The Indian Open gets under way on Tuesday as the stagnated start to this campaign stutters along.
The qualifiers plus six local wildcards head to Hyderabad for the third edition of the Indian Open.
The event wasn’t scheduled last season following victories for Ding Junhui and Michael White in the two previous campaigns, but makes a return this year in its new slot during the summer.
Once again the majority of the rounds are the short best of seven frame encounters, before the final is increased by a further two frames to a potential nine.
Welshman White returns to defend the title he won as his maiden ranking event success back in 2015 when the tournament was staged in Mumbai.
The 24 year-old’s qualifying round match with Anthony Hamilton was held over to the main venue, likewise home favourite Aditya Mehta’s clash with Jimmy Robertson.
With several of the top stars choosing not to attend the competition where £50,000 is at stake for the champion, White will arguably be among the favourites for glory once again this week.
Indeed, it is a good opportunity for a lot of players to gain some silverware with the likes of Mark Selby, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump and recent Riga Masters champion Neil Robertson not in action.
However, there is still plenty of star attraction on show with 2015 world champion Stuart Bingham, Shaun Murphy and Mark Williams among the heavy-hitters.
Unfortunately, this edition of the Indian Open won’t be broadcast on European television, although it will be accessible via the Eurosport Player if you have subscribed to that online.
Otherwise, you’ll be able to read about it here with the regular daily reports as the rounds progress, before the winner is eventually crowned on Saturday.
This is where pro snooker is really a hard life. Travelling 11 hours for a best of 7. Was it Mark Williams who once went to China and potted like one ball in the whole match, then came straight back? I guess the lower ranked pros have to tough it out and get on with it. I can imagine its a great holiday the first time you go out there, but after that it’s all business.