It’s been an unprecedented period in the world of sport and snooker, particularly in the last week, has been no less affected.
Coronavirus Takes Over
In a week full of them, the biggest announcement from the snooker scene in the last seven days came on Tuesday with the cancellation of the Tour Championship.
This event, which was set to feature the top eight players on the one-year rankings list, would have drawn a big audience, significant media interest, and sponsors from outside of the sporting world as the concluding chapter of the Coral Series.
Right up until the eve of the competition, it looked as though it was going to go ahead.
However, Monday’s government announcement advising against mass gatherings all but ended the World Snooker Tour’s hopes of continuing the campaign as planned.
The Tour Championship has been provisionally rescheduled for the end of July, casting a sense confusion as to how this season will conclude before the next begins.
With the Crucible Theatre closing its doors until the start of April, at the very earliest, it remains a huge doubt as to whether or not the World Snooker Championship will proceed next month at all.
Willie Thorne Has Leukemia
The snooker scene was handed more bad news on Wednesday with fan favourite Willie Thorne revealing that he has been diagnosed with leukemia.
The 1985 UK Championship runner-up tweeted that, while he is devastated, he plans to start chemotherapy in Spain.
It’s been a turbulent few years for the player and commentator known as Mr. Maximum.
Thorne, also well-known as a BBC commentator, suffers from gambling addiction, which has lead to bouts of depression, bankruptcy, and an eventual separation from his wife.
The 66 year-old immediately received a lot of encouragement and messages of goodwill from the likes of Jimmy White, Joe Perry, and former Olympic champion Sally Gunnell.
Gutted to hear about the great WT. stay strong mate x @TheWillieThorne
— Jimmy White MBE (@jimmywhite147) March 18, 2020
Trump’s Sixth Success
It seems like a long time ago, but it’s worth remembering that this week began with snooker making headlines for the right reasons.
Judd Trump’s 4-3 defeat of Kyren Wilson in the final of the Gibraltar Open on Sunday earned the world number one a record-breaking sixth ranking title of a single season.
The terrific tally eclipses the previous figure that had stood for almost three decades, since Stephen Hendry won five (from just eight events!) during the 1990/91 campaign.
Trump has been a fantastic world champion and, after years of experiencing a degree of underachievement, the 30 year-old is now truly fulfilling his potential.
Should the Gibraltar Open stand as the last event of the 2019/20 term, it will be fitting that the Englishman ended up with his name on the silverware yet again.
Usually, we’d end the weekly review by outlining what’s to come but there’s not much hope of anything being played in the snooker scene for the next while.
The European Amateur Championship, with a completely depleted field, surprisingly continued this week with Andrew Pagett emerging as the winner.
Ireland’s Aaron Hill achieved a rare double last week when he lifted both the European Under-18 and 21 crowns, with a Main Tour place on offer for his triumph in the latter.
The Challenge Tour play-offs were originally pencilled in for the end of March, but the outcome of that will have to wait after it was announced that it would be postponed too.
There’s a great deal of uncertainty ahead.
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