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World Championship 2011 - Qualifying Preview (Part 3)

World Championship 2011 - Qualifying Preview (Part 3)

It's the third and final preview for the Betfred.com World Snooker Championship qualifiers at the EIS, Sheffield! Taking centre stage and hoping to win his second world title is the Darling of Dublin; Ken Doherty.

WC Qualifiers

 

This is the third and final part of my qualifying preview for the World Championship. You can watch all of these matches live at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield over the next week.

Tickets start at just £5, to book call 0114 256 5567 or visit www.arenaticketshop.co.uk

 

~ Simon Bedford ~

~ Jamie Jones ~ ~ Dave Harold ~ ~ Gerard Greene ~

~ Noppon Saengkham ~

- - -

Probably the most open draw of the qualifiers. The first match sees Simon Bedford against China's Noppon Saengkham. Both players have struggled for consistency this season, but Simon has done the slightly better but stilll needs a couple wins to get inside the top 64. It could go either way this one and the winner will face Jamie Jones. Jamie had quite a good season and even reached a PTC final and will be hoping to capitalize on this draw, he should make it through to face Dave Harold. Dave a former top 32 hasn't done much of note this season and sees himself down to 54th and will be looking for a win. He is a battler and I expect him to come through to face Gerard Greene. Gerard himself has also had a grim season and is hanging on to his top 32 place by a fingernail. I feel he will be feeling the pressure the most and I could see Dave the veteran upset the seed here and reach the Crucible. - Dave Harold to qualify.

 

Stuart Bingham

~ Ben Woollaston ~

~ Stuart Pettman ~ ~ Alan McManus ~ ~ Stuart Bingham ~

~ Jamie O'Neill ~

- - -

Ben Wollaston and Jamie O'Neill feature in the next group. Ben sees himself out of the top 64 at the moment but wins in the PTC events means he might still scrape through as one of the eight highest players on the order of merit but he could still do with a win here. He opponent is 93rd ranking Jamie O'Neill who has had no such luck and will be off the tour and I expect Ben to come through. Stuart Pettman is next and now the veteran sees himself down to 78th in the rankings after having a less than perfect season, he could see himself off the tour for the first time since joining it in 1994. I still make him favourite to go through to battle Scot Alan McManus. He as well as Stuart has been slipping down the rankings and could do with a confidence boost at the end of the season. Either could win that match and face Stuart Bingham in the final round. Stuart has had his best season for years and is provisionally in the top 16 already. After beating Ronnie O'Sullivan in the UK championship and reaching the quarter-finals he will be hungry for more and is an almost guarentee to make it through to the final stages of the Crucible once again. - Stuart Bingham to qualify.


~ Andrew Pagett ~

~ Bjorn Haneveer ~ ~ Nigel Bond ~ ~ Andrew Higginson ~

~ Zhang Anda ~

- - -

Zhang Anda surprised us all last year by beating four opponents including John Parrott and Ricky Walden to reach the Crucible and nearly beat Stephen Hendry but lost 10-9 from 9-8 up. Unfortunately though he has made little progression since and sees himself down to 84th and will be off the tour unless he pulls off another miracle. It will be a close match with his opponent Andrew Pagett though who needs at least one win to stay safe for another year. The winner faces Belgium no.1 Bjorn Haneveer who has had an up and down season but ranked at no.61 he should be safe to fight on. He will most likely come through to face Snooker Shoot-out champion Nigel Bond. Apart from the shoot-out Nigel has been playing some great Snooker in the last few months and has reached several venues. I could see him upsetting the out-of-sorts Andrew Higginson in the final round who has slowed down in recent months and will be feeling the pressure to qualify. - Nigel Bond to qualify.


Ken Doherty

~ Xiao Guodong ~

~ Jimmy Robertson ~ ~ Tony Drago ~ ~ Ken Doherty ~

~ Kurt Maflin ~

- - -

The final group sees two Legends of the sport; Tony Drago and Ken Doherty. Fans will want both to qualify but only one can make it through, but first they might have to beat the winner of the Xiao Guodong/Kurt Maflin match. Kurt had a rubbish season up untill last week when he beat four opponents including Mark King to qualify for the China Open. He still needs more wins to stay safe on the tour though and Xiao Guodong will want to win also, at 63rd in the provisional rankings he looks vulnerable. I slightly favour Xiao to come through to face Jimmy Robertson. Jimmy is strangely one place below Xiao at 62nd and will be equally as desperate to win to secure his place on the 2011/2012 tour. Jimmy should make it through to face the Tornado Tony Drago. Since re-joining the tour last year Tony has been consistently winning matches and now sees himself at 42nd in the rankings. His fans will want to see more of the fasest player of the circuit (especially after this match!) and I expect him to come through to face Ireland's favourite Ken Doherty. Ken has been no slouch either in the last few years and still sees himself in the top 32 at 25th in the provisional rankings. It will be a close match but I would like to think Tony will want it the most to make a re-appearence at the Crucible for the first time in nearly a decade. - Tony Drago to qualify.

Posted Mar 4, 2011   
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