Thursday, 3 March 2011

Not such a Gray day

A blast from the past put his stamp on the opening day of the World Championship qualifiers today.

Former world number 12 David Gray, who was relegated off the tour after the 2009/10 season, began his long road to the Crucible with a narrow 5-4 win against Mansfield's David Singh followed by a 5-0 blitz of Ali Bassiri.

In his first win, Gray also came close to a maximum break of 147, only to break down  on 113.

All in all, it was a good day's work for Gray, who is bidding to get his career back on track in this qualifying campaign and with entry to this year's all-new Q School experience.

There's still plenty of work to be done though.

The Scot still remains four wins away from a return to the home of snooker, where he enjoyed his greatest success on the baize.

In 2000, he masterminded one of the greatest Crucible shocks when he beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-9 in the first round. This ended up being the beginning of a terrific climb up the rankings, where he eventually conquered the top 16 by the 2003/04 season. He also went on to enjoy his only ranking event win at the Scottish Open in 2003.

Gray is blessed with a superb cue action and at this point was a player to watch. He possessed heaps of talent and had become a very popular player with the fans and his fellow professionals alike.

But after two years among the elite, he soon started to badly struggle with his game. A 13-2 defeat to Peter  Ebdon at the Crucible in 2006 saw him slip out of the 16, and he would later go on to plunge off of the tour four years later as he continued to struggle for results year on year.

Today will feel like a big milestone for Gray as he attempts to battle back from the doldrums. The task ahead should not be underestimated, but some weight will have been lifted off his shoulders.

 It's good to hear people in the snooker world talking about David Gray again.

No comments:

Post a Comment