Shanghai Masters 2011 - preview

02:23:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

It's Shanghai time lads and lasses! First stop on a foreign land for snooker (this month) and we all know how much we will enjoy our seven days trip in far, far away China.

Shanghai Masters is the second most important snooker tournament held in China and this year we are celebrating its fifth anniversary. It all started in 2007 but it has evolved in such a magnificent way, that the big brains from World Snooker have decided to keep it running. And they were so right, for snooker is the Chinese peoples' second religion: they believe in it, they cherish it and they are absolutely thrilled to witness the miracles that the snooker players accomplish each time they "hit the baize".

If in its first year of existence the Shanghai Masters' final featured an all Welshman-fight, Dominic Dales facing Ryan Day (and winning by 10-6), the second year was an all Englishman-battle between Ricky Walden and Ronnie O'Sullivan. Surprisingly, or not, the Rocket lost 8-10 but he took revenge in 2009 when he beat the local star, Liang Wenbo by 10-5.

The defending champion - Ali Carter
Last year O'Sullivan didn't seem to be interested in defending his Shanghai crown pulling out of the event, but the Captain Ali Carter had what it takes to write his name on the shiny trophy. After a great run, he ended up to play in the final against Scotland's "iron-man", Jamie Burnett, a player that took down all his previous opponents in the best possible way. The Scotsman wasn't going to make Carter's life any easier, but Ali was determined enough and so, in the end, he won 10-7.

And this brings us to present time when the Top 16 players, another 16 qualified players and eight wild cards will try their best to go home with the 2011 Shanghai Masters trophy, the £65,000 prize money and some very precious 7,000 ranking points.
Mark King, Anthony "The Sheriff of Pottingham" Hamilton, the Thai James Wattana, the multifunctional Dominic Dale, snooker's "007 Agent" Nigel Bond, Pink Army's Robert Milkins soldier, Martin "Goldie" Gould and the fresh Australian Goldfield Open champion (and officially a brand new daddy) Stuart Bingham, are just a few of the names that made it through the killing qualifiers and will thrill us for sure in the following days.

"I'm wild! Hear me roar!"
But first things are first and the beginning of this year's Bank of Communications Shanghai Masters means, as you all know, that the wild-cards will enter in the arena. Like real tigers unleashed and hungry to feast, the wild cards will definitely try to erase as many players as they can in their journey of proving they are not in the wrong place and the fact that they are "juts" wild cards doesn't mean they are beneath any other players from this tournament. If they will succeed or not in their quest for victory ... that's a question which answer will be given to you tomorrow night.

EuroSport will cover the 2011 Shanghai Masters, but not the wild-cards day, so I'm afraid we'll just have to follow the live scoring system, good old (see the schedule) and wait for Tuesday morning when the Shanghai fun will enter our homes. As usual, the Chinese hours are totally inhumane, meaning that the first session of matches will start somewhere around 7.30AM (UK time), but hey! At least we don’t have to deal with 4.30AM, as we did during the Australian Goldfields Open, right? :-))

Best of luck to our defending champion Ali Carter, but also to all of the other lads that take part in the 2011 Shanghai Masters run!

Below you can check Day 1 schedule:

Wild card round

7.30AM (UK time)

WC2 James Wattana v. Jin Long (LIVE)
WC1 Fergal O'Brien v. Hossein Vafaei (LIVE)
WC3 Anthony Hamilton v. Li Hang
WC5 Jack Lisowski v. Rouzi Maimaiti

12.45PM (UK time)

WC4 Dominic Dale v. Cao Xinlong (LIVE)
WC6 Nigel Bond v. Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon (LIVE)
WC7 Robert Milkins v. Tang Jun
WC8 Michael Holt v. Cai Jianzhong