China Championship 2018

Review Of The Season

The 2017/18 World Snooker Tour provided a battleground for 30 pieces of silverware in tournaments played across 13 countries, with 131 players travelling the globe in pursuit of glory.

From Berlin to Bangkok, here is the story of the 2017/18 season.

Riga Masters
June 23rd – June 25th
Champion: Ryan Day

Welshman Day finally claimed his first ever ranking title after 19 years as a professional. The world number 17 had previously reached four ranking finals, before his 5-2 win over Stephen Maguire in the Latvian capital gave him a maiden title. “It’s been a long time coming and I’m delighted to win a trophy,” said Day, who shed the tag of best player never to wear a ranking crown.

Winner’s Prize Money: £50,000

World Cup
July 3rd – July 9th
Champions: Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo (China A)

Snooker’s ultimate team event returned to the calendar this year and it was the Chinese side of Ding and Liang who thrilled the home crowds in Wuxi to lift the title. 24 teams entered with the ambition of claiming glory on the global stage. In the end it was the English duo of Judd Trump and Barry Hawkins who provided China’s opposition in the final, but the home side came through 4-3 winners.

Winner’s Prize Money: $200,000

Hong Kong Masters
July 20th – July 23rd
Champion: Neil Robertson

The Thunder from Down Under claimed his first piece of silverware in over a year by winning the star studded eight-man invitational event in Hong Kong. Robertson excelled in front of huge crowds, with attendances exceeding 3,000. He defeated World Champion Mark Selby and home favourite Marco Fu to reach the final. There he downed Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-3 to lift the title.

Winner’s Prize Money: £100,000

World Games
July 24th – July 30th
Champion: Kyren Wilson

The city of Wroclaw in Poland hosted this multi-sports event staged by the International World Games Association every four years during the year following the Olympic Games. There were 16 players, male and female, from across the globe battling for the gold medal. Kyren Wilson won it with a 3-1 defeat of Ali Carter in the final.

CVB Snooker Challenge
July 28th – July 29th

This new ‘Ryder Cup’ style team event in Shenzhen pitted the British quintet of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Williams, Joe Perry, Michael Holt and Graeme Dott against China’s Ding Junhui, Liang Wenbo, Yan Bingtao, Zhou Yuelong and Zhao Xintong. The Brits came out on top by a scoreline of 26-9.

China Championship
August 16th – August 22nd
Champion: Luca Brecel

Young Belgian star Brecel fulfilled his potential in Guangzhou with a breakthrough first ranking win. The 22-year-old has been touted as one of the brightest prospects in the sport since becoming the youngest ever player to compete at the Crucible, aged 17 in 2012. Brecel stormed to his first title with a 10-5 defeat of Shaun Murphy.

Winner’s Prize Money: £150,000

Paul Hunter Classic
August 25th – August 27th
Champion: Michael White

White secured a second career ranking victory in Furth, denying Shaun Murphy silverware in his second consecutive final. The 2015 Indian Open champion made breaks of 97 and 83 in the final as he defeated Triple Crown winner Murphy 4-2.

Winner’s Prize Money: £20,000

Six Red World Championship
September 4th – September 9th
Champion: Mark Williams

Williams claimed the first of his four titles of the campaign with victory in Bangkok. He overcame former winner and local favourite Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 8-2 in the final to pick up the title. It is the first time that the Welshman has been world champion in the shortened format of the sport.

Winner’s Prize Money: 3.5 Million Baht

Indian Open
September 12th – September 16th
Champion: John Higgins

Victory in Vishakhapatnam was a momentous moment for Higgins as he captured his 29th ranking title. It saw him eclipse boyhood idol Steve Davis’ total of 28 wins and also helped the four-time World Champion to temporarily move ahead of Ronnie O’Sullivan. The Scot achieved the feat with a 5-1 win over compatriot and defending champion Anthony McGill.

Winner’s Prize Money: £50,000

Yushan World Open
September 18th – September 24th
Champion: Ding Junhui

Ding recorded his first and only individual victory of the season to date in Yushan as he picked up a sixth career win on home soil. China’s top star defeated Luca Brecel in the last four, before demolishing Kyren Wilson 10-3 to claim silverware.

Winner’s Prize Money: £150,000

European Masters
October 2nd – October 8th
Champion: Judd Trump

The Ace in the Pack landed a title defence for the first time in his career, winning the European Masters for the second year in a row. Trump took on Stuart Bingham in the final in Lommel and came out on top 9-7 in an exciting clash.

Winner’s Prize Money: £75,000

English Open
October 16th – October 22nd
Champion: Ronnie O’Sullivan

The Rocket soared to an incredible victory in Barnsley, where he became the second player to claim the Steve Davis Trophy. O’Sullivan produced one of his finest performances of recent years in the final, as he brushed aside Kyren Wilson 9-2. He ended the match with a mind-boggling 98% pot success ratio.

Winner’s Prize Money: £75,000

International Championship
October 29th – November 5th
Champion: Mark Selby

The world number one was once again dominant in Daqing. For only the second time in his career Selby defended a ranking title, following back to back World Championship wins in 2016 and 2017. The Jester from Leicester defeated Mark Allen 10-7 to pick up this season’s title in northern China.

Winner’s Prize Money: £150,000

Champion of Champions
November 6th – November 12th
Champion: Shaun Murphy

The Magician had previously never won a match in the Champion of Champions, but a blistering run saw him pick up the top prize this season. Murphy defeated Mark King, Michael White and Luca Brecel to secure a spot in the final. There he recorded a sublime 10-8 defeat of Ronnie O’Sullivan to lift the trophy.

