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The 2017 World Snooker Championship[a] was a professional snooker tournament that took place from 15 April–1 May 2017 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. This was the 2017 edition of the World Snooker Championship, first held in 1927. It was the 19th and final ranking event of the 2016/2017 season.

Betfred
World Snooker Championship
World Snooker Championship 2015 Logo.png
Tournament information
Dates15 April – 1 May 2017
VenueCrucible Theatre
CitySheffield
CountryEngland
Organisation(s)WPBSA
FormatRanking event
Total prize fund£1,750,000
Winner's share£375,000
Highest break Ronnie O'Sullivan (ENG) (146)
Final
Champion Mark Selby (ENG)
Runner-up John Higgins (SCO)
Score18–15
2016
2018

The tournament was the 40th anniversary of the World Championships at the Crucible and was broadcast in Europe by the BBC and Eurosport. The defending champion was Englishman Mark Selby, who defeated China's Ding Junhui 18–14 in the 2016 final. Selby retained his title, defeating Scotland's John Higgins 18–15 in the final, despite having fallen to 4–10 behind, to win his third world championship. The championship's total prize fund totalled £1,750,000, with the winner's share equalling £375,000. Englishman Ronnie O'Sullivan made the event's highest break, a 146, winning the televised highest break prize of £10,000.

Contents

OverviewEdit

The World Snooker Championship is an annual cue sport tournament and the official world championship of the game of snooker.[2] Founded in the late 19th century by British Army soldiers stationed in India,[3] the sport was played originally in the United Kingdom.[4] In modern times, however, it has been played worldwide, especially in East and Southeast Asian nations such as China, Hong Kong and Thailand.[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 event's 32 players are selected through a mix of the world snooker rankings, and a pre-tournament qualification round.[6][7] The first world championship in 1927 was won by Joe Davis, the final being held in Camkin's Hall, Birmingham, England.[8][9] Since 1977, the event has been held in the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England.[10]

Stephen Hendry is the most successful player in the modern era, having won the championship seven times.[11] The previous year's championship was won by England's Mark Selby, who won the event defeating China's Ding Junhui in the final 18–14.[12][13] This was Selby's second championship, having won previously in 2014. The winner of the 2017 event earned prize money of £375,000, from a total pool of £1,750,000.[14]

Prize fundEdit

The total prize money of the event was raised to £1,750,000 from the previous year's £1,500,100.[14][15] The breakdown of prize money for this year's World Championship is shown below.[14]

The "rolling 147 prize" for a maximum break: £5,000, which was won by Gary Wilson in qualifying.[16]

Tournament summaryEdit

Seeding and qualifying roundsEdit

 
Fergal O'Brien won the longest frame in the modern era of snooker, clocking in at over two hours, before reaching the main competition.

The top 16 seeds automatically qualified for the last 32. Defending champion Mark Selby was seeded first, while other seedings 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 qualify for the main tournament. Qualifying rounds were held at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield from 5–12 April 2017.[1]

Two-time champion Mark Williams failed to regain his place in the top 16 and was required to play in the qualifying rounds. He later lost 7–10 to Stuart Carrington in his final qualifying match and failed to reach the Crucible for only the second time since 1996.[17] Williams would qualify for the following year's event, where he won his third world title, defeating John Higgins 18–16 in the final.[18]

At 123 minutes and 41 seconds, the deciding frame of the third round qualifying match between Fergal O'Brien and David Gilbert on 12 April was the longest frame on record in the modern era of the game.[19] This was longer than the previous record of 100 minutes and 24 seconds set by Alan McManus and Barry Pinches in 2015.[19] Both the frame and match were won by O'Brien.[19] Gary Wilson made the 131st official maximum break in the fourth frame of his first round qualifying match against Josh Boileau on 6 April 2017. This was the second maximum break of Wilson's career.[20]

Wilson was one of five debuting players along with David Grace, Noppon Saengkham Yan Bingtao and Zhou Yuelong who qualified for the main stage at the Crucible.[17] The draw for the first round took place on 13 April 2017 at 10a.m. BST.[21]

First roundEdit

 
Rory McLeod defeated the second seed Judd Trump in the first round.

