Welsh Open rankings
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Rankings Update After the Welsh Open

Following the Welsh Open last week in Newport, there have been changes in the various rankings.

Around this time of the season there is always a lot going on, and it can be difficult to keep up with everything.

With less than a month until the World Championship qualifiers, pressure is ramping up in the different standings.

Race to the Crucible

The first 11 positions in the top 16 saw no change after Joe Perry’s victory in the Welsh Open on Sunday.

Judd Trump remains third in the world but is the sports betting Zambia favourite with Betway to reclaim the World Championship title this year.

Further down, however, there is a race to see who will qualify automatically for the Crucible Theatre in April, with Stephen Maguire and Yan Bingtao notable names who dropped four spots each.

Maguire is now at no.16, but the Scot’s situation is much more drastic when the the provisional Race to the Crucible standings are taken into account.

The former world number two is set to plummet all the way down to no.39, with his earnings from winning the Tour Championship soon to be deducted from his tally.

Only the top 16 in the world will qualify automatically for the World Championship in April, of course, and Maguire was defeated in the Turkish Masters on Tuesday.

Yan has temporarily slipped outside the elite bracket into 17th spot but stands to regain 16th as a result of Maguire’s impending woes.

Jack Lisowski, meanwhile, is back to no.14 in the rankings after an appearance in the semi-finals of the Welsh Open.

Ricky Walden, currently in 18th officially, is the player best placed to upset the order in time for the World Championship.

The Englishman was within striking distance but has already lost in the first round of the Turkish Masters this week.

Race to the Tour Championship

Including this week’s inaugural Turkish Masters, there are only three ranking events left before the players head to Sheffield.

But one of those is the eight-player Tour Championship, the prestigious final leg of the Cazoo Series.

Based on performances from this season alone, Zhao Xintong, Neil Robertson, and Ronnie O’Sullivan currently lead the way in those standings.

Luca Brecel, Mark Williams, and Mark Allen also look well positioned to be among the esteemed cast in Llandudno.

Walden held the last spot ahead of John Higgins at the start of this week but defeat to Sam Craigie in Turkey means he’s already slipped to ninth.

Hossein Vafaei has leapfrogged the Englishman into eighth spot with Yan Bingtao and Judd Trump among those in Antalya who are not too far adrift as well.

Indeed, with £100,000 on offer for the champion in Turkey, almost any player could still emerge with a spot among the top eight.

With odds of 7/2, Welsh Open runner-up Trump is the favourite with Betway to win the Turkish Masters.

Race for the European Series

The Welsh Open was the seventh leg out of eight on the European Series, with champion Joe Perry shooting up those particular rankings.

The 47 year-old is now 10th on £77,000, with Higgins and Allen leading the way on £98,000 apiece.

It’ll all come down to the final event at the Gibraltar Open later this month, where the victor will receive £50,000.

A bumper bonus worth three times that amount will be awarded to the player who manages to top the European Series overall.

Race for Tour Survival

At this time of year, there’s inevitably a frantic look towards the provisional end-of-season rankings too.

As always, the top 64 in the world after the conclusion of the World Championship will definitely keep their Main Tour cards.

At risk of relegation then are former ranking event champions Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (64), Dominic Dale (66), Matthew Stevens (68), and Michael Holt (69).

The four highest earners from this season who are ranked outside the top 64 will be given fresh two-year cards.

That’s potentially good news for former UK and Masters champion Stevens, who is second behind Oliver Lines (67) in that regard.

Stevens reached the last 16 of the Welsh Open and faces countryman Mark Williams in Turkey on Wednesday, with match odds of 2/1 at Betway.

Fergal O’Brien and Ashley Hugill are the other two players who are currently in line to survive via the one-year list avenue.

However, with big prize money on offer at the World Championship, a lot could and probably will change between now and May.

Featured photo credit: WST

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