Snooker TV pundit Neal Foulds has suggested players maybe forced to change the way they break off in vital frames.
Foulds indicated on commentary during Sunday night’s thrilling English Open final that the player breaking off in a final frame decider could be at a disadvantage due to the high standard of long potting by today’s top players.
His comments came as that type of sequence played out when Judd Trump took on and potted a long red only seconds after Neil Robertson broke off in the final frame of the ranking event final.
Trump went on to make a match-winning break of 114 to win the title 9-8.
Foulds, who works as a commentator and pundit for Europsort and ITV, questioned whether the break-off was in need of a “rethink” when he repeated his views on Twitter.
He said: “Reflecting on the #EnglishOpen snooker from semi-finals onwards. At the level top players are potting long balls perhaps time to rethink the break-off? Not many times would someone play round angles off the pack thick if they weren’t breaking off. Instead they’d hit them thin.”
World number seven Shaun Murphy replied saying he agreed and that the only way of guaranteeing safety from the break-off was to “roll into” the pack of reds from two cushions.
Murphy, world champion in 2005, said: “Completely agree. Been looking into this for some time. Only option to guarantee not leaving a potting opportunity is to roll into the pack off two cushions.”
But would Murphy’s idea symbolise negative play?
Speaking after Sunday’s final, Robertson revealed the break-off also proved decisive when he beat Judd Trump in a final frame thriller in last season’s Champion of Champions final.
Robertson said: “I broke off, it was a pretty good break-off and I left him the same red I did when we played in the Champion of Champions final when it was 9-9 and he tried to drop it in but missed it and I cleared up. This time he knocks it in and clears up.”
You can watch that moment here.
Does the break-off need a rethink, as Foulds suggests? Let us know what you think?
Main Image: Eurosport