Official Fergal O'Brien Website

Shanghai Masters Qualification

I was delighted to qualify for the Shanghai Masters.
This was the first ranking event on the calendar and it was important to get off to a good start.
In my first match I beat Paul Davies 5-4. Paul had beaten me in the first match of last season
so it was a tough battle and one that has set me up for a good season.

My next match was against Barry Hawkins and this was a tough match again.
I had played Barry twice since March, when he beat me in the semi-finals of the Kilkenny Masters
and then I played him again in the first televised round of the World Championships
when I won a very close match, 10-9.

I stayed on in Pontins to play in the pro-am, for match practice, directly after the qualifiers.
I have been practicing hard and played in another Pontins pro-am last weekend.
I lost at the last 16 stage 4-2 to eventual winner Joe Perry, but it was great match practice again,
having played Mick Judge and Martin Gould to get that far.

I travel to Shanghai, via London on August 1st.
My first match will be in the wildcard round, on Monday Aug. 6th at 7.00am, Irish time.
If I win that match I will face Steve Davis for a place in the last 16 of the tournament
on Tuesday Aug. 7th at 12.30pm Irish time.

It has been a great start to the season so far, and this comes on the back of a good season last year.
I started the 2006/2007 season at number 46 in the rankings and have moved up to number 37 for the start of this season.
Added to this I am well inside the provisional top 32 at this point of the season.
This is a measure of how hard I have been working towards my goals and objectives and where I see myself going
over the next couple of seasons, back into the top 16

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