The main draw begins at the British Open on Tuesday on a day where places in the final 32 of the competition are at stake on what should be a really good day of snooker inside the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
We saw the majority of the bigger names make it through the held over qualifying matches on Monday although we did lose the biggest of them all in Ronnie O’Sullivan. The fact most made it through makes for a good day of action on Tuesday.
We were due to have four matches in the morning session but the withdrawal from the event of John Astley has dropped that down to three. This session isn’t on TV but on the main table will be two Scots when Anthony McGill goes up against the former world champion Graeme Dott. The other two matches both involve Chinese players. Dave Gilbert takes on Lyu Haotian in one of them and that looks a really good game. Zhang Jiankang meets Jak Jones in the other match.
The tournament continues on the TV from the afternoon session with two sets of matches. The TV table will be occupied by two top players as Zhao XIntong takes on Stuart Bingham in the first game. There are some decent players on the outside tables with Zhou Yuelong meeting his Chinese compatriot Lu Ning in one of them. Former Welsh Open champion Jordan Brown takes on Ng On Yee while in the other game Xiao Guodong goes up against Peter Lines.
John Higgins will be the man given the task of heading up the action on the TV table in the second part of the afternoon. He has an awkward looking clash with Yuan Sijun to overcome. Higgins isn’t the only big name on show in the second part of the afternoon session as Mark Selby will also be on show when he takes on Mark Joyce. The other two matches in this section of games sees Craig Steadman facing Ben Mertens and Dylan Emery going up against Cao Yupeng.
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There is a heavyweight clash to open up the evening session on the main table when Kyren Wilson meets Barry Hawkins in what is a repeat of the recent European Masters final. Jack Lisowski is another big name on show first up in the evening. He takes on Mitchell Mann for a place in the last 32. The other two matches offer up chances for lesser ranked players to shine when Robbie Williams meets Lukas Kleckers and Anthony Hamilton goes up against Jamie Clarke.
Mark Williams continues the defence of his title in the second part of the evening. He will be on the TV table when he goes up against Ben Woollaston. The man who beat Ronnie O’Sullivan on the opening day is back on show here too when Alexander Ursenbacher meets Joe O’Connor. Jamie Jones gets his campaign underway when he takes on the semi-finalist from last season in Elliot Slessor with the other match in the evening seeing Steven Hallworth taking on Hammad Miah.
I took Anthony McGill on in the opening round of the tournament and didn’t have a lot of success but Wu Yize had more than enough chances to do something against him and bungled far too many of them. I don’t believe Graeme Dott will pass up the same opportunities so I’ve got to think that the former world champion can come out on top in the battle of the Scottish players. I highlighted on Monday that McGill was entitled to be rusty and that is exactly how he looked and I’m not sure just on that evidence that much will have changed.
Dott had a good win over Luca Brecel on Monday and we know he is a big match player so he’ll be right up for this one. Dott finished that match with a 139 break and you don’t make those sort of breaks if you are not hitting the middle of the cue ball. I thought McGill was very negative against Wu Yize and as a result of that he didn’t make a single 50 break in the five frames they played. He is likely to need to score better to win this one but with Dott hitting the ball well and having a more than competent safety game I fancy the elder statesman to win this one.
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