Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Haikou World Open so far is that there haven’t been any surprises.
On recent form it was hardly a shock that Robert Milkins beat Mark Davis or Marco Fu defeated Mark Williams.
All the other seeded players won their last 32 matches, although Nigel Bond is in the last 16 because Ali Carter withdrew.
Of the 16 players remaining, only Milkins has thus far failed to win a ranking title. This is a high quality line-up.
Like an Agatha Christie story, you could make a good case for most of them. The likes of Shaun Murphy and Neil Robertson are surely due a big title soon while John Higgins is looking to return to form, Stephen Maguire is trying to maintain the momentum of his Welsh Open victory and Judd Trump and Mark Selby continue their battle to be world no.1.
It’s fair to say the match that will capture most interest in Haikou itself will be Ding Junhui v Fu, a repeat of the 2011 Masters final.
Time was British snooker fans couldn’t watch tournaments from the Far East live. This event is on three channels – Eurosport1, Eurosport2 and ITV4.
Television snooker has come a long way from its humble black and white beginnings and is now broadcast on a multitude of cameras in high definition.
Tonight we learned we had lost one of the best cameramen the game has ever seen with the passing of Chas Lewis.
Chas was a big man with a big heart who worked for the BBC, Sky and many others and was much liked and respected. He had been ill for some time.
He worked across several sports and in other walks of television too. It was a mark of the esteem in which he was held that when he retired Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry went out into the Crucible arena to pose for pictures with Chas and one of his beloved cameras.