The Riga Masters is professional snooker tournament which is part of Snooker’s Players Tour Championship. The event began in 2014 and was held at the Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia. Since becoming a ranking event in 2016, the Riga Masters has been the opening rankings event of the snooker season.
The 2019 Riga Masters is officially known as the 2019 Kaspersky Riga Masters and will be held at its usual venue at the Arena Riga from July 26-28, 2019. Neil Robertson is the defending champion and he has won the event in two out of the last three years. Robertson is the only snooker player to have won the event more than once in its five-year existence.
Who Are The Favorites?
Neil Robertson is Australia’s greatest snooker player ever and one of the best snooker player from outside England. He is one of 13 players to win the World and UK championships and one of 11 to win the triple crown of snooker: World, UK championships and Masters. Robertson won this event last year, as well as the Wells Open and the China Open. He finished as runner-up last year in the International Championship, Players Championship and Tour Championship.
Mark Selby is the current world #6 ranked snooker player and a three-time world champion from England. Selby won the 2019 China Championship and a semi-finalist at the 2019 Northern Ireland Open. After losing in the second round of the 2019 World Snooker Championship, Selby did not finish as the #1 snooker player in the world for the first time in eight years.
Kyren Wilson won the 2019 German Masters which was his first win in a rankings tournament since the 2015 Shanghai Masters. Last year, he won back to back non-rankings tournaments for the first time when he won the 2018 Paul Hunter Classic and the 2018 Six-red World Championships. Wilson is currently ranked 8th in the world and has finished in the quarterfinals at the 2018 Riga Masters.
Mark Williams is a three-time world champion who became the oldest snooker player to win the World Championships when he won the event in 2018 at the age of 44. He is currently ranked third in the world and was the winner of the 2018 World Open, his lone win in a rankings tournament last year. He was a semi-finalist in the 2016 and 2017 Riga Masters but was eliminated in the second round last year.
Jack Lisowski has never won a rankings tournament. The world’s 11th ranked snooker player lost to Neil Robertson in the final of the 2018 Riga Masters, Lisowski lost to Neil Robertson 2-5 in the Finals. That tournament marked his first appearance in a final of a ranked tournament. Lisowski also finished as runner-up in the 2018 China Open and the non-ranking Tournament League.
Ali Carter is a two-time finalist at the World Championship, losing both to Ronnie O’ Sullivan. The current 17th ranked snooker player was a finalist at the 2018 World Grand Prix and also made the quarterfinals of the 2018 International Championship, English Open and World Championship. Carter bowed out in the second round of the 2018 Riga Masters.
There’s no question why Neil Robertson is the favorite in this tournament. Not only is he the defending champion, but he’s also won the event in two out of the last three years and is the tournament’s only multiple-time winners. Robertson also enters this tournament in excellent form after having finished in the quarterfinals in eight out of his last nine tournaments entered. This 2019 alone, he won the Welsh Open in February, the China Open last April was runner-up in the Players Championship and Tour Championship in March. In his last ranking tournament entered, Robertson finished in the quarterfinals of the 2019 World Championships last May. Prediction: Neil Robertson