at the final and found it throughly engrossing. A lot of that is down to the immediacy of what was on offer, as if it had been a round 1 clash it would have been less interesting.