Tuesday, July 10, 2007

First Round Draw Complete for Shanghai Masters

The qualifying matches of the first ever Shanghai Masters Snooker Tournament have now been completed with some well known and not so well-known faces making it into the draw.

Tony Drago, who has had some major success at pool recently, has made a comeback to the main tour TV stages and will have to play one of the Chinese Wildcards in his first match.

There are 8 wildcard matches that put the qualifiers against 8 Chinese wildcards, some don't agree with this system, but it certainly develops the game in China and gives some of their younger players the chance to compete with the professionals.

Wildcard Round (qualifiers only)
wc1 Scott Mackenzie
wc2 Stuart Pettman
wc3 Fergal O'Brien
wc4 Adrian Gunnell
wc5 Dominic Dale
wc6 Tony Drago
wc7 Michael Judge
wc8 Mike Dunn

1st Round (Seeded Players in Red)
John Higgins v Jamie Cope
Mark Selby v Winner of WC1
Mark Williams v Stuart Bingham
Ronnie O'Sullivan v Winner of WC2
Peter Ebdon v Dave Harold
Steve Davis v Winner of WC3
Ali Carter v Winner of WC4
Ken Doherty v Winner of WC5
Shaun Murphy v Ian McCulloch
Ryan Day v Winner of WC6
Stephen Maguire v Winner of WC7
Neil Robertson v Matthew Stevens
Stephen Hendry v Nigel Bond
Stephen Lee v Marco Fu
Ding Junhui v Winner of WC8
Graeme Dott v Michael Holt

Potentially we are set for a rematch of the 888.com World Championship final if both Selby and Higgins get through their first round matches.

Pick of the round for me though is Neil Robertson against Matthew Stevens, Stevens had an off season last year and had to qualify for this event after dropping out of the top 16, he will be looking to remedy that this season.
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