World Open
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Ranking subplots adding extra intrigue to the World Open

There are 16 players left in the hunt for glory at the World Open in Yushan, including Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump.

The two Englishmen have dominated the 2023/24 snooker season, capturing nine pieces of silverware between them since last summer.

O’Sullivan has added the UK Championship and World Grand Prix ranking titles to the invitational trophies he claimed at the Masters, Shanghai Masters, and the World Masters of Snooker.

All of Trump’s four successes this term have come in ranking tournaments – the Juddernaut emerging triumphantly at the English, Wuhan, and Northern Ireland Opens before also landing the German Masters crown in Berlin.

With the pair on opposite sides of the World Open draw this week, it remains very possible that they could be on a collision course to meet in Sunday’s final.

Trump, the last winner of the World Open back in 2019, entertains David Lilley in the last 16 with O’Sullivan renewing his rivalry with Hossein Vafaei.

Vafaei is on the cusp of securing a place at the upcoming Tour Championship but will need to overcome the Rocket for the first time since their memorable war of words last season.

Vafaei is provisionally in 13th spot in the one-year rankings that determine the Tour Championship qualifiers, with 12 heading to Manchester at the start of April.

Trump and O’Sullivan have of course already safeguarded their spots in that prestigious event, with nine players in total safely into the Tour Championship draw.

Zhang Anda, Mark Allen, Gary Wilson, Mark Williams, Ding Junhui, Barry Hawkins, and Tom Ford will definitely feature in the penultimate ranking event of this campaign as well.

Ali Carter, Mark Selby, and John Higgins are the players currently clinging on to the remaining qualifying positions.

Only a specific set of results would see Carter and Selby usurped, but Higgins has a significantly nervier wait with a small buffer on Vafaei at the moment.

Among those three, recent Championship League winner Selby is the only one still in contention at the World Open with the four-time world champion in action against Jackson Page on Thursday.

Because there’s a champion’s cheque worth £170,000 on offer this week in China, every player has an opportunity to make a huge leap up the rankings.

This could prove important on the official two-year list as well, as the World Open will represent the last event for most before seeding positions for the World Championship are determined.

As things stand, the likes of Vafaei, Neil Robertson, and Stephen Maguire will be forced into the qualifying cubicles in Sheffield.

But winning the World Open title would see any one of them leapfrog their way back into the top 16, and with it an automatic berth at the Crucible Theatre.

Maguire beat world champion Luca Brecel on Wednesday and will face Barry Hawkins in round four.

Robertson’s mini revival, meanwhile, will look to continue on Thursday when he plays Chris Wakelin – a player currently above the Australian on the official world rankings list.

Among the others hoping to feature at the latter stages and into the weekend are home favourite Ding Junhui, who meets Shaun Murphy, and Kyren Wilson, who will battle Ben Woollaston.

Elsewhere, there is a big opportunity for either Elliot Slessor or Daniel Wells to make a deep run in a tournament with the duo in action against one another in the last 16.


World Open Draw and Results

Round of 128 (bo9)

Judd Trump 5-2 Rory Thor
Sanderson Lam 5-4 Gong Chenzhi
David Gilbert 5-0 Anton Kazakov
Fan Zhengyi 5-2 Dylan Emery
Lukas Kleckers 5-2 Jack Lisowski
Dominic Dale 5-3 Marco Fu
Stuart Carrington 5-4 Gary Wilson
David Lilley 5-3 Scott Donaldson

Jak Jones 5-3 Ryan Thomerson
Ashley Hugill 5-1 Anthony McGill
David Grace 5-2 Rebecca Kenna
Kyren Wilson 5-0 Jimmy White
Jamie Jones 5-0 Rod Lawler
Ricky Walden 5-0 Peng Yisong
Ben Woollaston 5-4 Ben Mertens
Iulian Boiko 5-1 Baipat Siripaporn

Mark Selby 5-3 Xing Zihao
Adam Duffy 5-4 Mark Davis
Si Jiahui 5-1 Stan Moody
Long Zehuang 5-4 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
John Higgins 5-1 Ross Muir
Jackson Page 5-3 Liam Graham
Zhou Yuelong 5-1 Jiang Jun
Wu Yize 5-2 Julien Leclercq

Matthew Stevens 5-3 Hammad Miah
Ryan Day 5-4 Andrew Higginson
Elliot Slessor 5-2 Reanne Evans
Zhang Anda 5-3 Allan Taylor
He Guoqiang 5-2 Jimmy Robertson
Matthew Selt 4-5 Wang Xinbo
Daniel Wells 5-1 Liam Highfield
Mark Allen 5-1 Andres Petrov

Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-3 Alfie Burden
Michael White 5-2 Haydon Pinhey
Lyu Haotian 5-2 Ashley Carty
Aaron Hill 5-4 Joe O’Connor
Robert Milkins 5-2 Barry Pinches
Sam Craigie 5-0 Ken Doherty
Hossein Vafaei 5-2 Liam Pullen
Graeme Dott 5-2 Ian Burns

