Conratulations to Judd, the 2019 World Snooker Champion!
He beat John Higgins by 18-9 in a record-breaking final. Judd made seven centuries in that final, more than in any other Crucible final. The match had 11 centuries in total, more than any other match. And this World Championship saw 100 centuries made, the 100th bu the new champion. Also, by winning the World Championship, Judd became only the 11th player in history to hold the “Triple Crown” – UK Championship (2011),, Masters (2019), World Championship (2019)
Oli’s early exit means that he’s now lost his professional status. Liang fell at the last hurdle, but Ali is through to the Crucible … where, in the first round, he will face a stablemate in Jack Lisowski, starting on April 24, 2019.
The China Open 2019 was played in Beijing from April 1 to April 7, 2019. Neil Robertson beat Jack Lisowski by 11-4 in the final. It was quite a successful event from the Grove as the semi finals featured three of their players. Neil Robertson emerged the winner – by 10-7 – of an all Grove battle against Luca Brecel. It was a very high quality match. Jack Lisowski outplayed his opponent, Scott Donaldson in the other semi final, which he won by 10-1.
Neil was appearing in his fourth consecutive final, of which he won two. His win in Beijing saw him climb to n°4 in the World rankings and n°1 in the one year list. Luca and Judd excellent performances secured their spots in the top 16, seeded at the Crucible. They both have every reason to feel positive ahead of the World Championship. Neil is now certainly a favourite going into the World Championship. However, he’s determined to try to relax and enjoy the tournament first and foremost, as he explained in his press conference:
It seems like such a long time since I won the World Championship in 2010. Going into it this year, it is the first time in a while I am just going to go and entertain the crowd and play some attacking snooker that they can enjoy. Hopefully the results will just take care of themselves. In the last few years I have tried to get into the last 16 and the quarters and work my way into the tournament. I have won three ranking events and a massive competition this week, I’m just going to relax and enjoy myself.
Here is the trophy ceremony
2019 China Open: Neil Robertson - Jack Lisowski (Session2, trophy ceremony) - Vimeo
Jack will of course be disappointed not to have been able to perform better in the final. However he has a lot of positives to take from the tournament, as himself acknowleged during his post-match interview. This is what he said:
“I’ve got to learn from this week and think about what happened. Neil played great today and I wasn’t that good. I can still see there are a lot of places with room for improvement. I have to knuckle down, as I could see my game getting better throughout the week.
“My ranking is really going up and I am a seed in the World Championship. My game is finally there and I feel like I have proven myself to a point now. There is still a lot to do, but I’m not in a mess with my game like I was a few years ago.”
The way Jack won the decider against Stuart Bingham in the QF, certainly justifies his optimism:
2019 China Open: Jack Lisowski 52 - Stuart Bingham - Vimeo
Liang Wenbo reached the last 16, Ali Carter lost in the last 32, whilst Judd Trump and Oliver lines lost in the last 64 (round 1)
The Tour Championship is a new event on the calendar, featuring only the eight best players on the one year ranking list. This event was played in Llanduno, North Wales, from March 19 to March 24, 2019. The QF were best of 17, the SF best of 19 and the final best of 25. Grove had two players in it: Judd Trump and Neil Robertson. Both got past the first hurdle. Judd went out to Ronnie O’Sullivan, the eventual champion. Having beaten Ronnie in two finals already this season, Judd faced an opponent who was absolutely determined to avert an other defeat. It was a hell of a battle over 19 frames. It went the distance. Ronnie eventually prevailed in a match that was extremely high quality. The two are savage potters, but it was the safeties that were key to the encounter and they both showed tremendous skills… and will to win. Having beaten Judd in a decider in the semi-finals, Ronnie then went on to defeat Neil in the final, by 13-11.
The match was good standard, but not absolute top standard. It was however a battle of two players giving it their all under pressure. It was engrossing. Neil had been beaten 10-4 by Ronnie only two weeks ago, this time is was very close!
Those are the last moments of the match, and the trophy ceremony with the interviews of both players:
2019 Tour Ch'ship: review of the Ronnie O'Sullivan - Neil Robertson match (Session3, trophy ceremony) - Vimeo
All Grove players, except Oliver Lines and Liang Wenbo have been involved in this season Championship League snooker. Three of them, Neil Robertson, Judd Trump and Jack Lisowski made it to the winners group. Jack made it to the Final but, unfortunately was then beaten by Martin Gould. All detailed results on Wikipedia
The second leg of the Coral series was played in Preston from 4 March to 10 March 2019. Ronnie O’Sullivan was the defending Champion and made a successful defence of his title as he beat Neil Robertson in the Final, by 10-4.
Neil did very little wrong but Ronnie was almost unplayable on the day. Despite the disappointment of losing Neil was happy to be part of snooker history, and a very special moment: indeed Ronnie made three centuries during the match, including a 134 in the last frame, which was the 1000th century of career. As he was potting the last balls, the crowd was on their feet applauding and cheering every pot. That 134 could easily have been a 141 … if Ronnie hadn’t pocketed the white whilst potting the last black. That meant that Neil had a small consolation: his 140 remained the High Break of the tournament.
