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The 2016 World Snooker Championship[a] was a professional snooker tournament, that took place from 16 April to 2 May 2016 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England, the 40th year that the World Snooker Championship had been held at the venue. It was the tenth and last ranking event of the 2015/2016 season.

Betfred World Snooker Championship
World Snooker Championship 2015 Logo.png
Tournament information
Dates16 April–2 May 2016
VenueCrucible Theatre
CitySheffield
CountryEngland
Organisation(s)World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
FormatRanking event
Total prize fund£1,500,100
Winner's share£330,000
Highest break Kyren Wilson (ENG) (143)
Final
Champion Mark Selby (ENG)
Runner-up Ding Junhui (CHN)
Score18–14
2015
2017

During the tournament, six-time champion Steve Davis played the last professional match of his 38-year career against Fergal O'Brien in the qualifiers; he announced his retirement a week later on live BBC television. Ding Junhui and Alan McManus set a new record in their semi-final for the most century breaks achieved in a professional match (10), with Ding also setting a new record for the most centuries by one player in a single world championship match (7). In defeating McManus, Ding became the first Asian player ever to reach a World Championship final. In the other semi-final, Mark Selby and Marco Fu set a new record for the longest frame of snooker ever played at the Crucible, at 76 minutes 11 seconds.

After beating Robert Milkins 10–6 in the first round, Sam Baird 13–11 in the second round, Kyren Wilson 13–8 in the quarter-finals, and Fu 17–15 in the semi-finals, Selby defeated Ding 18–14 in the final to claim his second world title. Selby became the 13th player to win the World Snooker Championship more than once, and the sixth player to win more than one world title at the Crucible. A record-equalling 86 century breaks were made at the event, the same number as the previous year, with Kyren Wilson making the tournament's highest break of 143.

The total global audiences for the tournament exceeded 300 million, with 210 million viewers in China alone. The afternoon sessions of the final were watched by audiences of 45 million in China, the country's largest audience for a sporting event that year. The defending champion Stuart Bingham lost 9–10 against Ali Carter in the first round. Bingham fell to the Crucible curse, becoming the 17th first-time champion unable to defend his title at the venue.

Contents

Tournament summaryEdit

The World Snooker Championship is an annual cue sport tournament and is the official world championship of the game of snooker.[b][3] The sport of snooker was founded in the late 19th century by British Army soldiers stationed in India.[4] The sport originated by players from the United Kingdom, and later players from Europe and the Commonwealth. In more modern times, the sport has transferred to being played worldwide, specifically in Southeast Asia, such as in China.[5]

The world championship sees 32 professional players compete in one-on-one snooker matches in a single elimination format, each played over several frames. The 32 players for the event are selected through a mix of the world snooker rankings, and a pre-tournament qualification round.[6][7] The first world championship was held in 1927 taking place in Camkin's Hall, Birmingham, England and was won by Joe Davis.[8][9] Since 1977, the event has been held in the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England.[10][11]

Stephen Hendry is the most successful player in the modern era, having won the championship 7 times.[2] The previous year's championship was won by England's Stuart Bingham, who won the event defeating Shaun Murphy in the final 18–15. This was Bingham's first championship.[12] The winner of the 2016 event earned prize money of £330,000, from a total pool of £1,500,100.[13][14]

Seeding and qualifying roundsEdit

The top 16 seeds automatically qualified for the first round. Defending champion Stuart Bingham was seeded first, while other seeded places were allocated based on the latest world rankings. All the other players (from 17th place in ranking) started in the first round of qualifying, and were required to win three best-of-19-frame matches to reach the Crucible. Qualifying rounds were held at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield from 6 to 13 April 2016.[15]

 
Steve Davis played his last professional match in the qualifying rounds.

