The 2015/16 campaign kicked off on Monday as the Australian Open qualifiers began in Crawley, England.
It has only been four weeks since the conclusion of the World Championship but we’re already back under way with a new season.
Some like the wall-to-wall snooker and when the Barry Hearn era began it certainly served a purpose.
At that time there was barely any snooker at all throughout the year, thus the enormous influx of new events was welcomed by players and fans alike.
However, as contracts with the likes of the Australian Open come to an end, one would hope that it and the other sporadic stagings of tournaments during the summer can be moved back a touch.
As it stands, there are massive gaps of no play in June, July and even August, meaning, like last season, there is going to be a very stagnated start to the season.
It’s difficult to get involved as much and one would think it’d be better if the season didn’t commence until at least July, if not later.
Nevertheless, here we are and the Australian Open once again will feature a plethora of amateurs, serving as top-ups for the many professionals who have decided not to enter.
The tournament down under is also one of the few remaining on the calendar that doesn’t adhere to the “everyone starts from round one” ideology – not yet at least.
So the players coming in from the first stage have to win four matches to qualify and many of those got their campaigns under way yesterday.
Jimmy White was the most notable casualty as the six-time World Championship runner-up was downed 5-4 by Saqib Nasir.
Nasir let 3-0 and 4-2 leads slip as the ‘Wind’ forced a decider, but the young Englishman held on to deny White what he’ll feel is a missed opportunity to get some invaluable ranking points on the board early on.
Elsewhere, most of the other pros emerged unscathed with Nigel Bond, Jamie Cope and Q-School graduates Paul Davison and Eden Sharav marching into the second qualifying round.
Jason Weston couldn’t earn victory in his first game as a professional in a decade, though, as he went down 5-2 to Hammad Miah while China’s Lu Chenwei lost 5-1 to Nick Jennings.
Leo Fernandez, acting as one of the extras, competes in the first round on Tuesday, while fellow Irishman David Morris comes into the fold in the second round with a bout against Lu Ning.
Categories: Snooker News