HomeSnooker2011/12 Snooker Season: Kings of the Crucible – SnookerHQ
2011/12 Snooker Season: Kings of the Crucible – SnookerHQ
July 5, 2021
The most recent chapter in a sequence of articles trying again at every marketing campaign from the Crucible period.
After a profitable first full marketing campaign below Barry Hearn’s rule, the game had been remodeled and his hard-working ideology continued into the 2011/12 snooker season.
As soon as once more, the calendar was packed filled with motion, and gone had been the times when the gamers may get pleasure from a summer season break as tournaments started to pop up extra often throughout the sunshine months.
The primary Gamers Tour Championship occasion out of a dozen passed off as early as June with Ronnie O’Sullivan rising because the champion following a 4-0 success in opposition to Joe Perry within the last.
The PTC tournaments had been small however frenetic pro-ams that had been staged over the course of an extended weekend, and although they solely boasted minor-ranking occasion standing they had been nonetheless good tournaments to win.
Early-season victories for the likes of Mark Selby, Judd Trump, and Neil Robertson led to extra prestigious glories later within the 12 months, whereas the likes of Ben Woollaston, Andrew Higginson, Michael Holt, and Tom Ford all loved uncommon event victories of their very own.
O’Sullivan, in the meantime, had endured a disappointing final couple of seasons by his requirements and his love/hate relationship with the game was a relentless supply of reports.
By the point the German Masters got here round in February of the 2011/12 snooker season, it had been greater than two years since O’Sullivan’s final victory in a full rating occasion – his longest barren spell in 15 years.
It could be troublesome for some to imagine this, however at that time in his profession there have been many who questioned whether or not or not the Rocket’s greatest days had been behind him.
At 4-0 right down to Higginson within the final 32 on the Tempodrom, there was little to counsel that this was going to be the week to reignite his type.
But, motivated after the mid-session interval and buoyed by an enthralled crowd, O’Sullivan fought again to prevail in a decider earlier than continuing to etch his identify onto the trophy with a 9-7 victory in opposition to Stephen Maguire within the last.
That version of the German Masters will be pinpointed as a Y-junction of O’Sullivan’s profession, and a route that in the end continued his upward trajectory to changing into one of many sport’s all-time greats.
Three months later on the Crucible Theatre, O’Sullivan was hardly ever troubled – destroying outdated foes Peter Ebdon and Mark Williams within the first two rounds earlier than securing a detailed victory in opposition to Neil Robertson to achieve the final 4.
A complete win in opposition to shock semi-finalist Matthew Stevens arrange a showdown in opposition to Ali Carter in what was a repeat of the 2008 World Championship last.
The result was the identical, with O’Sullivan romping to an 18-11 success that earned him his fourth world title and a seat firmly again at snooker’s high desk.
In fact, what he was to go and obtain the next time period was to change into one of the vital weird and good shows of all of them, however extra on that subsequent time.
In the meantime, the 2012 World Championship was memorable for an additional standout purpose after seven-time Crucible king Stephen Hendry introduced his fast retirement from the game.
Lengthy having struggled to supply his A-game on a constant foundation, Hendry managed to conjure up another efficiency to recollect with an impressive 147 most break in opposition to Stuart Bingham within the opening spherical.
Hendry proceeded to stun defending champion John Higgins within the final 16 however was thumped 13-2 by Maguire within the quarter-finals, and he later waved goodbye to the group amid emotional scenes on the Crucible Theatre.
The Scot may nonetheless play effectively from time to time, however he had realised that he can be unable to maintain up with the most recent wave of expertise – lots of whom managed to land silverware of their very own throughout the 2011/12 snooker season.
Robertson, Selby, and Ding Junhui shared notable titles between them with wins within the Masters, Shanghai Masters, and the Welsh Open respectively.
Elsewhere, Judd Trump constructed on the boldness gained from his terrific finish to the earlier time period by storming to victory within the UK Championship on the Barbican Centre in December, beating fellow younger hotshot Mark Allen in an entertain battle.
A number of months after that, the latter lastly captured his maiden rating occasion crown by successful the World Open regardless of having sturdy, and fewer than complimentary, phrases to say in regards to the event’s location in Haikou.
Journeys abroad had been changing into extra frequent than ever, with an inflow of tournaments in China and throughout mainland Europe particularly, whereas different components of the world had been trialled with various levels of success too.
The Australian Goldfields Open was staged for the primary time in Bendigo and gained by Stuart Bingham, a participant who would take full benefit of the additional enjoying alternatives to reap exceptional rewards from the game over the course of the next decade.
A non-ranking occasion in Brazil proved much less memorable, and Shaun Murphy’s victory over Graeme Dott stays the final time gamers on the Predominant Tour took a visit to South America for any event of notice.
In the direction of the tip of the 2011/12 snooker season, a few the extra seasoned campaigners additionally returned to successful methods with Peter Ebdon edging Maguire within the China Open last and Stephen Lee’s upsurge in type culminating in a PTC Grand Finals triumph in Galway.
Lee had featured within the latter levels of the prior three rating occasions too, together with the title decider of the World Open in opposition to Allen, and having beforehand dropped exterior the world’s high 16 the Englishman would finish the marketing campaign again inside the highest eight.
The 37 year-old’s resurgence led to strategies that the participant labelled with possessing the silkiest cue motion may lastly problem for among the recreation’s main trophies, however all that promise was to be trampled on within the midst of spectacular controversy halfway by means of the 2012/13 time period.
Click on right here for extra from the Snooker Seasons sequence.