Jack Lisowski’s defeat to Kyren Wilson in the quarter-finals of the China Open means that the 16 players who will qualify automatically for the upcoming World Snooker Championship are now known.
Lisowski and fellow Englishman Tom Ford were the only two players who could have still broken into the elite bracket before the qualifiers in Sheffield but both of them lost in dramatic deciders in the last eight in Beijing.
First, Ford went down 6-5 against Barry Hawkins before Lisowski subsequently squandered 4-0 and 5-4 advantages against Wilson to lose in a final frame shoot out.
While some of the seeding positions for the Crucible can still change depending on the results this weekend in the Chinese capital city, no new player can now break into the top 16.
Lisowski’s loss will count as a huge relief for Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen, who avoids becoming the first Masters champion who could have been forced to qualify for the campaign-concluding blue riband event.
Allen squeaks in at number 16 on the list, which could potentially result in a second round Crucible clash with defending champion Mark Selby later in April.
Selby, meanwhile, again looked sharp as he comfortably dispatched of Mark Williams with a brace of centuries in a repeat of last year’s China Open final showdown.
The 34 year-old, who only made three quarter-final appearances in ranking events all season before China, is finding his form at just the right time and will be a hard man to overcome over the next couple of days.
Selby will face Wilson in the semi-finals while Hawkins meets Neil Robertson after the Australian compiled breaks of 143, 92, 86, 80, 73, and 62 in hammering Stuart Bingham 6-0.
Friday’s fixtures also waves goodbye to the end of the shorter formats for this season as the last four on Saturday takes place over the best of 19 frames, to be followed by a 21-frame final, and obviously the traditional longer encounters of the World Snooker Championship.
Provisional Top 16 Seedings for the World Snooker Championship
Article edited on April 9th, 2018: Below seedings are now confirmed.
Mark Selby (1) vs Qualifier
Mark Allen (16) vs Qualifier
Kyren Wilson (9) vs Qualifier
Shaun Murphy (8) vs Qualifier
John Higgins (5) vs Qualifier
Stuart Bingham (12) vs Qualifier
Luca Brecel (13) vs Qualifier
Judd Trump (4) vs Qualifier
Ding Junhui (3) vs Qualifier
Anthony McGill (14) vs Qualifier
Marco Fu (11) vs Qualifier
Barry Hawkins (6) vs Qualifier
Mark Williams (7) vs Qualifier
Neil Robertson (10) vs Qualifier
Ali Carter (15) vs Qualifier
Ronnie O’Sullivan (2) vs Qualifier