The marathon that has been the 2014 Welsh Open is a week old tomorrow and is now finally starting to take shape as we enter the round of 32.
When it was announced last year that the majority of tournaments would be played on a flat 128 basis,the question was,how would this,albeit admirable system, actually work out in practice and I think it is fair to say that World Snooker have yet to come up with the perfect solution.
So far this season we have had a week of confusion at the UK Championship with many matches taking place at the same time as well as certain games been held over until the tv cameras came in.This made things almost impossible to follow for a seasoned snooker observer,never mind a casual fan,Then only last month we had 64 player been brought to Berlin for the German Masters with 60 matches having to be squeezed in to three days to allow the semi finals & final to be played in a one able set up over the weekend.
Here in Wales we have the opposite with the tournament been stretched out over 12 days and matches been contested in best of sevens,a situation which has lead to some referring to this as the Welsh PTC..This is slightly unfair,yes like most snooker fans I prefer the longer matches,but I do agree that there is a place for all types of formats.I do also appreciate that getting a venue for a fortnight is not always possible,but given the choice between this and what we've seen in the above examples I would certainly rather see World Snooker aim for more events played out like this one.
So what of the tournament itself then.Well if it has been remarkable for anything so far it has been for the lack of anything remarkable happening,with most of the games top players safely progressing through with little fuss.Those attending on Wednesday,where the whole last 32 will be played,can look forward to seeing Ronnie O'Sullivan, four time ranking event winner this season Ding Junhui,century man Neil Robertson,home favourite Mark Williams and defending champion Stephen Maguire,as well as the likes of Mark Selby,Mark Allen John Higgins Shaun Murphy and Judd Trump
The only unfortunate thing is that only four of these matches will be televised.The action will be broadcast on BBC Wales tomorrow afternoon and on .Eurosport all day.