There were practice tables at both the Sheraton Hotel and the University Gymnasium venue in Beijing, and in the early part of the week those players who made the 15-minute taxi ride from the accommodation found it far easier to get on and prepare properly for a decent amount of time.
As the field was whittled down the pressure eased everywhere but Dechawat Poomjaeng was in at the venue a good hour and a half before his last-16 match against Gary Wilson, a match-up that offered both a great chance of reaching the quarter-finals.
Huge windows meant anyone walking past the tournament office and into the media centre could see straight into the practice area at the venue. Generally players tried to block out the distraction and focused on the job in hand.
But on seeing WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson walk by, Poomjaeng immediately broke off and offered the traditional Thai ‘wai’ greeting of respect, clasping his hands together in front of his face and bowing low – a gesture immediately returned.
Perhaps more surprisingly Poomjaeng also offered the same mark of respect to a journalist walking by at the same time. Hacks could be thrown by this sort of unexpected curve-ball, but the individual in question just about held it together to respond in kind.