The first round of the event was played from 15–20 April 2017.[22] All first round matches were played over two sessions, as best of 19 frame matches. After losing four consecutive first-round matches at the Crucible following his semi-final appearance in 2012, Stephen Maguire defeated fellow Scot Anthony McGill (seeded 15) 10–2 in the first round.[23] Ronnie O'Sullivan (12) made his 25th consecutive appearance at the World Championship and withstood a fight back from qualifier Gary Wilson, from 5–9 to 7–9 down, to go through to the second round 10–7. O'Sullivan's victory was the 18th time he had reached the second round in the previous 20 events since 1997, including 14 consecutive last 16 appearances, equalling the record set by Terry Griffiths.[24]

Elsewhere, Marco Fu (8) trailed Luca Brecel 0–5, 1–7, 4–8 and 8–9 before winning 10–9, in his first round match.[25] Peter Ebdon, 2002 champion, appearing at the Crucible for the 24th time since first qualifying in 1992 played Stuart Bingham (3).[26] In the final frame of the first session, Ebdon won despite needing 15 points from snookers with just the colours remaining. Ebdon achieved the three snookers needed, and the respotted black to bring the score to 4–5.[26] However, he won just one more frame before losing 5–10 to Bingham.[27]

Qualifier Rory McLeod defeated second seed Judd Trump 10–8, after trailing 0–4.[28] Prior to the tournament, Trump had proclaimed "I honestly believe I can play to a standard which is very rare nowadays," and that he was "the best" in the world.[29] Trump's poor performance in the match, which ran into a third session, was exacerbated by a shoulder injury, which caused him visible pain when down on shots.[30] This led to 46-year-old McLeod becoming the oldest player to reach the last 16 since Steve Davis' quarter-final run in 2010 at the age of 52.[31]

In an all-Chinese match, Ding Junhui (4) defeated debutant Zhou Yuelong 10–5.[32] 2006 World Champion Graeme Dott defeated Ali Carter (10) 10–7 in a tense encounter to reach the last 16, to which Carter blamed his poor start to the match.[33] 2010 champion Neil Robertson (9) made his 500th career century during his 10–4 first round win over Noppon Saengkham.[34] Stuart Carrington became only the fifth player, after John Higgins, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Selby and Neil Robertson to make century breaks in three consecutive frames in a World Championship match during his encounter with Liang Wenbo (13); however, Liang won the match 10–7.[35]

In total, seven former world champions qualified for the last 16: Selby, Bingham, O'Sullivan, Higgins, Robertson, Dott and Murphy. Ebdon was the only former champion in the main draw not to reach the second round.[36] However, none of the five debutants David Grace , Noppon Saengkham, Gary Wilson, Yan Bingtao or Zhou Yuelong, made it to the second round. Xiao Guodong was the only first-round winner who had previously not won a match at the Crucible.[37]

Second roundEdit

 
Stephen Maguire progressed to his first quarter-final since 2012.

The second round of the tournament was played between 20 and 24 April 2017. Matches were divided over three sessions, and played as best of 25 frames. This stage saw 13 of the 16 seeded players compete, with Stephen Maguire the only unseeded player to progress to the quarter-finals.[38]

Kyren Wilson (14) advanced to his second quarter-final by defeating third seed Stuart Bingham 13–10. This was Wilson's second consecutive quarter-final appearance, having also done so in 2016.[39] Five-time world champion O'Sullivan made his 18th Crucible quarter-final appearance by defeating Shaun Murphy (5) 13–7.[40] Ding Junhui played in a second consecutive all-Chinese match; having played Zhou Yuelong in the first round, he also defeated fellow countryman Liang Wenbo 13–12.[41]

Having trailed 3–5, four-time world champion John Higgins (6) defeated Mark Allen (11) 13–9.[42] Stephen Maguire also defeated Rory McLeod 13–3 with a session to spare to reach his first Crucible quarter-final since 2012.[38] Defending champion Selby defeated Xiao Guodong 13–6 before commenting that "I don't feel as though I have peaked", suggesting he could play better in later rounds.[43] Marco Fu defeated Neil Robertson 13–11, after Robertson missed the final black at 11–12 to send the match into a deciding frame.[44]

Quarter-finalsEdit

 
Barry Hawkins reached the semi-finals at the world championships for the fourth time in five years.