Winner’s Prize Money: £100,000

Shanghai Masters
November 13th – November 18th
Champion: Ronnie O’Sullivan

O’Sullivan surged to his 30th ranking crown with victory in Shanghai. He overcame fellow legends Mark Williams and John Higgins in the last eight and last four, before coasting to the title with a 10-3 defeat of 2011 UK Champion Judd Trump in the final.

Winner’s Prize Money: £150,000

Northern Ireland Open
November 20th – November 26th
Champion: Mark Williams

Williams finally notched up a 19th ranking title with victory in Belfast. It was his first ranking win since the 2011 German Masters and the two-time World Champion clinched it in style. He never led young Chinese star Yan Bingtao until the final frame in a thrilling 9-8 win.

Winner’s Prize Money: £70,000

UK Championship
November 28th – December 10th
Champion: Ronnie O’Sullivan

O’Sullivan enjoyed a record equalling week in York. The Rocket’s 18th Triple Crown success drew him level with Stephen Hendry on most major titles won. O’Sullivan’s victory also saw him match Steve Davis’ tally of six UK titles. He clinched the trophy with a fine 10-5 win over Shaun Murphy.

Winner’s Prize Money: £170,000

Scottish Open
December 11th – December 17th
Champion: Neil Robertson

Robertson secured his first ranking title in almost two years with the most dramatic of victories in Glasgow. The Australian produced an epic fightback to come from 8-4 down against China’s Cao Yupeng and claim the Stephen Hendry Trophy with a 9-8 win.

Winner’s Prize Money: £70,000

Masters
January 14th – January 21st
Champion: Mark Allen

It was an emotional victory for the Pistol, as he picked up his first ever piece of Triple Crown silverware courtesy of victory at Alexandra Palace. The world number 16 beat Luca Brecel, Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins to book a place in the final against Kyren Wilson. Allen came through a 10-7 winner to lift the title. He said: “I have knocked on the door for so long, but now I can say that I have won a Triple Crown title.”

Winner’s Prize Money: £200,000

German Masters
January 31st – February 4th
Champion: Mark Williams

The remarkable resurgence of the legendary Welshman continued as he stormed to the title in Berlin and a landmark 20th ranking event victory. He won 15 of 17 frames over the final weekend with a 6-1 win over Judd Trump in the semi-final and a 9-1 demolition of Graeme Dott in the final.

Winner’s Prize Money: £80,000

Shoot Out
February 8th – February 11th
Champion: Michael Georgiou

Georgiou won his first ranking title in dramatic circumstances at snooker’s quickfire one-frame knockout tournament. His final battle against Graeme Dott came down to the last few balls, and Cypriot Georgiou potted the pink to clinch the trophy and secure the biggest payday of his career.

Winner’s Prize Money: £32,000

World Grand Prix
February 19th – February 25th
Champion: Ronnie O’Sullivan

O’Sullivan continued his remarkable campaign with victory at the historic Guild Hall in Preston. The 32-man event hosted the best players of the season so far according to the one-year money list and it came down to O’Sullivan v Ding Junhui in the final. The five-time World Champion stormed to a 10-3 win.

Winner’s Prize Money: £100,000

Welsh Open
February 26th – March 4th
Champion: John Higgins

The Scot picked up a record breaking fifth Welsh Open title with victory in Cardiff. He defeated the likes of Stephen Maguire and Ronnie O’Sullivan on his way to the final. There a 9-7 defeat of Barry Hawkins in an entertaining clash saw Higgins lift the Ray Reardon Trophy.

Winner’s Prize Money; £70,000

Gibraltar Open
March 7th – March 9th
Champion: Ryan Day

Day continued his best ever season with victory on the Mediterranean coast. The Welshman stormed to his second title of the campaign and his career with a 4-0 defeat of China’s Cao Yupeng in the final.

Winner’s Prize Money: £25,000

Romanian Masters
March 14th – March 18th
Champion: Ryan Day

A sensational victory for Day, who picked up silverware for the second week in a row. He defeated Barry Hawkins, John Higgins and Kyren Wilson on his way to the final of the 16-man invitational event. There he won a dramatic battle with Stuart Bingham 10-8 to pick up the win.

Winner’s Prize Money: £50,000

Players Championship
March 19th – March 25th
Champion: Ronnie O’Sullivan

O’Sullivan’s victory in Llandudno was his fifth ranking title of the campaign. That equalled the record for most ranking events won in a single season, held by Stephen Hendry, Ding Junhui and Mark Selby. The event saw the 16 best players of the season travel to North Wales. O’Sullivan defeated Shaun Murphy 10-4 in the final to secure the win.

Winner’s Prize Money: £125,000

Championship League
Champion: John Higgins

This event at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry is played out over a series of groups across the season, with the victors all coming together to contest the winners’ group. Higgins was triumphant in 2017 and he set up the defence of his title by winning group seven. A 3-2 win over China’s Zhou Yuelong in the final saw him win the title for a second consecutive year.

Winner’s Prize Money: £21,400

China Open
April 2nd – April 8th
Champion: Mark Selby

World number one Selby returned to form in dramatic fashion in Beijing. He eased to victory with an 11-3 defeat of Barry Hawkins in the final to pick up the biggest ever top prize outside the World Championship. Selby has returned to the winner’s circle right on cue in the final event before the Crucible.

Winner’s Prize Money: £225,000

World Championship

April 21st – May 7th

Champion: Mark Williams

Williams, aged 43, became the oldest World Champion since fellow Welshman Ray Reardon in 1978. In one of the greatest ever Crucible finals Williams overcame four-time winner John Higgins 18-16 to lift his third world title. He said: “What a match to be involved in. The break in the last frame was one of the best I’ve made under pressure in my life. What an occasion, to play John at the Crucible in the final is unbelievable. I’m so happy I won.”

Winner’s Prize Money: £425,000