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List of world number one snooker players

HistoryEdit

An Order of Merit was introduced for the 1975/1976 season, which saw Ray Reardon ranked in the top position. This system was only in place for a season before being replaced by the world rankings, which saw successive periods of dominance for the first 22 seasons by Ray Reardon (1976/1977–1982/1983), Steve Davis (1983/1984–1989/1990) and Stephen Hendry (1990/1991–1997/1998), interrupted only by the 1981/1982 season when Cliff Thorburn held the position. The following period (1998/1999–2009/2010) was shared by Ronnie O'Sullivan (five seasons), John Higgins (three seasons) and Mark Williams (three seasons), while Hendry regained the position for the 2006/2007 season. In the first 34 years of the world rankings, only seven players held the number-one position.[2]

This period of dominance ended with the restructuring of the rankings system for the 2010/2011 season, which saw the world rankings updated after each tournament carrying ranking points, rather than just once a year after the World Championship as under the previous system. Since the introduction of the new system, John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Mark Williams, Mark Selby, Judd Trump, Ding Junhui and Ronnie O'Sullivan have all attained the number-one rank. Selby has also finished the season seven times ranked in first place, putting him in joint second place overall with Reardon and Davis (seven times each) and behind Hendry (nine times).

Sometimes other factors besides performance in ranking events impact upon the rankings. Alex Higgins would have been ranked number 1 in 1982/1983, but had ranking points deducted as a result of disciplinary action,[3][4] and similarly, Robertson assumed the number-one spot earlier than would have been possible if John Higgins had not received a six-month ban in 2010.[5] John Higgins would also have finished the 2010/2011 season ranked number 1 if he were not banned, since the points he was guaranteed from participating in the tournaments he missed would have been enough for him to take the top spot,[6] and similarly O'Sullivan's decision not to enter the Malta Cup during the 2005/2006 season cost him the top rank for the following season, since the entry points on offer would have been enough for him to retain the position.[7]

Number one playersEdit

Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry share the record for fastest rise to the number one rank, both achieving this feat in just five seasons. Hendry also holds the record for most seasons at number one under the traditional system, with nine seasons (1990/19911997/1998 and again in 2006/2007). His first spell of eight consecutive seasons in this position is also a record.[8] Under the rolling ranking format, Mark Selby holds both the total and consecutive records.

PeriodsEdit

The snooker players ranked number one in the world are listed below for each period since rankings officially began in 1976/77.[9][10] Even though the rankings officially started in 1976, an Order of Merit was published in 1975 to determine the seedings for events. It used the same criteria that was used to determine the first set of official rankings the following year.[2]

No. Nationality Player From To Ref
1   Wales Ray Reardon 3 May 1975 20 April 1981 [11]
2   Canada Cliff Thorburn 21 April 1981 16 May 1982
  Wales Ray Reardon (2) 17 May 1982 2 May 1983
3   England Steve Davis 3 May 1983 29 April 1990
4   Scotland Stephen Hendry 30 April 1990 4 May 1998
5   Scotland John Higgins 5 May 1998 1 May 2000
6   Wales Mark Williams 2 May 2000 6 May 2002
7   England Ronnie O'Sullivan 7 May 2002 5 May 2003
  Wales Mark Williams (2) 6 May 2003 3 May 2004
  England Ronnie O'Sullivan (2) 4 May 2004 1 May 2006
  Scotland Stephen Hendry (2) 2 May 2006 7 May 2007
  Scotland John Higgins (2) 8 May 2007 5 May 2008
  England Ronnie O'Sullivan (3) 6 May 2008 3 May 2010
  Scotland John Higgins (3) 4 May 2010 26 September 2010 [12]
8   Australia Neil Robertson 27 September 2010 12 December 2010 [13][14]
  Scotland John Higgins (4) 13 December 2010 2 May 2011 [15][16]
  Wales Mark Williams (3) 3 May 2011 11 September 2011 [17][18]
9   England Mark Selby 12 September 2011 4 November 2012 [19][20]
10   England Judd Trump 5 November 2012 9 December 2012 [21][22]
  England Mark Selby (2) 10 December 2012 17 February 2013 [23][24]
  England Judd Trump (2) 18 February 2013 31 March 2013 [25][26]
  England Mark Selby (3) 1 April 2013 9 June 2013 [27][28]
  Australia Neil Robertson (2) 10 June 2013 5 May 2014 [29][30]
  England Mark Selby (4) 6 May 2014 6 July 2014 [31][32]
  Australia Neil Robertson (3) 7 July 2014 10 August 2014 [33][34]
  England Mark Selby (5) 11 August 2014 7 December 2014 [35][36]
11   China Ding Junhui 8 December 2014 14 December 2014 [37][38]
  Australia Neil Robertson (4) 15 December 2014 24 January 2015 [39][40]
  China Ding Junhui (2) 25 January 2015 8 February 2015 [41][42]
  England Mark Selby (6) 9 February 2015 24 March 2019 [43]
  England Ronnie O'Sullivan (4) 25 March 2019 11 August 2019
  England Judd Trump (3) 12 August 2019 Present
Key
Rankings updated once a year after the World Championship

