It is now Sunday 3rd April where Kyren Wilson and David Gilbert battle it out of the trophy. On Monday 4th April, the Top 32 players on the one-year ranking list will be in the pretty town of Cheltenham to compete in the World Grand Prix. This is just the start of a very busy month indeed!
Cheltenham is a lovely place full of green spaces, quiet walks and annoyingly, too many schoolchildren. Not entirely sure if Cheltenham is very snooker-savvy, but it is the home of Top 16 hotshot Jack Lisowski. He did an interview at the Cheltenham Racecourse, which you fin by clicking here. I’m actually planning to be at the World Grand Prix final on Sunday and of course, I would love to see a fantastic tie. Looking at the line-up, I would be very surprised if I didn’t get that!
Since the draw is based on their one-year ranking, we have got a delicious number of first-round matches. It’s not often Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy as well as Ronnie O’Sullivan and Marco Fu face each other in the opening round, for example! We should also realise that seven players in the draw are outside of the Top 32, two of them are currently outside of the Top 64 (Yuan Sijun and Zhao Xintong). Both players have incredibly tricky ties but are more than capable of beating anyone, especially as the first two rounds are BO7s.
Mark Allen and O’Sullivan will play for the first time since the Masters and hope to put their Masters disappointments behind them. The World Grand Prix has a history of wonderful winners such as Judd Trump, Murphy, Barry Hawkins and O’Sullivan. The World Grand Prix is also part of the newly created Coral Cup, alongside the Players Championship and Tour Championship. Not entirely sure if the new series will catch on, to be honest, especially since I had to double-check this, but here is the link to the announcement anyway by clicking here.
On with the show!
Mark Allen (1) vs. Gary Wilson (32)
Martin O’Donnell (16) vs. Ali Carter (17)
Jack Lisowski (9) vs. Ding Junhui (24)
David Gilbert (8) vs. Yan Bingtao (25)
First Quarter Winner: Mark Allen vs. Ding Junhui
Neil Robertson (5) vs. Xiao Guodong (28)
Jimmy Robertson (12) vs. Mark Davis (21)
Stephen Maguire (13) vs. Mark King (20)
Mark Williams (4) vs. Yuan Sijun (29)
Second Quarter Winner: Neil Robertson vs. Stephen Maguire
Mark Selby (3) vs. Shaun Murphy (30)
John Higgins (14) vs. Noppon Saengkham (19)
Joe Perry (11) vs. Tom Ford (22)
Judd Trump (6) vs. Stuart Carrington (27)
Third Quarter Winner: Mark Selby vs. Joe Perry
Kyren Wilson (7) vs. Matthew Stevens (26)
Stuart Bingham (10) vs. Zhao Xintong (23)
Barry Hawkins (15) vs. Ryan Day (18)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (2) vs. Marco Fu (31)
Fourth Quarter Winner: Zhao Xintong vs. Ronnie O’Sullivan
Tournament Winner: Neil Robertson vs. Mark Selby. Maybe. I think.
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