Mark Selby will end 2021 as snooker’s world number one in the official rankings ahead of Judd Trump and Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Selby and Trump had a tussle for the top spot earlier this season, with the Leicester man holding onto the coveted position despite an indifferent run of form of late.
The £500,000 Selby earned for his fourth World Championship success at the Crucible Theatre means the 38 year-old concludes the year as the only player boasting more than £1 million on the two-year rolling list.
O’Sullivan’s World Grand Prix triumph on Sunday ensures that the Rocket closes the gap on Trump in second place to less than £25,000.
With less than £100,000 separating the top three, there’s bound to be an intriguing battle for snooker’s world number one spot in the remaining months of the 2021/22 term.
Neil Robertson and Kyren Wilson round off the top five, with John Higgins, Shaun Murphy, Mark Williams, Zhao Xintong, and Barry Hawkins completing the top ten.
Belgium’s Luca Brecel, the winner of the Scottish Open earlier in December, ends the calendar year inside the top 16 but will fail to qualify for the upcoming Masters as he didn’t break into the elite bracket in time.
Meanwhile, UK champion Zhao and Brecel remain in first and second place respectively on the one-year rankings list that determines qualification for the Cazoo Series events.
O’Sullivan rises to third and will definitely feature in the next tournament on the series, the 16-strong Players Championship in Wolverhampton.
The top eight will subsequently qualify for the lucrative and prestigious Tour Championship at the end of March, with Williams, Mark Allen, Robertson, Higgins, and David Gilbert currently holding onto those remaining positions.
The next ranking event on the 2021/22 calendar is the Shoot Out at the Morningside Arena in Leicester in January.
Featured photo credit: WST
My 2021 Awards:
Best Player: John Higgins
Best Match: Mark Selby v Stuart Bingham, Crucible semi
Best Performance: John Higgins winning the Player’s Championship
Golden Moment: Mark Allen defeating John Higgins in the final of the Northern Ireland Open. The raucous atmosphere that greeted his victory added to this moment hugely.
Biggest Shock: Jordan Brown winning the Welsh Open.
Best Tournament: World Championship
Best Referee: Ben Williams
Best Commentator: Phil Yates
Best Analyst: Alan McManus
Best Podcast: Snooker Scene Podcast
Best Website: Snooker HQ!!
Solid picks, especially the last one. Cheers, Jamie. Have a good Christmas!
Hope you have a nice South Korean Christmas! Would have looked rude otherwise! To be fair, snooker.org is vital for scores and rankings but this is more thought-provoking!