Eleven former world champions competed in the tournament. Six-time champion Steve Davis lost 4–10 to Fergal O'Brien in the first round of qualifying,[16] and subsequently announced his retirement from the sport after 38 years as a professional.[17] The 1997 champion Ken Doherty lost 6–10 to Ryan Day in the final round of qualifying.[18] The 2002 champion Peter Ebdon and 2006 champion Graeme Dott successfully qualified for the Crucible,[19] while seven other former winners (Stuart Bingham, John Higgins, Shaun Murphy, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, and Mark Williams) automatically received places in the last 32 by virtue of their top-16 seedings.[16][20]

Former world number one Ding Junhui was no longer in the top 16 ranked players prior to the tournament, and had to qualify to the Crucible.[21] He did that at the loss of only seven frames, defeating Greg Casey 10–4, Ross Muir 10–1,[22] and the 1995 runner-up Nigel Bond 10–2.[21]

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh missed the final black in attempting a maximum break against Anthony McGill in the fourth frame of their final qualifying round match.[23] Un-Nooh had also missed the last black in attempting a maximum break earlier in the season, in a match against Neil Robertson in the 2015 UK Championship.[24] Hong Kong's Ng On-yee attempted to become the first woman ever to reach the Crucible, losing 1–10 against Peter Lines in the first round of qualifying.[25]

First roundEdit

The first round was played between 16–21 April, and played as best-of-19-frame matches.[22] Mitchell Mann was the only player making his Crucible debut.[26] He lost 3–10 in the first round to Mark Allen.[27] Steve Davis announced his retirement on live television during the tournament's first weekend. Before play began on the first Sunday afternoon, an emotional Davis lifted the World Snooker Championship trophy before the Crucible audience for a final time, receiving a standing ovation.[28]

 
Defending champion Stuart Bingham lost in the first round.

Playing the defending champion Stuart Bingham, Ali Carter led 5–1 and 8–5 before Bingham won four consecutive frames to lead 9–8. Carter tied the match with a century break in the 18th frame, before winning the deciding frame to win 10–9. The loss made Bingham the 17th victim of the Crucible curse, as no first time defending champion won the event the following season.[29] Shaun Murphy, the previous year's runner-up, also received a first-round exit when he lost 8–10 to Anthony McGill.[30] This was the first time since 1980 that both of the previous year's finalists lost the first matches they played upon their return.[31]

Stephen Maguire lost 7–10 to fellow Scot Alan McManus in his fourth consecutive first-round defeat at the Crucible.[32] As a result, Maguire dropped out of the world's top 16 at the end of the season.[32] After his 10–7 victory over David Gilbert, Ronnie O'Sullivan refused to attend a post-match meeting with the press or talk to tournament broadcasters, and received a formal warning.[33] Following losses by Ebdon and Dott, Neil Robertson became the fifth former champion to exit in the first round when Michael Holt defeated him 10–6.[34] This meant that O'Sullivan,[35] Selby, Williams,[36] and Higgins were the only former winners to reach the second round.[34]

Second roundEdit

 
Ronnie O'Sullivan failed to reach the quarterfinals for just the second time in 13 years.

The second round was played between 21–25 April, played as best-of-25-frames, over three sessions.[22] Alan McManus won 13–11 over Carter, who defeated him 10–5 in the first round in 2015.[37][38] Ding Junhui won 13–10 over Judd Trump, who had defeated him 13–4 in the previous year's quarter-finals.[39][40] Carter was strongly critical of the table on which he played McManus, calling it "the worst I have ever played on."[41] In response, tournament organisers changed the cloth and cushions used on the tables.[41]

Kyren Wilson led at both 7–0 and then 11–5 over Mark Allen before Allen won four straight frames to trail 11-9, but Kyren won the next two to win the match 13–9 and advance to his first World Championship quarter-final.[42] Mark Selby led Sam Baird 11–7 before Baird won four consecutive frames to level at 11–11. Selby then won the next two frames to win 13–11.[43] Four-time champion John Higgins beat Ricky Walden 13–8,[44] and two-time champion Mark Williams defeated Michael Holt, also 13–8, to get past the second round for only the second time since 2006.[45] Marco Fu defeated Anthony McGill 13–9 to reach his first quarter-final in a decade.[46][47]

