12.9.09

DAY SIX PREVIEW

The semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters feature three of the world’s top four plus a home grown talent making his debut in this stage of a ranking event.

Liang Wenbo may be the outsider in terms of ranking and record but he has noticeably reined in some of his more attacking instincts and has developed into a very tough opponent.

One of his strengths is that he remains a maverick and this makes him difficult to play.

Can he beat Shaun Murphy? It’s a possibility, but Murphy has been very solid so far this week, losing only one frame in three matches.

Ronnie O’Sullivan hasn’t beaten John Higgins in a ranking tournament since the 2003 Irish Masters final.

I’ll repeat that: Ronnie O’Sullivan hasn’t beaten John Higgins in a ranking tournament since the 2003 Irish Masters final.

Of course, it’s not as if they have played each other in every one since but it is still an anomaly that will surprise many.

I tipped Higgins for the title pre-tournament so will keep faith with the world champion, but as long as O’Sullivan remains in the field, he remains favourite.

Whoever wins this weekend, the snooker should be first class.

15 comments:

Eric said...

Dave, your fellow commentators on Eurosport (and, of course, the viewers who don't have the online ES Player) won't be too pleased with the Wenbo vs. Murphy match just being switched off from the TV channel at 4-4 in favor of a senseless repeat of a tennis match already played some days ago...

I guess this is due to some satellite/broadcast rights?

Anonymous said...

Yes, audiences are falling even in China. No wonder Eurosport stopped broadcasting just before the start of the final frame between Murphy and Liang this morning. We've just got to accept that we're now very much a minority sport with no pulling power over motorbikes.

Dave H said...

Eric - 'contractual reasons' apparently

celt147 said...

"2003 Irish Masters final"...

... and what a final that was, ahhh, the memories. I still say that was the best quality match I ever went to. It was nip and tuck all the way with tons galore. It went 9-9 IIRC and O'Sullivan polished it off with yet another century break.

The match was more like a exhibition of sheer skill and was played in a great spirit.

Anonymous said...

A complete joke

Matt said...

Brilliant win for Liang, would be nice to see him go all the way now.

stuartfanning said...

Here's Murphy's comments on losing.

“He beat me today but if I had played better and not missed the easy balls then I would have won. I lost because it was my fault not because he won. He is a very good player and if plays properly he could win tomorrow. He’s very entertaining and fun to watch but this is about winning not entertaining,"

That's a good example why he's disliked so much!

Anonymous said...

i'll keep that quote in mind...the next time murphy says something like 'i like to entertain the crowd' at a post match press interview.

He is one of the more arrogant on-table players you'll ever see

Anonymous said...

That one sentence from Murphy perfectly encapsulates snookers fall from grace.

Mat Wilson

Meredith(GTBJ) said...

I really hope the eurosport coverage will be a bit more careful to not cut away during key shots like it had been doing during the week as tomorrow is the final, I hope some of these technical errors can be sorted pre-match. Commentator wise, everything is great but Grand Prix on the BBC will be a better match viewing value. I even crave bbc's version of eagle eye more than ES!

Greg said...

Wow, what an arrogant...... individual.

Why the hell was this man invited to the Premier League? Why not Mark Selby, or a hundred other players who are far more likeable and decent?

Anonymous said...

Didn't take long for the anti-Murphy brigade to come out in force did it? Do you people just want the loser to say the same old...

"My opponent played really well and deserved to win - I hope he goes on and wins it now"

Snooker struggles to get any coverage at all outside of the World Championship, so the more 'off the cuff' reactions the better.

As for the poster who wants to know why Murphy is in the Premier League and not Selby - the answer is obvious - Murphy is the better player by far as his record in ranking events, and in particular The World championship clearly demonstrate.

darrus said...

Meredith(GTBJ), if I'm understanding it correctly, Eurosport can't do anything about this 'cutting away from the table' issue. Chinese broadcaster (is it SMG?) provides the feed. I agree that it is annoying at times.

Good win for Ronnie it was, though I've expected this match to be better in terms of quality.

Anonymous said...

No wonder snooker is goin down the pan with comment's like that from Mr Smug. Of course it is all about winning, but the spectator's are there to be entertained to.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the Chinese TV director will ever show the end of match handshake between the players rather than a generic camera shot of a hoard of spectators who are invariably on their cell phone.
I always enjoy seeing the players reactions to winning/losing.
Graeme Dott is the worst loser of them all, no eye contact and a handshake as limp as a week old lettuce.