Cao Yupeng has been branded a “giant killer” after wins over players such as Mark Allen, John Higgins, Ding Junhui, Mark Williams and Ali Carter, but the up and coming Chinese star doesn’t like being tagged as an outsider.
“Please don’t call me ‘the dark horse’, I am here to win”, exclaims Yupeng.
Having turned professional in 2011, Yupeng has now climbed up to No. 66 in the World Rankings but, with the retirement of Stephen Hendry and suspension of Joe Jogia, Yupeng can secure a Top 64 seeding position in ranking events.
Yupeng shot to international recognition after beating Mark Allen at the Crucible earlier this year.
He’s attracted an army of fans in his homeland China and he delighted them in the recent International Championship when he beat John Higgins.
He also reached the semi-finals of the last APTC event in China, beating Mark Williams en route.
He started the season in fine style, with a Last 16 placing in the Australian Goldfield Open, including a win over defending champion Stuart Bingham.
During the season Yupeng is based in the UK, at his new training base, the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester.
“This is very good for me. I practice every morning and afternoon. Afterwards I go to the gym and also do some running.
“At home in the evenings I like to read and listen to music, and I am learning English.
“Since joining On Q Promotions I now play regularly with other On Q players. Xiao Guodong and Tian Pengfei and Liu Chuang are also based with me, also Rob Milkins, Sam Baird, Michael Wasley and other professionals are based at the South West Snooker Academy.
“Practicing and playing with them helps me a lot.
“I always spend time after every game, whether practice or a match, to analyse my play.
“To see shots I could play better or to learn for situations in the future.
“I focus 200% to avoid making a mistake again in the future. I know there is still a gap between me and the players at the top, but I never think that I will lose and always believe I can beat them.
“My goals are to reach the Top 32 and then the Top 16, step by step. I plan to settle in Gloucester and play at the South West Snooker Academy and I know that with hard work I can achieve all my aims.”
Cao Yupeng competes in the Asian PTC event in China this week and then flies straight back to the UK to play in the PTC event at the South West Snooker Academy.
“The PTC in Gloucester will be a very special event. It is the Kay Suzanne Memorial Event. We will all wear Pink shirts for Breast Cancer Awareness.”