Trailing Barry Hawkins 9–12, Ronnie O'Sullivan won three consecutive frames to take the match to a deciding frame. Hawkins prevailed in the decider to win the match 13–12, the first time in 14 years that Hawkins had beaten O'Sullivan in a competitive match. This was also the only the second time in 13 years that O'Sullivan had failed to reach the quarter-finals.[48] Despite losing, O'Sullivan made four century breaks and eight more breaks over 50, scoring 1409 points to Hawkins's 1135.[49]

Quarter-finalsEdit

 
Alan McManus reached his first Crucible semi-final in 23 years.

The quarter-finals were played between 26–27 April, played as best-of-25-frames, over three sessions.[22] Ding Junhui's 13–3 victory over Mark Williams saw him win the match with a session to spare to reach his second Crucible semi-final, after his first appearance in 2011.[50][51] After going 6–0 ahead, Mark Selby defeated Kyren Wilson 13–8. Wilson made a 143 break in the 20th frame, the highest of the tournament.[52][53]

Alan McManus came from 9–11 behind against John Higgins to win 13–11 and reach his first Crucible semi-final since 1993.[54][55] At the age of 45, he became the oldest Crucible semi-finalist since Ray Reardon, who was 52 when he reached that stage in 1985.[55] Marco Fu led Barry Hawkins by 9–1 before Hawkins won five straight frames to within one at 10-9. Fu won 13–11 to reach his second Crucible semi-final, a decade after his first in 2006.[54][47]

Semi-finalsEdit

 
Ding Junhui became the first Asian finalist at the Crucible.

The semi-finals were played 28–30 April, as best-of-33-frame matches, played over four sessions.[22] In the first, Ding Junhui was leading Alan McManus 5–0 and 9–3 scoring five centuries in nine frames. McManus scored centuries of his own winning six frames to trail 8–9. Ding increased his lead to 12–8, and won 17–11 to reach his first World Championship final.[56] In frame 20, Ding attempted a maximum break, but missed the 15th black for a break of 113, his sixth century.[57] In the 27th frame, Ding made his seventh century to set a new record for the most centuries made by a player in a World Championship match.[22] The record was higher than the previous record of six centuries set by Joe Davis in 1946, Mark Selby in 2011, and Ronnie O'Sullivan in 2013.[58] Ding's seven centuries equalled the record for the most by one player in any professional snooker match, set by Stephen Hendry in the 1994 UK Championship final.[58] In total, 10 centuries were made in the match, which was a record in professional play.[58][59]

In the opening session of the other semi-final, Mark Selby took a 3–0 and 5–3 lead,[22] before Marco Fu ended the second session all-square at 8–8. Fu's cue tip separated from his cue in the 15th frame as he was chalking it. A ten-minute break was called while the tip was glued back on.[60] Frame 24, won by Selby to level at 12–12, lasted 76 minutes 11 seconds. This was the longest frame ever played at the Crucible, breaking the previous record of 74 minutes 58 seconds set in the 2009 match between Stephen Maguire and Mark King.[61] The match was later tied at 15-15 until Selby won the final two frames to win the match 17–15. Frame 32 also lasted more than an hour.[62]

FinalEdit

 
Mark Selby played in his third World Championship final and won his second world title.

