Finals

Advani Wins Another World Title

Pankaj Advani won the IBSF World Championship for a second time in his career after an 8-6 victory over Zhao Xintong on Saturday.

Advani IBSF

Delight for Advani – photo courtesy of IBSF. 

It marks an incredible 15th world title for the Indian, adding to his previous triumphs in six-red snooker and billiards.

The 30 year-old will once again be invited to return to the professional Main Tour following his success but there is no guarantee that he will accept the offer.

Advani recently held a position on the circuit for a couple of seasons, performing quite well as he rose to a career-high ranking of 56, but relinquished his professional status in 2014 to concentrate on his billiards career.

A national icon, Advani is loved by millions of Indians and is hailed as one of the country’s best sporting products.

It will be interesting to see what his decision will be but for snooker’s sake it would be a big positive if he accepted the opportunity as it would help to raise the profile of the sport in a potentially huge market.

If Advani passes up the chance, it will be equally intriguing to learn whether or not runner-up Zhao will instead be instated.

The 18 year-old was widely expected to win the final but, despite getting to within one frame of a decider, he ultimately left himself with too much to do after going 6-2 and 7-4 down.

It’s the second time in three years that the Chinese teenager has stumbled at the final hurdle, and could further delay what seemingly will be an inevitable rise to the pro ranks sometime in the future.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong Marco Fu delighted his home fans with a 7-3 triumph over Mark Williams to capture the General Cup invitation event.

The General Cup isn’t the most serious of tournaments, and doesn’t boast a significant purse, but Fu will still be pleased to land a title on home soil and it will surely be a confidence booster ahead of the upcoming UK Championship in York.

Creator of SnookerHQ and a journalism graduate, David has been actively reporting on snooker since 2011. He has been published in national publications and has appeared on BBC World News and on talkSPORT radio as an analyst.