On Saturday 17th April 2010 I went to the Crucible Theatre for the opening day of the 2010 Betfred.com World Championship. I had a wonderful day, watching two world champions play,and meeting three players involved in the championships plus it was lovely sunny weather too!
We got to the Crucible around midday. The area was buzzing as it always is on the opening day, there were entertainment acts going on in Tudor Square and the sun was out.
The first place we decided to go and have a look at was the new cuezone, which is now in the Winter Gardens. The table is still there for people to have a go at the various challenge’s, and the BBC studio area where Steve Davis, John Parrott and Hazel Irvine present the TV coverage is situated there.
I had a go at one of the challenge’s on the table. You had to pot the brown, blue, pink and black in turn coming off the bottom cushion playing from the green spot. I potted the brown and blue before misjudging the pink. Just as we went back into Tudor Square I spotted Marco Fu walk past so I had a picture with him to add to my collection.
By now the two matches being played in the morning had finished. Reigning world champion John Higgins trailing 5-4 to Barry Hawkins, while Mark Allen annihilated debutant Tom Ford 8-1. Allen also missed the green whilst on a 122 just missing out on maximum break. We chatted to a few people we know – Hairbear, Matt from Pro Snooker Blog, Martin Gould who faces Marco Fu tomorrow and stilt walking, fire eating Sarah!
It was now time to go into the Crucible to see our first bit of action in the 2010 Championships. The match we were watching was seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry v’s Crucible debutant Anda Zhang. It was clear to see Barry Hearn’s attempt’s to ‘jazz’ up the game with walk on music and MC Rob Walker warming up the audience before the snooker began.
Stephen Hendry stormed the first 4 frames of his match with 18 year old Zhang, with breaks of 60 and 73. Sadly Zhang didn’t look up to the standard early on, making some silly mistakes to let Hendry in. However after the interval it all changed and Zhang Anda came out and made breaks of 83, 69 and 64 to pull it back to 4-3. The players then shared the next two frames to end the session 5-4 to the Scotsman.
After getting something to eat, we were back at the Crucible about an hour before the evening session of Higgins v Hawkins. I spotted Mark Allen and had a picture with him. He was very friendly and remembered me and my site from when he did an interview for me a few weeks previously.
The evening session had some better quality snooker than the afternoon, all of which came from reigning champion John Higgins. Trailing 5-4, the Wizard of Wishaw won the first 4 frames before the interval with a 121 and two more breaks over 60. Barry Hawkins managed to take the next frame after the interval but lost the next two, which included a break of 114 which puts John just two away from a century of centuries at the Crucible, a magnificent milestone.
We thought about staying to watch a bit of the Mark Selby/Ken Doherty match, but with time getting on and another busy day tomorrow, we decided to head off home after what had been a wonderful day