The second session on August 16, 2019, will feature two players who are probably little known by the general public or the casual snooker fan: Joris Maas will play Leo Fernandez.
Joris qualified for this event by winning the qualifying leg in Toronto.
Joris Maas is the reigning National Champion in his country, The Netherlands, a title he won last June. Actually Joris has been in the final of The Netherlands Snooker Championship all of the last three times it was played.
Joris has never been a professional, however he is playing quite a lot of snooker at amateur level and with considerable success. The best source for those interested in knowing Joris a bit better as a player is probably his profile on Cuetracker. As you will see Joris has been very active, and won a lot of matches, since 2011.
I fully expect to see some big orange patches in the Crucible crowd for this session!
Leo qualified for this event by winning the fourth qualifying leg in Couldston
Leo Fernandez has been on and off the main tour: 1995–1997, 1998–2001, 2002–2006, 2007/2008, 2016–2018 … that’s 12 seasons in total; his highest ranking was 67. He’s never gone past the last 16 in a ranking event, but, make no mistake, he’s a very capable player on his day. His highest break in professional competition is 140.
In 2017, he knocked Ding Junhui out of the UK Championship in the first round …
You will find more about Leo in his profile on Cuetracker
Off the table, Leo is a warm, smiling character. The love of his life is his family, his partner and his “little princess”. To say that he is a doting father is the mother of all understatements!
This match may not immediately attract the casual fan, but I believe that it is probably one of the most interesting games of the first rounds.
Why? Because Joris and Leo are evenly matched, and both of them play on a regular basis. This should be very good snooker, close and extremely competitive.
Leo may have a mini advantage as he has played at the crucible before, in 1999, where he had the misfortune to meet a certain Ronnie O’Sullivan in the last 32. Leo had won five matches to qualify, Ronnie went on to reach the semi finals.