Two more Grove players were involved: Jack Lisowski beat Kyren Wilson by 6-4 in the last 16, and lead Judd Trump by 5-2, only to lose 6-5. Having survived that, Judd faced Neil Robertson in the semi finals, lead by 3-1, only to lose by 6-4.
The Indian Open 2019 was played in Kerala from 27 February to 3 March 2019. The tournament was initially scheduled in 2018, last autumn, but was postponed because of terrible floods that affected the area. Luca Brecel and Neil Robertson had qualified for it back then. Neil chose to withdraw. Jack Lisowski had his first match held-over, but didn’t get past the last 64. Luca made it to the last 16. The tournament was won by Matthew Selt.
Neil Robertson beat Stuart Bingham by 9-7 in a tense final in Cardiff to lift the Ray Reardon Trophy. It was Neil’s 15th ranking title and the second Welsh Open victory. The first came in 2007 – when he beat Andrew Higginson by 9-8 – only his second ranking title at the time.
The tournament was played in Cardiff from February 11 to February 17, 2019.
It wasn’t a great tournament for the Grove team overall, with Jack Lisowski being “second best” to Neil with a modest last 16 run.
Neil Robertson overcame Stuart Bingham 9-7 in the final of the ManBetX Welsh Open at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.
Victory for Robertson continues his purple patch against the 2015 World Champion. The Australian came into the match on an 11-frame streak against Bingham, having beaten him 6-0 and 5-0 in their previous two meetings at the 2018 China Open and 2019 German Masters respectively.
The £70,000 winner’s cheque has seen Robertson cross the £4 million barrier in career earnings. The Thunder from Down Under now moves up to eighth in the world rankings from tenth. It is a 15th career ranking title for the 37-year-old, who is now level with Mark Selby on ranking wins.
Bingham claimed this title two years ago by defeating Judd Trump in the 2017 final. However, that means he was defending the prize money won that week on the two-year rolling world rankings. As a result he now drops from 12th to 14th in the world and faces a battle to keep his top 16 spot ahead of the World Championship.
In a fragmented afternoon session, it was 2010 Crucible king Robertson who claimed the advantage coming out with a 5-3 lead. When they emerged for the evening’s action the Australian widened the gap.
Bingham spurned opportunities to take the opening frame, before missing a black off the spot which allowed Robertson to clear with a break of 65 to edge three ahead. He then moved even further in front after punishing a loose safety with a run of 56 to extend his lead to four at 7-3.
The Essex cueman kept himself in it by clinching an important 11th frame to make it 7-4. There was then a dramatic frame before the mid-session. Robertson failed to convert a frame ball brown to the top right pocket and inadvertently developed the blue from a safe position. Bingham cleared and clenched his fist having escaped with his hopes of a fightback still intact.
When they returned Bingham continued to push for parity and took three frames on the bounce to stun Robertson and level at 7-7. The Thunder from Down Under then won a tense 15th frame to move to the verge of victory at 8-7.
Robertson emphatically surged past the winning post in the following frame, depositing a long red and crafting a contribution of 83 to claim his second Welsh Open title, 12 years after his last win in 2007.
“When you hear it is 12 years later it certainly makes you feel old. It is an amazing feeling because Stuart’s safety throughout the whole match was unbelievable.” said Robertson.
“It is incredible to win. It is very satisfying when you blitz a final and play really well. However, it is more rewarding the way I had to fight throughout. I wasn’t at my best. I didn’t do a lot wrong, but I just hung in there. From 7-3 to 7-7 I had to dig really deep.
“I think I am definitely a player who is more than capable of being a multiple World Champion. I just need to play with a lot of positivity and play matches on my terms. That is probably the first match I’ve played in a long time where I have felt it wasn’t on my terms. I need to learn from that straight away and not let it happen again. You look at the World Championship winners in the last few years they have all won it playing their game. I need to develop my style better to make it more threatening for the 17 days of the World Championship.”
A disappointed Bingham rued the fact he didn’t manage to carry his strong form from the rest of the week into the showpiece match.
Bingham admitted: “I’m gutted really, I just didn’t show up today. I have been good all week and to not do it on the final day is disappointing. I had my chances. It isn’t like he blew me away. I tried to keep in it and got myself back to 7-7. All of a sudden I fancied the job.
“If someone had said before the tournament I’d get to the final I would probably have grabbed their hands off. I made 11 centuries this week. Even though I didn’t play great today, I had a fighting chance. That probably shows me where my game is. You can be a fraction out sometimes.”
Judd Trump beat Ali Carter – an all Grove Final – to win the World Grand Prix 2019, played in Cheltenham from February 4 to February 10, 2019.
This was Judd’s third title of the season, after the Northern Ireland Open 2018 and The Masters 2019. It was Judd’s tenth ranking title in total.
Judd started a bit slowly, only just getting the better of Stuart Carrington in the last 32, and coming out the winner of an error-strewn match against a poor Tom ford in the last 16. But a 5-1 trashing of the World number 1, Mark Selby, in the quarter final really got him going. Barry Hawkins proved to be the hardest opponent to beat: Judd was never in front in their semi-final until the last – deciding – frame. Ali Carter put up a goof fight in the final but Judd dominated the last mini session to seal victory.
Other than Judd and Ali, two more Grove players were involved: Jack Lisowki and Neil Robertson.