After each tournament this season, we’ll be taking a brief look back at three things learned from the concluded action on the calendar.
Three Things Learned After the International Championship
World Domination for Trump?
If anyone had any doubts about the credentials of Judd Trump after his superb World Championship success in May, they surely have been squashed after his performances in Daqing.
Trump, playing in his first tournament since that maiden glory at the Crucible Theatre, was rarely threatened as he coasted to a twelfth ranking title.
The Englishman’s 6-2 victory over Joe Perry in the last 16 guaranteed his return to the number one spot in the world rankings for the first time since 2013.
That he overtook Ronnie O’Sullivan in the pecking order was telling, in the same ilk as his demolition of the “Rocket” in the prestigious Masters earlier this year.
Everything of late points to the developing plot line of Trump’s impending domination in the sport.
Only O’Sullivan could live with the soon to be 30 year-old in this kind of mood, but the former’s sketchy levels of participation will always leave the door ajar for the pretender to take the mantle of being snooker’s king.
Shaun Murphy is Swinging Again
Shaun Murphy’s run may have ended in defeat to the world’s best player at present, but at least the “Magician” demonstrated a welcome return to form.
Murphy celebrated his 37th birthday on Saturday with a triumph over the defending champion Mark Allen that provided him with his biggest paycheck in a year and a half.
After capturing the 2017 Champion of Champions at Ronnie O’Sullivan’s expense, Murphy endured a torrid 2018/19 campaign and it looked as though his time at the top may have been coming to an end.
Fans were even more convinced when, following a year of first round exits in ranking tournaments, Murphy dabbled in more television work during the World Championship and subsequently made the odd decision to enter qualifying for The Open in golf.
However, the 2005 world champion has clearly been back on the practice table and a change in his technique, which has seen his bridge hand edge significantly closer to the cue ball, appears to have worked wonders.
Murphy’s still young enough to challenge for another few years and his place among the top 16 is safeguarded for the time being.
One thing that will be of serious concern to his supporters, though, is his return in ranking event finals – with Murphy having now lost six in a row at the latterly stage.
Another fantastic week for me.. thanks to my sponsors and everyone that has supported me this week 🙌🏻♥️
— Judd trump (@judd147t) August 11, 2019
Boring Chinese Events
Well, this isn’t exactly a new thing learned, more a continuation of what has been said for a number of years.
There is a serious problem with Chinese events that eventually needs addressing.
Before anybody jumps on the “we once had only six ranking events” train, we all know, so don’t.
This isn’t about being ungrateful, because the majority of sound-minded people are aware that the impact of China has generally been excellent for the game.
But there can’t be anyone out there who can say with a serious face that there is any passion or excitement in watching these events on TV.
There were two mouthwatering semi-finals in Daqing and both of them were badly attended, a picture that was mirrored throughout most of the competition.
Even matches involving home hero Ding Junhui weren’t selling out, with the atmosphere remaining flat for a lot of the final when the most tickets seemed to have been sold.
Whether it’s the size of the venue, marketing, or ticket prices, an effort needs to be made to inject some life into these events in China.
For the players it’s terrific to have these opportunities to make more money, but at what cost to the boring image of the sport it depicts on TV around the world?