I watched a fair bit of LIVE streaming for this years worlds and was really pleased that a lot of the focus was on LUCA. I say this cos I had not seen him before and wanted to gauge for myself what the hype and story was. I could not be more impressed with what I saw. The kid is not just a great cueist but he knows the game tactically very well. This is what has shocked me most of all. He is not a basher, not just a breakbuilder akin to most young upstarts. He plays some shots that seasoned pros would not think of - or would not be able to execute.
You might think I am bigging him up to much, and so the case maybe.
I think LUCA has the game to do damage, and he is not the "rabbit in the headlight" sort.
I have predicted LUCA to progress in R1, no expectation but he has the game. He is well and truly honed into best of 19 snooker, he is match sharp, he is expected to be cannon fodder.
Prediction: Luca to win a tight one.