The quarter-finals were played on 25 and 26 April 2017, also as best-of-25-frame matches. John Higgins won all three sessions of his match against Kyren Wilson, and triumphed 13–6, to advance to his first semi-final since winning the event in 2011. With the score at 3–3, Wilson miscued and split his tip, leading to a 15-minute tip replacement break.[45] Higgins and Wilson would meet in the semi-finals of the following year's event, where Higgins won 17–13.[46]

The first seed, Mark Selby defeated Marco Fu 13–3 with a session to spare.[47] Selby's victory included a break of 143 which BBC commentator Stephen Hendry described as "one of the best [breaks] I've ever seen."[48] After the match, Fu would comically comment that Selby was "very careless to lose the 3 frames to" him.[49]

Ding Junhui defeated O'Sullivan 13–10 in a high quality quarter-final. Ding led 3–0 before O'Sullivan fought back to level the first session at 4–4. Ding dominated the second session and opened up a 10–6 overnight lead. O'Sullivan took the first two frames to reduce his deficit to 8–10.[50] The two players shared the next four frames to bring the score to 12–10 in the third session, before Ding clinched the match in frame 23.[51] In frame 20, O'Sullivan attempted a 147 maximum break; he ran out of position after potting the 13th red and was forced to take the pink instead of the black, making a clearance of 146 which was awarded the highest break of the championship.[52]

Barry Hawkins defeated Stephen Maguire, the only qualifier to reach the quarter-finals, 13–9; in doing so, Hawkins reached his fourth Crucible semi-final in five years.[49] He led 9–7 after the first two sessions, before Maguire won the next two frames (including a 135 clearance) to tie the match at 9–9. Hawkins then won the next four frames straight to win the match.[53]

Semi-finalsEdit

 
John Higgins reached his sixth world championship final with a win over Barry Hawkins.

The semi-finals were played as best-of-33-frame matches, and took place from 27 to 29 April 2017. The matches were played on one table, alternating between semi-final matches.

The first semi-final was a repeat of the previous year's final, with Mark Selby playing Ding Junhui.[54] Selby held the lead for most of the match, before Ding tied the match at 12–12 after three sessions.[55] Selby then won four of the next five frames, to lead 16–13.[54] Needing just one frame to win, Selby lost the next two frames to a resiliant Ding, before scoring a break of 72 to win the match.[54][56]

John Higgins played Barry Hawkins in the championship's other semi-final.[57] Higgins took leads of 5–3,[58] 10–6,[59] and 16–8 after each session, before winning the match 17–8 in the first frame of the final session. With the win, Higgins qualified for his sixth World Championship final over a span of 19 years and his first in six years.[60] The win was referred to as a "demolition" by World Snooker.[61]

The final would be a repeat of the 2007 World Snooker Championship final, where Higgins defeated Selby 18–13.[62]

FinalEdit

 
Mark Selby won the final 18–15 to win his third world championship.

The final was played on 30 April and 1 May 2017. It was a best-of-35-frame match, played over four sessions. In reaching the final, Higgins became the second-oldest Crucible world finalist at the age of 41 years and 11 months. Only Ray Reardon was older, aged 49, in the 1982 final. The only two other quadragenarians who had played in a world final at the Crucible were John Spencer and Terry Griffiths.[b][63]

The final marked the first time in the modern era of snooker that multiple champions had met in the final of the World Championship. All-time, it was the third different combination of multiple champions to have participated in the final, the other combinations being Fred Davis vs. Walter Donaldson (1951, 1952, 1953, 1954) and John Pulman vs. Fred Davis (1965, 1966).[64]

