Mark Selby reaserted his dominance at the top of the world rankings by winning the Fuhua Group China Open.
Selby has won the China Open in 2015, 2017 and 2018
Selby had seen his lead at the top of the official two-year ranking list bitten into by an in-form Ronnie O’Sullivan this season, but by winning the £225,000 top prize in Beijing – the biggest for any event other than the Betfred World Championship – the Leicester cueman has boosted his advantage.
Selby now leads O’Sullivan by £745,025, and although he goes to Sheffield defending the £330,000 he won two years ago, he is guaranteed to finish the season as world number one. Click here for the provisional end of season rankings, which show that Selby leads O’Sullivan by £437,025, with a top prize of £425,000 on offer at the Crucible.
It is now 38 consecutive months, going back to his victory at the German Masters in February 2015, that Selby has held the number one position and he looks set to keep it well into next season.
O’Sullivan suffered a surprise defeat against Elliot Slessor in the last 64 in Beijing, though he had the consolation of making a 147 which earned him a £21,000 bonus. His total prize money for the season now stands at £824,500, which means that if he reaches the final at the Crucible (where the runner-up will receive £180,000) he will become the first player ever to earn £1 million in a single season and surpass the record of £932,000 set by Selby in 2016/17.
Barry Hawkins reached the final in China and his £90,000 runner-up prize moves him two spots to sixth in the rankings. Kyren Wilson is up one place to ninth after reaching the semi-finals, which Neil Robertson lost in the other semi and goes from 12th to tenth. Tom Ford earned £27,000 for reaching the quarter-finals, his biggest career pay day, and he’s up from 37th to 33rd.
The top 16 seeds for the Crucible are now finalised and the draw for the qualifiers has been made – for more on that story click here.
Tickets for the qualifying rounds of the Betfred World Championship at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield are available now – for details click here