Riga Open Marks Snooker’s Return

The first European Tour event of the 2014/15 campaign gets under way tomorrow as the Players Championship series welcomes Latvia as a destination for the first time.

2014 Riga OpenCapital city Riga will play host as snooker welcomes its newest addition to its growing family as the sport continues its long-term ambition to see the game become completely global.

World Snooker supremo Barry Hearn and his army began this mission when they took control more than four years ago and in that short time they have transformed snooker from a sick, almost dying sport, into a successful business that is taken to all parts of the world.

Since 2010 and the rapid calendar overhaul, the players have been forced to compete at length and without many concerted breaks in order to achieve the greater good.

For four years there was hardly a respite of worthwhile note as the snooker roadshow went on like a dizzying roller coaster ride.

However, the start of the Riga Open on Thursday will mark the first competitive action in a month as professional snooker took its longest hiatus in seasons following the conclusion of the Australian Goldfields Open won by Judd Trump in July.

Fresh so the stars and challengers alike ought to be as they have recharged their batteries and returned rejuvenated for Main Tour success.

As ever with these satellite events, the amateurs will mix it up with the pros and there will be plenty of subplots unfolding with a variety of issues and prizes at stake.

Several of the big guns are in the field, though, including the likes of world no.1 Neil Robertson, Trump, John Higgins and world champion Mark Selby.

Almost all of the tournaments on the continent have proven to be a huge success so Riga has a lot to live up to.

But, as ever, the snooker on the baize should be as fierce as ever.

The full draw can be viewed by clicking here.


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