Brazil Masters 2011 - a personal note

14:56:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Shaun Murphy, happy to be Brazil Masters first champion
Four day of cue battles were spent in Brazil in the capital of Santa Catarina - Florian√≥polis. Four days that have meant a lot for a nation that has been dying to see the snooker legends in action. And although at the beginning the crowds weren’t fabulous, as the night was entering its rights on the old European continent, in Brazil people were starting to show up for the snooker spectacle.

The tournament started in the best possible way, with a match that saw all its frames being consumed. The current world number one, Mark Selby and the fresh conquistador of the Australian Goldfields Open, Stuart Bingham got together to prove once more what a genuine clash of style and determination really means. 

Ali Carter, ref Jan Verhaas and Steve Davis
And until the first day was over, another great performance was going to be recorded as the local start Igor Figueiredo was kicking out one of the "over the ocean” players, Jamie Cope. Igor hit a break of 114 in the process, break that will remain as the highest one until the last day, when the champion Shaun Murphy ended his final battle with a perfect 139.

The second and third day were days of glory for the seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry, as the Scotsman hammered the Brazilian wild-card Noel Rodrigues and managed to whitewash the one and only Captain Ali Carter. The audience was thrilled with this great player's performance and many of us started thinking what it would be like to see Hendry win a tournament again. 
Unfortunately for him, during the second semi-final, he lost 5-1 in front of the champion Shaun Murphy.
Marcilio Cavalcanti and Stephen Hendry

The rest is history, for we all know what a great final day the 2011 Brazil Masters had - with the two semi-finals and the final being played in the same day we didn't even have enough time to get a cup of tea. Busy times for snooker.

Shaun Murphy succesfully won by a 5-0 scoreline over Graeme Dott in order to become Brazil Masters first champion. And that big smile of his from the end of the match says it all - it was a long expected victory. Actually, if I well remember he said that he's from a village where people just imagine visiting Brazil, so to be here and win a tournament is a dream come true. 

A very emotional Rui Chapeu receives award
Now, a lot have been said about this tournament, starting with the huge price of the tickets and ending with the location of the event. Yes, many things need improvement before turning this tournament into a ranking one and many things have to be lean before we can say this should become a regular event in the snooker's busy calendar. 
But I believe in giving people a chance. We must not forget that Brazil has a history with snooker (aka. sinuca) and there are a lot of fans and players. Igor Figueiredo was an import player in last season’s professional circuit before dropping out this year due to financial problems. 

So, yes, things need to improve before calling the Brazil Masters a ranking event, but let's face it ! The foundation is pretty stable. We can't expect an inaugural edition to catch people's minds and souls totally. We can't expect everything to go clock-wise. We can't expect to have huge audience when the economic crises has stroked into Brazil pretty hard. 
And yet, people came. Surely we didn't have German Masters' "I can't see an empty chair in the audience”, but the main thing here is that people came. And to see the legendary Rui Chap√©u in the crowd taking part at each match, says a lot about how Brazilian have been longing for this event to happen.

Igor Figueiredo, Mark Selby and Steve Davis
So, maybe in the following years the location could be changed to the capital, Brasilia, or to Rio the Janiero so more fans could get access to snooker. Maybe the price of the tickets can drop a bit so each fan could afford to come. 

In my country we have a saying “If you really want to find something wrong with something, then you most probably will". We can make an entire list of things that weren't so good, but we can also make a lost of things that were absolutely great. 
What we really should keep in mind is that experience comes with time, while the passion for something can't be taught. You either have it, or you don't ... and I dare to say that Brazil has it. ;-)