Selby trailed 2–6 after the first session, and 4–10 during the second, before finishing the first day 7–10 behind.[65][66] He fought back to win six of the next seven frames to lead 13–11 after the third session.[66] The next six frames were shared, bringing the score to 16–14. In frame 31, Selby played a shot to roll up to the black ball; despite being convinced that he had made contact, Selby was told by referee Jan Verhaas that he had not hit the ball, giving him a 7-point penalty. Higgins won the frame to take the score to 16–15.[65] Selby compiled a 131 break in frame 32, and won the championship in frame 33 with a break of 75, winning the match 18–15.[66][67]

No player had come back from six frames or more behind to win in a World Championship final since 1985, when Dennis Taylor trailed Steve Davis by 0–8, and later 1–9, before winning the championship. Selby became the fourth player (after Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, and Ronnie O'Sullivan) to successfully defend the world title in the Crucible era. He also became the third player (after Hendry and Ding Junhui) to win five full ranking titles in a single season, the first player to win the China Open and the world title back-to-back, and the first player to win over £1,000,000 across the two-year rolling money list.[65] In reaching the final, Higgins moved to second in the world rankings, behind Selby.[65]

Main drawEdit

The numbers in parentheses beside some of the players are their seeding ranks. Players in bold represent match winners

First round Second round Quarter-finals Semi-finals
Best of 19 frames Best of 25 frames Best of 25 frames Best of 33 frames
                           
15 April            
   Mark Selby (ENG) (1)  10
22, 23 & 24 April
   Fergal O'Brien (IRL)  2  
   Mark Selby (1)  13
19 April
     Xiao Guodong  6  
   Ryan Day (WAL) (16)  4
25 & 26 April
   Xiao Guodong (CHN)  10  
   Mark Selby (1)  13
19 & 20 April
     Marco Fu (8)  3  
   Neil Robertson (AUS) (9)  10
23 & 24 April
   Noppon Saengkham (THA)  4  
   Neil Robertson (9)  11
16 & 17 April
     Marco Fu (8)  13  
   Marco Fu (HKG) (8)  10
27, 28 & 29 April
   Luca Brecel (BEL)  9  
   Mark Selby (1)  17
16 & 17 April
     Ding Junhui (4)  15
   Shaun Murphy (ENG) (5)  10
20, 21 & 22 April
   Yan Bingtao (CHN)  8  
   Shaun Murphy (5)  7
15 & 16 April
     Ronnie O'Sullivan (12)  13  
   Ronnie O'Sullivan (ENG) (12)  10
25 & 26 April
   Gary Wilson (ENG)  7  
   Ronnie O'Sullivan (12)  10
18 April
     Ding Junhui (4)  13  
   Liang Wenbo (CHN) (13)  10
21 & 22 April
   Stuart Carrington (ENG)  7  
   Liang Wenbo (13)  12
17 & 18 April
     Ding Junhui (4)  13  
   Ding Junhui (CHN) (4)  10
   Zhou Yuelong (CHN)  5  
16 & 17 April            
   Stuart Bingham (ENG) (3)  10
20 & 21 April
   Peter Ebdon (ENG)  5  
   Stuart Bingham (3)  10
15 & 16 April
     Kyren Wilson (14)  13  
   Kyren Wilson (ENG) (14)  10
25 & 26 April
   David Grace (ENG)  6  
   Kyren Wilson (14)  6
16 & 17 April
     John Higgins (6)  13  
   Mark Allen (NIR) (11)  10
21 & 22 April
   Jimmy Robertson (ENG)  8  
   Mark Allen (11)  9
17 & 18 April
     John Higgins (6)  13  
   John Higgins (SCO) (6)  10
27, 28 & 29 April
   Martin Gould (ENG)  6  
   John Higgins (6)  17
19 & 20 April
     Barry Hawkins (7)  8
   Barry Hawkins (ENG) (7)  10
23 & 24 April
   Tom Ford (ENG)  3  
   Barry Hawkins (7)  13
18 & 19 April
     Graeme Dott  6  
   Ali Carter (ENG) (10)  7
25 & 26 April
   Graeme Dott (SCO)  10  
   Barry Hawkins (7)  13
15 April
     Stephen Maguire  9  
   Anthony McGill (SCO) (15)  2
22 & 23 April
   Stephen Maguire (SCO)  10  
   Stephen Maguire  13
18 & 19 April
     Rory McLeod  3  
   Judd Trump (ENG) (2)  8
   Rory McLeod (ENG)  10  
Final (Best of 35 frames) Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, 30 April & 1 May. Referee:   Jan Verhaas
Mark Selby (1)
  England
18–15 John Higgins (6)
  Scotland
76–34 (76), 7–50, 121–8 (62, 58), 0–141 (141), 40–99 (63), 1–126 (95), 54–59 (58), 33–68 Session 1
Session score: (2–6), Match Score: 2–6
76–34 (76), 7–50, 121–8 (62, 58), 0–141 (141), 40–99 (63), 1–126 (95), 54–59 (58), 33–68
86–0 (86), 8–60, 44–74, 69–22, 1–68, 0–76 (76), 81–9 (81), 121–12 (121), 96–17 Session 2
Session score: (5–4), Match Score: 7–10
86–0 (86), 8–60, 44–74, 69–22, 1–68, 0–76 (76), 81–9 (81), 121–12 (121), 96–17
76–1, 53–2, 29–107 (78), 63–40, 68–19 (67), 82–0 (58), 72–0 (72) Session 3
Session score: (6–1), Match Score 13–11
76–1, 53–2, 29–107 (78), 63–40, 68–19 (67), 82–0 (58), 72–0 (72)
72–22, 36–74, 76–1 (71), 134–4 (54, 70), 34–88 (88), 0–119 (111), 47–74, 132–0 (131), 80–19 (75) Session 4
Session score: (5–4), Match Score 18–15
72–22, 36–74, 76–1 (71), 134–4 (54, 70), 34–88 (88), 0–119 (111), 47–74, 132–0 (131), 80–19 (75)
131 Highest break 141
2 Century breaks 2
14 50+ breaks 8
  Mark Selby wins the 2017 Betfred World Snooker Championship

