Joe Swail comeback

Indian Open Begins Under Darkness

The Indian Open began on Tuesday under rather farcical circumstances in Hyderabad.

Joe Swail Riga Open
Swail and White were forced to leave the arena at a pivotal juncture in the contest  – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

First, there was a power cut during the keenly contested match between Joe Swail and Jimmy White with the latter needing just three more pots to secure victory.

In addition, there were technical problems with the much-hyped Eurosport Player leading to much of the day going unstreamed throughout Europe.

World Snooker is well-known for suffering teething problems when it comes to new events and initiatives, but the early failure of the ES Player, which is supposed to be the gateway to live snooker for the next decade, is borderline embarrassing.

For the entire week World Snooker has been promoting the new coverage, where a subscription fee is required to watch, only for the opening exchanges to go mostly unnoticed (live coverage is in India via Sony Six).

When play finally did get under way on the Player, it then was taken down indefinitely – unconfirmed reports suggesting it was due to a legal broadcasting rights issue.

Questions were already being asked about the pros and cons of entire tournaments being shown on the Player rather than the TV outlet, and this mishap won’t do much to ease the doubters’ qualms.

There has been no indication to what the situation is going to be like on day two, which is unsurprising given the fact that World Snooker is rarely all that forthcoming with information when complications like this arise.

Anyway, when Swail returned from the blackout, the Northern Irishman was able to pot blue, pink and black for a 4-2 victory over fellow veteran White.

It was a bad opening day for that surname as the defending champion Michael White lost his qualifying round tie, which was held over the main venue, 4-1 to the improving again Anthony Hamilton.

All in all, it was a busy day of action which included two qualifying stage encounters held over, four wildcard matches and a host of last 64 ties.

Indian Aditya Mehta suffered a downbeat 4-0 drubbing to Jimmy Robertson but it was better for his compatriot Pankaj Advani, who took advantage of his wildcard invitation to beat Fang Xiongman and join main draw.

Elsewhere, 2015 world champion Stuart Bingham held off a spirited challenge from Steven Hallworth to prevail 4-3 while Kyren Wilson and Duane Jones both came from 3-1 down to also advance with deciding frame victories.

Matthew Stevens beat Mark Joyce 4-2 while young Oliver Lines produced a solid display to oust Graeme Dott 4-1.

Mark King compiled the highest break of the tournament so far with a 142 break but went on to lose to Rory McLeod while German Masters champion Martin Gould whitewashed Allan Taylor.

Meanwhile, there were early successes in the event for Jamie Jones, Michael Georgiou and Akani Songsermsawad.

Click here to view the draw.

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