Official Fergal O'Brien Website

Shanghai Masters 2008

After beating Ian Preece 5-3 to qualify, I went to Shanghai on Sept. 26th.
The flight took eleven hours and, despite being in business class,
I was really tired when I arrived in Shanghai the next morning.
Whilst I have a lot of experience of long flights and travelling to foreign countries
I still don't know how to best cope with jetlag.
I seem to stumble around the first couple of days
and spend nights wide awake watching movies or CNN.

As usual, all the players got a great reception in shanghai.
Before meeting the press all the players were treated to a walk
along the red carpet in between hundreds of snooker fans.
They are so enthusiastic and friendly in Shanghai that you always enjoy your time there.

On the actual playing side of things I lost 2-5 to Neil Robertson in the last 32.
Despite making breaks of 52 and 46 I still lost the first two frames and trailed 3-1 at the interval.
We both had 60 plus breaks for 4-2 and, after I missed on 9 and Neil made a 60,
I had one last chance with two reds left but I missed a tricky red along the side cushion
to leave Neil with an easy chance to take the match.
I felt I didn't play terrible but missed three or four shots you just can't afford to miss at the highest level.

Its back to the drawing board for me for the next few weeks, as I don't play again until Oct. 30th,
when I go to Prestatyn to try and qualify for the Bahrain Snooker Championship.
Its great that we have a ranking tournament in Bahrain.
Its the first time there has been a ranking event in the Middle East since the 1993 Dubai Classic.
All credit to World Snooker for staging an event over there.

Before I went to Shanghai, I lost 5-2 to Andrew Higginson in the qualifying match for the Grand Prix.
At 3-2 down I had a good chance to level at 3-3 but failed to take it
and Andrew won that frame and made a 70 break to win the last.
Again I felt I didn't do too much wrong but lost to a player a bit sharper and in form.


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