PTC Antwerp

Having been to the Crucible twice without seeing the greatest cueist of them all in action the PTC in Antwerp looked like a great opportunity to see Ronnie O’Sullivan play. PTCs are smaller tournaments on the snooker agenda but still all the main characters take part. So I booked my train to Antwerp and headed south.

I’d never been to Antwerp, which is really a shame because it’s only a one hour trainride from Rotterdam, so I included some sightseeing in the trip as well. For early November the weather was superb, sunshine and about 15 degrees. People were having a drink on the many terraces in the center of town. The architecture made a great impression, so did the many squares and churches the city has to offer. It might be smaller and less known than Amsterdam but to me Antwerp had a great feel. Some decent restaurants and bars kept me busy in the evenings as well.

But, I was mainly there to see my snooker-hero, the one and only Ronnie O’Sullivan. Arriving at the Sportpaleis I soon noticed I was not the only one. I guess around 95% of the audience was there for the same reason as myself. Because it’s not really an exception when he doesn’t show up, I was still not sure whether I would see him play or not. And if I would see him, would he perform at his best?

I was watching Peter Ebdon – Graeme Dott on the main table when Steve Davis appeared on table two. Not being a big fan of Ebdon and Dott I went over to the other table to see the Nugget play.

After a frame or so, the name Ronnie O’Sullivan appeared on the screen. He was about to play on table five against Anthony Hamilton. Luckily for me table two and five were next to each other so I had a prime seat for Ronnie’s match as all the other spectators had to come from the main table. It was finally about to happen!

Ronnie played pretty good and defeated Hamilton. He survived the next two rounds pretty comfortably which meant he would be playing the final day. That was good news because my friend Freek was coming over to see him play as well.

The quarter finals were about to begin and Ronnie had to face Neil Robertson, the Thunder from Down Under. The head-to-head was not very promising and we were prepared to say good bye to our good friend. On a full packed centre court Ronnie played a great match and treated us on some nice breaks. He sent Robertson back home and was through to the semis.

In the semis Ronnie beat boring Greame Dott quite easily. The final was a real cracker. The two people’s favourites Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump had to face one and another. The final was scheduled at 8 pm which meant it would finish around 9.30 or 10 pm. We therefore had to decide to go home early because the last train departed at 10 pm. We took an early train home in order to see the final on television. Unfortunately Ronnie lost the final in a really high standard match. At least, we have only seen him winning at the Sportpaleis!

Click here to see more pictures from the PTC Antwerp!

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