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Weekly Round-up in Snooker

The main news was Shaun Murphy’s triumph in the China Championship on Sunday but what else has been going on in the world of snooker in the last seven days?

World Open Qualifiers

Speaking of Murphy, the “Magician” was back in action only a few days after his dramatic 10-9 victory over Mark Williams in Guangzhou.

Murphy was attempting to secure his return to China as he battled veteran Rod Lawler in Barnsley for the right to compete at the venue stages of this season’s World Open.

The former world champion wasn’t at his free-scoring best but still comfortably emerged as a 5-1 winner to book his spot in the last 64.

Elsewhere on Thursday at the Metrodome, Jack Lisowski compiled a total clearance of 145 in completing a 5-3 defeat of Tian Pengfei, while Mark Selby scored a 122 in beating Jamie Clarke 5-2.

There were wins too for former ranking event winners Ricky Walden, Alan McManus, Matthew Selt, and Anthony Hamilton – the latter coming from behind to deny Jimmy White by a couple of frames.

China’s Mei Xiwen upset World Championship semi-finalist Gary Wilson 5-2 while Michael White also bowed out following a disappointing loss to Jordan Brown.

The Welshman is struggling badly these days and will be in serious danger of dropping outside the world’s top 64 if he doesn’t turn things around soon.

Click here to view the World Open draw (Times: CET)

Black is the New Black

The world of snooker got a little darker this week after an unusual announcement about the upcoming English Open.

The first ranking event of the season in the UK, along with the other three tournaments in the Home Nations series, will carry a new dress code.

Players will no longer be required to wear a waistcoat, but instead “all 128 players will wear black tailored long-sleeved shirts together with black or dark tailored trousers.”

World Snooker has teamed up with clothing firm Hawes & Curtis for the rather morbid look.

Mixing up a few events here and there with a little bit of creativity is no bad thing.

But for a sport that often has to fend off attacks for lacking enough characters, how will forcing each of them to wear the same colour present a more reflective image of their individual personalities?

Or maybe they’ll be expected to perform the haka before each match.

Championship League Returns

There was confirmation late last week that the Championship League would be back on the calendar for a 13th time.

A few scheduling tweaks have resulted in a change from previous editions, though.

While it used to always begin in early January, generally kicking off the New Year, the 2019/20 tournament will get going on this occasion in October.

The same format applies, with seven groups of seven players in each providing seven winners who will contest the final group in March.

Group 1 next week was set to feature Mark Williams but the Welshman rather amusingly appeared to announce his immediate withdrawal through Twitter.

Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, Barry Hawkins, Jack Lisoswki, Ryan Day, and Jimmy Robertson are supposed to participate with a yet unnamed seventh player.

What’s Coming?

The World Open qualifiers conclude on Friday and Saturday with the likes of Robertson, John Higgins, and Stephen Maguire still to play their preliminary ties.

Also taking place this weekend will be the third Challenge Tour event of the season in Leeds while two groups in the aforementioned Championship League will run from Monday to Thursday of next week.

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