2024/25 snooker
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Five players to look out for during the 2024/25 snooker season

The 2024/25 snooker season is just around the corner with Championship League Snooker set to launch the new campaign next week.

The ranking event version of the Matchroom-promoted tournament will be open to all professional players on the main tour to enter.

There will be more details on that competition, which commences on Monday, later this week.

As always, there promises to be plenty of excitement and drama once again ahead of a fresh term on the green baize – one that will run until May next year.

Let’s, then, take a brief look at just a small selection of players who might be worth keeping an eye on for varying reasons over the course of the 2024/25 snooker season.

Jak Jones

Kyren Wilson may have emerged with the honours at the 2024 World Snooker Championship, but his opponent in the final arguably provided the biggest story of the tournament.

Jak Jones had already impressed on his Crucible Theatre debut in 2023 when he qualified and beat Neil Robertson en route to the quarter-finals.

The Welshman initially failed to build on that run during a disappointing 2023/24 campaign, but that all changed upon his return to Sheffield.

After negotiating the preliminary rounds again, Jones proceeded to the quarters where he ousted pre-tournament favourite Judd Trump.

Semi-final success over Stuart Bingham followed, but a slow and nervy start to the final all but ended his aspirations of landing an unlikely maiden world crown.

Still, the 30 year-old firmly announced himself as a major contender and the sport’s newest member of the top 16 in the process.

Now, the question is whether or not he will be able to build on that momentum during the upcoming term.

Jones, by his own admission, didn’t even produce his best standard at the Crucible Theatre, so it will be interesting to see what he can do with confidence in his ability to compete with the very best surely at an all-time high.

Neil Robertson

Neil Robertson’s defeat to Jones in the second round of the 2023 World Snooker Championship sparked the Australian’s worst period of form.

Robertson barely won a game between the summer and into the turn of the year, a miserable stretch that eventually culminated in him losing his spot among the world’s top 16.

That forced him into the qualifying competition for this year’s World Championship, where he suffered a disappointing reverse at the hands of Jamie Jones on Judgement Day.

While it was a somewhat fitting way to conclude a lacklustre season, there were signs of a return to some form in the back half of the term.

Robertson, now the world no.28, reached the semi-finals of the World Open and generally played well at the English Institute of Sport despite his demise against Jones.

Aged 42, he still has a few years left to manoeuvre his career back into the right direction, and he won’t have many ranking points to defend from the 2022/23 campaign.

Visit Flashscore for live snooker scores and results throughout the upcoming 2024/25 snooker season.

He Guoqiang

He Guoqiang deservedly won Rookie of the Year as the annual World Snooker Tour Awards were delivered last month.

The 23 year-old gained promotion to the main tour just over 12 months ago through the Asia & Oceania leg of Q School.

It didn’t take long for He to make an impression as a professional as he beat the likes of Kyren Wilson, Ryan Day, Hossein Vafaei, and Barry Hawkins in his opening months as a professional.

He reached the quarter-finals of the British Open and followed that impressive display up with runs to the last 16 at both the English and Wuhan Opens.

Strong performances became less frequent in the second half of the season, but he has already risen up the ranks and is on the cusp of joining the top 64 for the first time.

Several young Chinese cueists have flattered to deceive on numerous occasions over the last decade or so.

There remains a void to be filled after the shocking bans related to match-fixing that were administered to Triple Crown tournament winners Yan Bingtao and Zhao Xintong.

He appears to possess sufficient levels of talent and temperament to push on like they initially managed to do, but that of course is easier said than done.

Liam Davies

Over the last few years, the elder statesmen of the World Snooker Tour have undoubtedly dominated towards the top of the rankings.

The majority of players ranked inside the top 16 are over 30 years old, with many like Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, and Mark Williams even approaching 50.

While these players are unequivocal legends of the game, there have been concerns that the lack of an emergence of young talent has left the sport feeling stale.

There have been signs over the last couple of years that a new breed of fledgling stars could be about to breakthrough, however.

The likes of Stan Moody and Liam Pullen began their professional careers a year ago, and there are a whole host of aspiring fresh faces set to mount their early challenges during the 2024/25 snooker season.

Bulcsú Révész (17), Artemijs Zizins (18), and Antoni Kowalski (20) will represent Hungary, Latvia, and Poland respectively after securing tour cards for the first time.

Northern Ireland’s Robbie McGuigan (19), Cheung Ka Wai (24) of Hong Kong, and Pakistan’s Haris Tahir (24) offer additional international flavour.

Perhaps one of the most exciting prospects to keep an eye on is Welsh youngster Liam Davies, who turns 18 at the end of June.

Davies already has a number of international amateur titles under his belt, including the EBSA under-21 crown that earned him his lucrative ticket to the big-time.

Many people in the know are tipping Davies to be a star so the pressure will be fierce, and it will be intriguing to see if he can live up to the billing.

Bai Yulu

There continues to be some controversy and debate surrounding the inclusion of leading women players on the World Snooker Tour.

It has been clear that those who have so far received tour cards to compete on the professional circuit have struggled.

The likes of Reanne Evans and Mink Nutcharut have only managed extremely limited success against their male counterparts.

Yet there have been signs that the women’s game has been improving and growing over the last number of years.

Arguably the biggest indication of this has been Bai Yulu, who has been on most people’s radar during recent seasons.

The up-and-coming star from China disappointingly missed out on world glory on the women’s tour in 2023 when she was pipped in the final by Baipat Siripaporn.

Bai, though, bounced back in dramatic fashion on home soil this year by beating Nutcharut 6-5 to seal the prestigious crown.

The triumph earned the 20 year-old a two-year professional card, and there are some who believe that she possesses the fundamentals to compete at an even higher level.

We have seen with Nutcharut, Evans, and other female players how a couple of bad performances and missed opportunities can lead to a negative spiral effect that can hastily get out of control.

It’s perhaps important, then, that Bai gets her first professional stint during the 2024/25 snooker season off to a positive opening.

Featured photo credit: WPBSA

2 Comments

  1. Jay Brannon

    It seems no decision has been taken on invitational tour cards. Seems a little odd with first event starting on Monday.

    Had to smile when I saw O’Sullivan has entered the Championship League. What odds would give you me he doesn’t turn up or just plays one day?!!

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