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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Shanghai Masters Preview

Tomorrow morning see's the start of the 2016 Shanghai Masters and is the point that for many that the new season properly begins.

That might be slightly unfair,we have after all had four events already this season,but maybe its the spaced out nature of things,or perhaps indeed just my own inability to adjust to the new reality,but it just doesn't feel like things really get going until we get to this more traditional time of year for snooker.

That said though ,those who have fully embraced summer snooker have been rewarded with some fine snooker action that has already provided those perennial winners world champion Mark Selby (Paul Hunter Classic) & Neil Robertson (Riga Masters) with their first titles of the new season,as well as Anthony McGill with his first ranking title in the Indian Open and also a heart warming victory for Ali Carter in the World Open.

A bonus for the event this year is the participation of Ronnie O'Sullivan who seems set to play a far more active role on the circuit this season,but if he is to make an impact here he will need to be on it from the word go, in a quarter of the draw that also includes defending champion Kyren Wilson,home favourites,Liang Wenbo & Ding Junhui,as well as Mark Allen and Anthony McGill.

Still I expect this section to boil down to a Quarter final between Ronnie & Ding with maybe "the Rocket" who has been performing superbly in his recent exhibition series with Judd Trump to edge it
Quarter winner Ronnie O'Sullivan

If that quarter looks tough to call,then the same can be said for the next section which includes Judd Trump,recent new father Shaun Murphy,Ricky Walden, & Barry Hawkins.Following the same template as the top quarter though I think Trump too may have benefited from that exhibition series and he may well come through here.
Quarter winner Judd Trump

Into the bottom half and one of the interesting things to see this season will be just how Stuart Bingham gets on with the weight of the world crown removed from his shoulders.Here he doesn't have the worst draw with a quarter final against either Ali Carter or John Higgins looking likely.I think that will be far as he gets though and I think that this sort of best of nine event could well see John Higgins make another bold bid for yet another ranking title.
Quarter winner John Higgins

Finally the last section will surely once again boil down to a quarter final battle between Neil Robertson & Mark Selby.These matches are always a toss of the coin but perhaps Robertson will edge this one.
Quarter winner Neil Robertson

So there we have it,what promises to be fascinating week gets underway in the morning on Eurosport and even if the weather outside has turned a little autumnal,we can take comfort in what promises to be a week of top class green baize action.

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