The final was played 1–2 May, held as best-of-35-frames, over four sessions.[22] Ding Junhui was the first qualifier to contest the final since Judd Trump was beaten by John Higgins in 2011.[62] The Chinese player also became the first Asian finalist,[58] being broadcast on CCTV-5.[63]

In the first session of the final, Mark Selby took a 6–0 lead, before Ding won the last two frames of the session to leave Selby 6–2 ahead. Ding won five of the next six frames to trail by only one frame at 7–8, but Selby won the final two frames of the day for a 10–7 overnight lead. Some frames involved lengthy tactical battles, and play did not end at the Crucible until 00:24 local time on Monday morning.[64]

On the second day of the final, Ding again fought back to trailing by only one frame at 10–11, but Selby won three of the session's last four frames to go into the final session 14–11 ahead.[65] Although Ding won three more frames in the evening session – coming from 16–11 behind to 16–14 – Selby eventually clinched the match by 18 frames to 14 to claim his second world title, along with the £330,000 prize.[65] The match ended just minutes after Selby's home city of Leicester celebrated Leicester City F.C.'s first ever Premier League title win.[66] The afternoon session of the final were watched by audiences of 45 million in China, the country's largest audience for a sporting event that year.[67]

Prize fundEdit

The total prize money of the event was raised to £1,500,100 from the previous year's £1,364,000.[68][69][70] The breakdown of prize money for this year is shown below:[13][68][71]

  • Winner: £330,000
  • Runner-up: £137,500
  • Semi-final: £66,000
  • Quarter-final: £33,000
  • Last 16: £22,000
  • Last 32: £13,250
  • Last 48: £9,900
  • Last 80: £6,600
  • Televised highest break: £10,000[72]
  • Total: £1,500,100

The "rolling 147 prize" for a maximum break stood at £20,000.[73]

Main drawEdit

Shown below are the results for each round. The numbers in parentheses beside some of the players are their seeding.[74][71]

First round Second round Quarter-finals Semi-finals
Best of 19 frames Best of 25 frames Best of 25 frames Best of 33 frames
                           
