Now as Ronnie O Sullivan clears away the spot on his mantelpiece that will be filled by the famous trophy for the next twelve months and The Crucible theatre goes back to normal,What have we learnt from the last two weeks?
1.Ronnie O Sullivan Lets start with the obvious,leaving aside any arguments about the best of all time there is no doubt there has never been anyone who makes the game look as ridiculously easy as O Sullivan at his best.As his place in the top 16 hung in the balance earlier in the season there were some who doubted if we'd ever see him lift a trophy again let alone another world title.A high quality performance in winning the German Masters showed he could still produce on the big stage an last week he proved he still has the desire needed to do it on the biggest of stages.He stated afterwards he intends to take a break for a few months but it would only be a foul who'd suggest he can't come back next year and collect a fifth title.
2The Great young players myth.We are been constantly been told about how the standard of snooker is increasing all the time and that we have all these great players coming through but this is not supported by the facts.Yes we probably do have a larger number of players playing a similarly high standard but are they any better then the pro's from 20 years ago?The evidence would suggest not as now five of the last six World titles have been won by the oldest winners since the mid 80's.Hardly an endorsement of the new young stars.This is something I will be writing about in more detail in coming weeks.
3.The new young stars.Obviously reaching the quarters means that Jamie Jones will be the rookie that many will remember from this championship and rightly so as he played some marvelous snooker and there is no he doubt will be challenging for trophies in new season The other rookie of note is the much talked about Luca Brecel from Belguim.We have been hearing about him for so long now it's hard to believe he is still only 17,but he showed great bottle to get through four rounds of qualifying against seasoned veterans before he was far from disgraced against Stephen Maguire in the first round.He had struggled adapting to the qualifiers up to this but having been given a reprieve with a tour wildcard for the next two seasons I expect him to build on his world championship experience and make a major impact.If he does it will only enhance further the strides the game has made on mainland europe.He certainly has the talent.to do it.
4.The success of the qualifiers.This was the major talking point of the first week as eight seeds tumbled in the first round.The main argument been put forward for this was the fact that unlike previous years the qualifiers only finished the week before and the players who came through were fully match fit for the longer games.Another theory was that the top players were tired after a long tough season.Both these theories may have some merit but its impossible to be certain on the example of only one season.I for one though do believe we will see, in future seasons as the calendar grows,the players will learn to manage their time better in order to peak for the big events.and as for the qualifier theory it is simply a case that as I said earlier we have a lot of players of similar ability.
5.Chinese World Champion When Ding burst on the scene I think probably most of us thought he would have won a world title by now but it hasn't happened and the question now must be will it ever? To his credit he has won two UK and one Masters title but aside from his run to the semi final last year he has failed to make impact at the crucible.This year he let a seemingly unassailable lead slip against Ryan Day and was unusually sulky in the press conference after. Perhaps the weight of the whole countries expectations weigh to heavily on him and the fact that there are a few more Chinese players coming through it will take some of that pressure off him. It could be though that he just doesn't have the temprement to deal with the inevitable bad session you get during the 17 day marathon.
These are just some of my musings as I try to cope with the lack of snooker action for the next month.Let me know what you think and also any other points of interest I may have missed .@thegreenbaize