QualifyingEdit

128 players competed in the qualifying competition. There were three qualifying rounds, with the sixteen winners of the third round matches progressing to the main stages of the tournament at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Qualifying took place from 5 to 12 April 2017 at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, also in Sheffield. All matches were best of 19 frames. The 128 players included tour players ranked outside the top 16 as well as 16 amateur players, who achieved success through the WPBSA qualifying criteria. The following amateur players were invited to compete:[68][69]

2016 IBSF World Snooker Championship winner Soheil Vahedi of Iran was also invited, but could not obtain a visa in time to compete.[68]

Two amateur players, England's Andy Hicks and Poland's Adam Stefanów were invited to replace the absent professional players Jamie Burnett and Rouzi Maimaiti.[70] They were chosen as top-ranked players in the 2016 Q School Order of Merit, who had not already qualified for the tournament.[71]

Round 1Edit

Round 2Edit

Round 3Edit

Winners advanced to the main draw.

Century breaksEdit

Main stage centuriesEdit

74 century breaks were made by 23 players in the main stage of the World Championship, including the highest break of the tournament, made by Ronnie O'Sullivan.[72]

Qualifying stage centuriesEdit

84 century breaks – including a maximum break, made by Gary Wilson – were made by 51 players in the qualifying stage of the World Championship.[16]

CoverageEdit

The event was broadcast throughout Europe by both BBC TV and Eurosport, with the BBC extending coverage of the Triple Crown events until 2024 after the competition.[73][74] Internationally, the event was streamed on Facebook for the first time, specifically for portions of South America and Asia.[75] The event was also broadcast in North America on Facebook, with the final being shown on the Eleven Sports Network.[75][76][77]

Notes & referencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ officially the 2017 Betfred World Snooker Championship[1]
  2. ^ The following year, Higgins would make the final again, aged 42, along with Mark Williams who was aged 43.

ReferencesEdit

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