16 April            
   Stuart Bingham (ENG) (1)  9
21, 22 & 23 April
   Ali Carter (ENG)  10  
   Ali Carter  11
16 & 17 April
     Alan McManus  13  
   Stephen Maguire (SCO) (16)  7
26 & 27 April
   Alan McManus (SCO)  10  
   Alan McManus  13
17 & 18 April
     John Higgins (8)  11  
   Ricky Walden (ENG) (9)  10
23, 24 & 25 April
   Robbie Williams (ENG)  8  
   Ricky Walden (9)  8
18 & 19 April
     John Higgins (8)  13  
   John Higgins (SCO) (8)  10
28, 29 & 30 April
   Ryan Day (WAL)  3  
   Alan McManus  11
20 & 21 April
     Ding Junhui  17
   Judd Trump (ENG) (5)  10
24 & 25 April
   Liang Wenbo (CHN)  8  
   Judd Trump (5)  10
20 April
     Ding Junhui  13  
   Martin Gould (ENG) (12)  8
26 & 27 April
   Ding Junhui (CHN)  10  
   Ding Junhui  13
17 & 18 April
     Mark Williams (13)  3  
   Mark Williams (WAL) (13)  10
22 & 23 April
   Graeme Dott (SCO)  4  
   Mark Williams (13)  13
19 April
     Michael Holt  8  
   Neil Robertson (AUS) (4)  6
   Michael Holt (ENG)  10  
16 & 17 April            
   Shaun Murphy (ENG) (3)  8
21 & 22 April
   Anthony McGill (SCO)  10  
   Anthony McGill  9
16 April
     Marco Fu (14)  13  
   Marco Fu (HKG) (14)  10
26 & 27 April
   Peter Ebdon (ENG)  2  
   Marco Fu (14)  13
19 & 20 April
     Barry Hawkins (11)  11  
   Barry Hawkins (ENG) (11)  10
23, 24 & 25 April
   Zhang Anda (CHN)  5  
   Barry Hawkins (11)  13
17 & 18 April
     Ronnie O'Sullivan (6)  12  
   Ronnie O'Sullivan (ENG) (6)  10
28, 29 & 30 April
   David Gilbert (ENG)  7  
   Marco Fu (14)  15
19 & 20 April
     Mark Selby (2)  17
   Mark Allen (NIR) (7)  10
24 & 25 April
   Mitchell Mann (ENG)  3  
   Mark Allen (7)  9
20 & 21 April
     Kyren Wilson  13  
   Joe Perry (ENG) (10)  9
26 & 27 April
   Kyren Wilson (ENG)  10  
   Kyren Wilson  8
17 & 18 April
     Mark Selby (2)  13  
   Michael White (WAL) (15)  7
22 & 23 April
   Sam Baird (ENG)  10  
   Sam Baird  11
18 & 19 April
     Mark Selby (2)  13  
   Mark Selby (ENG) (2)  10
   Robert Milkins (ENG)  6  
Final (Best of 35 frames) Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, 1 & 2 May. Referee: Paul Collier[75]
Ding Junhui
  China
14–18 Mark Selby (2)
  England
8–125 (91), 68–70 (Ding 52), 43–101 (76), 0–124 (120), 0–100 (70), 38–77, 68–47, 107–14 First session (8 frames)
2–6
8–125 (91), 68–70 (Ding 52), 43–101 (76), 0–124 (120), 0–100 (70), 38–77, 68–47, 107–14
22–73, 92–30 (76), 103–1 (103), 93–49 (89), 1–71, 86–0 (86), 82–52 (55), 25–86, 27–67 Second session (9 frames)
7–10
22–73, 92–30 (76), 103–1 (103), 93–49 (89), 1–71, 86–0 (86), 82–52 (55), 25–86, 27–67
121–7 (89), 61–56, 11–126 (126), 103–0 (103), 43–75 (52), 9–118 (68), 69–1 (52), 11–75 (55) Third session (8 frames)
11–14
121–7 (89), 61–56, 11–126 (126), 103–0 (103), 43–75 (52), 9–118 (68), 69–1 (52), 11–75 (55)
0–103 (57), 60–67 (Ding 60), 87–0 (73), 108–0 (70), 103–0 (103), 11–59, 0–74 (74) Fourth session (7 out of 10 frames)
14–18
0–103 (57), 60–67 (Ding 60), 87–0 (73), 108–0 (70), 103–0 (103), 11–59, 0–74 (74)
103 Highest break 126
3 Century breaks 2
13 50+ breaks 10
  Mark Selby wins the 2016 Betfred World Snooker Championship

QualifyingEdit

A total of 128 players competed in the qualifying. There were 3 qualifying rounds, reducing the qualifiers to 16, who would go on to play in the final stages. Qualifying took place between 6 and 13 April 2016 at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre. All matches were the best-of-19-frames. The draw for the final stages was made on 14 April.[71][76]

The players competing in the qualifying included remaining tour players ranked outside the top 16, players featured as top-ups from the Q School and invited players from the WPBSA.[77] The 16 invited qualifiers were made up of seven players who won or were runner-up in the following events together with 9 players invited based on the EBSA Order of Merit. Players invited by the Order of Merit were limited to one player per country.[78]

The 7 winners/runners-up were:[78]

The remaining 9 invitees were:

Round 1Edit

Players in bold denote match winners.[79]

Round 2Edit

Players in bold denote match winners.[79]

Round 3Edit

Winning players qualified for the main tournament. Players in bold denote match winners.[79]

Century breaksEdit

Televised stage centuriesEdit

There were 86 century breaks made by 24 players in the televised stage of the World Championship, equalling the record set the year before.[80][53] For every century break made during the 17-day championship in Sheffield, the title sponsor, Betfred, donated £200 to the Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice. The donation was rounded up to £25,000 as the goal of 70 centuries was achieved.[81] Ding Junhui made 15 centuries, one short of the record of 16 set by Stephen Hendry in 2002.[66][82]

Qualifying stage centuriesEdit

There were 132 century breaks made by 63 players in the qualifying stage of the World Championship.[83]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ also referred to as the 2016 Betfred World Snooker Championship
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