World Championship 2011 - a personal note

20:51:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

That`s how it all started: two tables - one dream
I need a dictionary! Can you lend me one? I need a dictionary to find the most wonderful words that can describe the 2011 World Championship...although, if I think about it better, words aren’t enough to picture a clear image of what this edition has meant for snooker lovers, for fans, for the players, for snooker. It’s almost impossible to describe how spectacular and brilliantly marvelous it was! At least that’s how a feel.

We all know that the World Championship is a test of endurance for the players as well as for the journalists and the audience that put its mind to follow each match that was played through those 17 days of intensive fire. At the end of it I can only say this: I feel like I have grown a bit more. I always say that each snooker match it’s a lesson of life and after those two weeks of snooker, I can honestly say I’ve leant more about life.
Each match has its own particular and special story and one should be a fool if he can’t read between the lines and treasure that story, for that’s the reason the snooker encounter is so damn good! :-))

"Let`s get the boys on the baize!!!"
Undoubtedly the shinning start of this year’s tournament was young Judd Trump and can’t say I’m not glad to see this boy playing like there’s nothing else in the world but him and the snooker table. He is pure gold and that passion that he has for the sport is the main ingredient to succeed, I dare in thinking. No one can say that Juddy is not the next star, because...well, he would be wrong. :-P He just loves to play snooker, you can easily see it and with that brilliant "madness" that he has of taking on the most incredible shots, well...I can only admire him for that.

The one that also made a spectacular performance was Ding Junhui. I know, I know, he didn’t make it to the final, but that should never count and even if I’ve heard John Virgo say that no one remembers the loser, I couldn’t disagree more with him. But let’s get back to Ding: he played against Jamie Burnett. What a match that was! He won 10-2! Such a great start! Then, it was that beautiful encounter with Stuart Bingham! Man, that was close: 13-12, after being the poor performer in the match. 

The snooker gang reviving the history of potting
But Ding is not to be underestimated. I said it before. The guy has the power and the guts to make a full comeback, blow your mind and then win the match and that happened at the Crucible this year. I remember the first round he played in China Open, with Kurt Maflin. He was something like 4-1 down and he managed to win one frame at a time and then win 5-4. Who does that?! It’s bloody incredible! I mean, yeah, comebacks are not so strange, but when your opponent is about to win the match to pull back all the needed frames, well that’s something!

Another player that I just adore is Mark Williams. The "Welsh Potting Machine" as we call him and I must confess that in this tournament he was potting those snooker balls like a machine. I’ve always admire his way of dealing with pressure, with winnings and defeats. He is such an honest guy, he speaks his mind openly, he takes responsibilities for his acts and he is one hell of a players, that’s for sure ;-) He beat Ryan Day and Mark Allen to get to the semis and I’m sure that he would have managed to win over Higgins if he would have prolonged his amazing playing form.

Brendan Moore always on duty
I was very pleased to see Graeme Dott playing good. He had such a bad season and just today I was talking with a good friend of mine that told me something like: “Have you seen his poor little face?" Indeed, he feels every defeat, every ball that should have been potted by him but it was potted by his rival and he is one of the players that shares his emotions with the entire world. I respect him for that and I must say that 5-11 is not such a bad score to lose in front of Judd Trump. That’s something, my friend!

However, we also have sad moments during the World Championship. Although we’ve seen Stephen Hendry winning his first match, beating Joe Perry 10-9, the second battle was going to be a much harder one. Mark Selby was his opponent and though Hendry tried and tried to overcome the deficit, he lost 4-12.
We were all terrified by the fact that he will announce his retirement from snooker after this defeat and when he said, at the press conference, that he will take the decision over the summer we all knew it’s going to be the end. But somehow things started looking not so dark for the Crucible King, as Stuart Bingham lost to Ding Junhui, this leaving Hendry with a place in the Top 16 and as the final stages of the tournament were kicking off we all witnessed live on BBC 2 this "I’ll keep on playing snooker!" Glory! That’s the spirit, mate! Don’t give up and maybe change your mind about playing in those PTC`s, for that’s where the points will be. ;-)

Hendry is not to retire from snooker
Another sad moment was the loss that the entire world, but mostly the snooker one suffered when Ted Lowe left us. One of the most iconic voices in snooker commentary, Ted was there when Dennis Taylor won over Steve Davis in 1985 on the last black; he witnessed the rise of young Stephen Hendry and he kept on honoring the sport over the years with his “whispering” voice. May he rest in peace :-(

Last but not least, we have the mighty champion, the man the conquered the world once more, for the forth time to be more precise, John Higgins. With a season that has been partially good, partially horrible bad, the Scotsman, the "Wizard of Wishaw", proved he is to be considered for the years to come as a very dangerous opponent. Regardless of everyone and everything he is a terrific snooker player and I truly admire his "non-giving-up" strategy. He is a fighter and I like people that fight for their dreams. I shall be honest with you and confess I didn’t think he could do it. Come on! He had Stephen Lee, Ronnie O`Sullivan, Mark Williams and Judd Trump - ones of the best players on tour! But he did it and he did it in the most admirable and honest way: just by plating and keeping his faith.

Someone remembers Lee`s flying ball?
The 2011 World Championship was one of the most beautiful and amazing experience of my life and dare in thinking that if I would have so fortunate as to actually go and see the boys playing at the Crucible, this personal note that you are reading now, would have been a much longer one. :-)))

Snooker had a hard season, but Barry Hearn was there to make it put itself up together and keep on going with its head held high. The players responded in the best possible way, even if there were few who didn’t trust "The Master" at the beginning.

Higgins the champion and his lovely family
With the World Championship the 2010/2011 season comes to an end, but what a great way to finish it! This tournament it’s indeed a magical one and it’s a true blessing for snooker. The Crucible is the perfect home for it, so intimate and so cozy, but the players, these genuine gladiators of the green baize are the ones who make it happen, the ones who make a story, a living story out of snooker.

There is nothing that can be compared with the World Snooker Championship, upon my word and I’m sure that this lovely sport has yet to reveal more surprises in the following years for all the snooker loopies out there :-)