Cao Yupeng 5-0 Rory McLeod
Noppon Saengkham 5-4 Himanshu Jain
Liu Hongyu 5-1 Jamie Clarke
Ding Junhui 5-3 Zak Surety
Sean O’Sullivan 5-1 Xiao Guodong
Joe Perry 5-4 Martin O’Donnell
Xu Si 5-0 Andrew Pagett
Shaun Murphy 5-0 Mohamed Ibrahim

Neil Robertson 5-0 Victor Sarkis
Tian Pengfei 5-1 Mink Nutcharut
Ishpreet Singh Chadha 5-3 Stuart Bingham
Yuan Sijun 5-3 Alexander Ursenbacher
Ali Carter 5-1 Ahmed Aly Elsayed
Louis Heatchote 5-0 Oliver Lines
Chris Wakelin 5-2 Andy Hicks
Jordan Brown 5-1 Lan Yuhao

Robbie Williams 5-3 Andy Lee
Tom Ford 5-2 Ma Hailong
Jenson Kendrick 5-3 Anthony Hamilton
Barry Hawkins 5-3 Steven Hallworth
Stephen Maguire 5-1 Mostafa Dorgham
Pang Junxu 5-2 James Cahill
Oliver Brown 5-4 Mark Joyce
Luca Brecel 5-1 Manasawin Phetmalaikul

Round of 64 (bo9)

Judd Trump 5-2 Sanderson Lam
Fan Zhengyi w/o David Gilbert
Lukas Kleckers 4-5 Dominic Dale
Stuart Carrington 4-5 David Lilley
Jak Jones 0-5 Ashley Hugill
David Grace 4-5 Kyren Wilson
Jamie Jones 4-5 Ricky Walden
Ben Woollaston w/o Iulian Boiko

Mark Selby w/o Adam Duffy
Si Jiahui 2-5 Long Zehuang
John Higgins 3-5 Jackson Page
Zhou Yuelong 1-5 Wu Yize
Matthew Stevens 5-2 Ryan Day
Elliot Slessor 5-3 Zhang Anda
He Guoqiang 5-4 Wang Xinbo
Daniel Wells 5-3 Mark Allen

Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-3 Michael White
Lyu Haotian 5-4 Aaron Hill
Robert Milkins w/o Sam Craigie
Hossein Vafaei 5-1 Graeme Dott
Cao Yupeng 5-3 Noppon Saengkham
Liu Hongyu 2-5 Ding Junhui
Sean O’Sullivan 1-5 Joe Perry
Xu Si 3-5 Shaun Murphy

Neil Robertson 5-3 Tian Pengfei
Ishpreet Singh Chadha 3-5 Yuan Sijun
Ali Carter 5-3 Louis Heathcote
Chris Wakelin 5-4 Jordan Brown
Robbie Williams 5-4 Tom Ford
Jenson Kendrick 2-5 Barry Hawkins
Stephen Maguire 5-3 Pang Junxu
Oliver Brown 2-5 Luca Brecel

Round of 32 (bo9)

Judd Trump 5-3 Fan Zhengyi
Dominic Dale 2-5 David Lilley
Ashley Hugill 3-5 Kyren Wilson
Ricky Walden 4-5 Ben Woollaston

Mark Selby 5-2 Long Zehuang
Jackson Page 5-3 Wu Yize
Matthew Stevens 1-5 Elliot Slessor
He Guoqiang 3-5 Daniel Wells

Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-2 Lyu Haotian
Robert Milkins 2-5 Hossein Vafaei
Cao Yupeng 1-5 Ding Junhui
Joe Perry 3-5 Shaun Murphy

Neil Robertson 5-2 Yuan Sijun
Ali Carter 1-5 Chris Wakelin
Robbie Williams 2-5 Barry Hawkins
Stephen Maguire 5-1 Luca Brecel

Round of 16 (bo9)

Judd Trump 5-3 David Lilley
Kyren Wilson 5-4 Ben Woollaston

Mark Selby 2-5 Jackson Page
Elliot Slessor 5-2 Daniel Wells

Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-5 Hossein Vafaei
Ding Junhui 5-3 Shaun Murphy

Neil Robertson 5-1 Chris Wakelin
Barry Hawkins 5-1 Stephen Maguire

Quarter-Finals (bo9)

Judd Trump 5-2 Kyren Wilson
Jackson Page 5-2 Elliot Slessor

Hossein Vafaei 0-5 Ding Junhui
Neil Robertson 5-2 Barry Hawkins

Semi-Finals (bo11)

Judd Trump 6-2 Jackson Page
Ding Junhui 6-5 Neil Robertson

Final (bo19)

Judd Trump 10-4 Ding Junhui


Featured photo credit: WST

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