It’s a semi-final line-up few would have predicted in the Wuxi Classic. In fact, scrap that: it’s a semi-final line-up nobody would have predicted.
But the four men in action today all have one thing in common: they are all committed to the sport.
Stuart Bingham, Mark Davis, Ricky Walden and Marcus Campbell each love their snooker. They love playing. If they weren’t playing today they’d probably be practising.
There have been some unlikely semi-final match-ups down the years. The old ITV tournaments produced a few.
In 1990, the last four of the Mercantile Classic looked like this:
Steve James v Steve Davis; Warren King v Silvino Francisco
The same year’s British Open featured this semi-final line-up:
Alex Higgins v Steve James; Bob Chaperon v Robert Marshall
In fairness, this event used a random draw.
Anyway, there’s £75,000 available for someone. I suppose the logic suggests a Bingham v Walden final as these two are already ranking title winners.
But sport is the great theatre of life, and the ending isn’t pre-ordained.
Mark Davis and Marcus Campbell, as I wrote yesterday, have worked very hard to get to this position.
For those who have never been at the qualifiers, it’s no fun at all. They don’t feel like tournaments. There’s hardly anyone watching. There’s no atmosphere. It’s a trial.
Mark and Marcus have been mired in the qualifiers, at various unglamorous locations, for the best part of two decades.
I don’t care what anyone says: they deserve their moment in the sun. I hope they enjoy it.