ALAN McManus was due on table for his first-round match at the Haikou World Open in the early hours of Tuesday morning UK time against Martin Gould.

The 43-year-old may have experienced all his greatest moments in the game the best part of 20 years ago, with a Masters title and two ranking-event successes, but world No38 McManus still enjoys playing snooker wherever it takes him as much as ever.

And before his latest contest the Glaswegian was kind enough to share some thoughts with Inside Snooker about Hainan Island and a tournament which came through some bad publicity in its first year before gaining more plaudits for the efforts made 12 months ago.

The remote location requiring at least one change of flight saw several cues go missing last year, and McManus was delighted not to see large numbers of players handicapped in that way this time round.

Scot McManus said: “Fortunately all the players’ cues seem to have arrived this year. I think lessons have been learned this time, ie not checking them all the way through from the UK. Picking them up in Hong Kong/Guangzhou and checking them in again seems to have done the trick on that score.

“The players’ hotel is perfectly adequate, although not a patch on last year when we stayed next door to the venue in the Shangri La. That hotel is now officially opened (unlike last year) and I've heard is full with conferences and the like.

“The hotel is five minutes or so from the venue, which I've been told is ‘go out, turn right and you can't miss it’.....heard that one before!!

“The weather is I would say a good 10 degrees cooler this year, drizzly rain most of the time, but the humidity is very high. Much more so than Asian Tour 4 which was only a one-hour flight north of here to Guangzhou airport.

“The practise table situation is better than recent trips. There are three tables in the hotel, with another three at the venue. Humidity is a big factor here as I've mentioned. As such, I think there will be quite a few gloves on show this week while playing. Myself and Anthony McGill will definitely be wearing one, and I'd imagine plenty others will be similarly prepared.”


Photographs by Monique Limbos