Another day, another clash of snooker legends in Glasgow.

Having beaten Jimmy White, Ronnie O'Sullivan now faces Stephen Hendry.

If you could combine the best attributes of both at their respective peaks - and throw in a bit of Steve Davis - you would have the perfect snooker player.

In 2010, O'Sullivan is clearly playing better snooker but Hendry has looked solid this week and will not lack for motivation.

Their relationship fractured following O'Sullivan's graceless, groundless personal attack on Hendry before their 2002 World Championship semi-final, which he has regretted ever since.

That's water under the bridge now and the mutual respect has returned, but a victory over O'Sullivan would still be sweet for Hendry, who is battling to rediscover his best form.

When Ricky Walden beat Jamie Cope 4-1 in the Pro Challenge Series last year there was a century in every frame.

The match was played on a club table but, even so, it shows how naturally attacking they are having grown up watching Hendry and O'Sullivan.

Tonight, Neil Robertson and Andrew Higginson meet for the first time since their exciting Welsh Open final of 2007.

Higginson has been one of the few lower ranked players who has looked comfortable in the one table arena.

This is surely because of his run to the Newport final: he has done it before and can therefore do it again.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

I've really enjoyed the afternoon sessions due to the fact there ISN'T any breaks in matches. Understandable I know in a best-of-5, but surely this should be used in all ranking tournaments from now onwards.

I would only bring the breaks in during a best-of-11 semi-final and a final.

Most folk can go out if they so wish at the end of each frame. It's just been so impressive the turnaround of each match.

I can see the BBC keeping it, but I think it may go on BBC3 for nighttime. It's a definite keeper for sure.

Thanks, Joe

Executor said...

I don't agree with you there on Andrew Higginson, Dave. As much as he is my most favourite player, I have to admit that he has performed poorly on TV since his Welsh Open final, which is surprising given that exellent run back in Newport. One would say that Andrew would not be threatened by cameras after that, but Andrew has unfortunately prooved this wrong and broke down on a remarkable level everytime I watched him on TV since.

Yeasterday against Marco Fu, there have been glimspes of good old Andrew Higginson whose fearless and attacking style shot down Stephen Maguire, Ali Carter and almost Robertson, too, in that memorable Welsh Open run.

Hopefully from that yeasterday's match, he can draw a good deal of confidence towards the coming season and what would possibly be few more venues and thus TV appereances, though I fear Neil would prevail today nonetheless.

Dave H said...

I agree, Joe.

Scrapping intervals keeps matches flowing - it's being looked at.

Anonymous said...

The first two frames of the ronnie hendry match were quick fire. The quality dropped off thereafter, but still an enjoyable match.

Betty Logan said...

When half your audience is probably incontinent you need a break otherwise you'd get people leaving and come back into the arena all the time. If you have people coming and going after every frame you'd probably actually lose more time than you would by just having an interval.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Just another point: By far the players with the best walk-on music - not just for this week, but since music has been brought in by the game - was the Walden/Cope match!

Well done on the selection boys!

Absolutely brilliant. Not cheesy, not common, just super!

Thanks, Joe

Matt said...

I disagree about scrapping intervals, as a spectator I think they are pretty essential as it is a long time to sit through an 8 or 9 frame session and while you can go out, when you are paying £20 for a ticket you don't want to be missing the action.

Anonymous said...

People manage to sit through tennis matches without having to empty their bladders every 20 minutes

Anonymous said...

the match turnaround isnt great for us fans who are there....

getting 8 minutes to go out, when "everyone" else want to go too, is not ideal

regardless of tv, 15 minutes should be the minimum

Betty Logan said...

Have you actually seen snooker audiences Anon? I'm surprised no-one has ever actually died at a snooker match, let alone wet themselves.

Talking of ancient audiences, if Neil Robertson becomes the new number 1 he'll be the first world number 1 younger than me!

Anonymous said...

If the intervals are needed to allow toilet breaks for the crowds, maybe they need to compromise and make it 5 minutes.

I think they should scrap the intervals in all best of 9 matches and people who leave in-between frames can come back in after the next frame has ended as not to interrupt the players. Is toilet breaks something the crowd needs? I have no idea.

Anonymous said...

when you do not know if the frame will last 45 minutes or 10 minutes then it is best to go when you need, rather than hold on and need to leave mid (long) frame.

depending on the venue it is sometimes hard to get out and in during a frame change - unless a player goes out to.

in that respect i usually leave once the frame is beyond doubt and the player is still clearing the table (at least when multiple snookers are reqd) in the hope of getting back in on time for the next.

at the secc its not too difficult, but at some venues its not easy

Matt said...

I wasn't referring to toilet breaks myself, I just find it good to get some fresh air and have a break for 10-15 minutes.

Aside from comfort issues, I also quite like the momentum swings that an interval can bring to a match, the difference between a match being 3-1 at the break or 2-2 and how they will react to that.

I just don't have any issues with an interval personally and don't see the need to get rid of them.

Redandblackblog said...

No, you definitely need to keep intervals. If you're at the venue watching a match four frames is enough. I also like the way the momentum can swing with the interval. A good player won't be affected by an interval. Don't scrap intervals for longer matches.

Anonymous said...

"and throw in a bit of Steve Davis" - a little harsh Dave, surely? Steve was six times World Champion, possessed the best tactical brain the game has ever seen and was/is a fantastic anbassador for the sport. He has also demonstrated amazing longevity, and apart from ROS and J.White is the one player paying spectators actually want to watch! In your opinion do you think that either S.Hendry or R.O'Sullivan will be capable of beating the current World Champion at The Crucible over 3 sessions when they are in their fifties?

Dave H said...

No offence was meant to Davis. He's still second on the all time list.

CHRISK5 said...

Last time I looked - Davis was still topping the Career Titles.

In fact,Davis won many events in the early 80s which were non-rank at the time - but later gained ranking status - arguably,if those
early 80s titles counted as rankers
he would level or closer to Hendry's record of 36.

No doubt,Hendry & O'Sullivan took
one-visit breakbuilding to another
stratosphere (which the Nugget could only dream of)

However,Davis' tactical play,
allround game & longevity put him
as comparable to Hendry & in my opinion,as a total package,
still ahead of O'Sullivan.

Splitting hairs or what ! LOL

Anonymous said...

6.21....... yawn

Anonymous said...

chris K

if your aunt had "spherical objects" she would be your uncle.

fact is IFs do not count

just like saying...

if hendry won 3 more he would be on 39

fact is he didnt

stop dreaming, son.