Total time spent at number oneEdit

Players ranked number one at the start of the seasonEdit

The transition from the traditional system whereby the rankings were updated once per year after the world championship to a rolling system in the 2010/2011 season in which the rankings are updated after every tournament makes an "apples for apples" comparison impossible, when comparing the amount of time each player occupied the number one rank. For example, Steve Davis held the number one rank for a greater period of time than Mark Selby, but Davis only had to defend the rank once per season at the world championship, whereas Selby had to defend the rank at every tournament. However, both players have each held the rank on seven occasions after the world championship, meaning that Selby effectively equaled Davis' achievement despite spending less time in total occupying the top spot, so a snapshot of the rankings at the start of each season is provided below to enable an approximate comparison across the two systems.

Other statisticsEdit

Players who were ranked world number one without having won the World Professional Championship
Player Date of first No. 1 position First World Championship final[44] First World Championship title
Mark Selby 12 September 2011 2007 World Snooker Championship (6–7 May 2007) 2014 World Snooker Championship (4–5 May 2014)
Judd Trump 5 November 2012 2011 World Snooker Championship (1–2 May 2011) 2019 World Snooker Championship (5–6 May 2019)
Ding Junhui 8 December 2014 2016 World Snooker Championship (1–2 May 2016) none

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "China's Ding To Top Rankings". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b Turner, Chris. "Historical World Rankings". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 8 June 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  3. ^ Osley, Richard; Gray, Sadie (25 July 2010). "Snooker legend Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins is dead". The Independent. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  4. ^ "Alex Higgins: The genius". The Belfast Telegraph. Independent News & Media. 26 July 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  5. ^ "Higgins cleared of bribery claims". BBC Sport. 8 September 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
  6. ^ "Rankings after 2011 World Champs" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  7. ^ "2005-6 Main Tour Two Year Rankings Updated 01/05/06 after 888.com World Championship". Global Snooker Centre. Archived from the original on 5 October 2008.
  8. ^ Årdalen, Hermund. "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  9. ^ Turner, Chris. "World Number Ones". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  10. ^ Downer, Chris (2012). Crucible Almanac. p. 143.
  11. ^ "Reardon Retains Title". The Canberra Times. 3 May 1975. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  12. ^ "2010 World Open results". Global Snooker. Archived from the original on 14 September 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
  13. ^ "Neil Robertson beats Ronnie O'Sullivan in World Open". BBC Sport. 26 September 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  14. ^ "12Bet.com UK Championship 2010". Global Snooker. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
  15. ^ Hirschowitz, Ivan. "Higgins – My Finest Hour". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Archived from the original on 17 December 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  16. ^ "Betfred.com World Championship (2011)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  17. ^ "Chinese Cracker Into Semis". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
  18. ^ "Shanghai Masters (2011)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  19. ^ "Mark Selby beats Mark Williams to win Shanghai Masters". BBC Sport. 11 September 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  20. ^ "International Championship (2012)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  21. ^ "Trump Hammers Ebdon To Become No 1". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  22. ^ "williamhill.com UK Championship (2012)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
  23. ^ "UK Snooker Championship 2012: Mark Selby beats Mark Davis". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  24. ^ "BetVictor Welsh Open (2013)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  25. ^ "Updated Rankings – Trump Back On Top". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  26. ^ "Bank of Beijing China Open (2013)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  27. ^ "Official world rankings issued after the China Open 2013" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 April 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  28. ^ "European Tour Event One (2013)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  29. ^ "Issued after the Bulgarian Open 2013 (ET1)" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 12 June 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  30. ^ "Dafabet World Championship (2014)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  31. ^ Skilbeck, John (5 May 2014). "Mark Selby dedicates first world title to late father". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  32. ^ "Australian Goldfields Open (2014)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  33. ^ "World Rankings after the 2014 Australian Goldfields Open" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 7 July 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  34. ^ "European Tour Event One (2014)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  35. ^ "World Rankings after the Riga Open 2014 (ET1)" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 11 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  36. ^ "Coral UK Championship (2014)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  37. ^ "World Rankings after the Coral UK Championship 2014" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 8 December 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 December 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  38. ^ "Kreativ Dental European Tour Event Five (2014)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  39. ^ "World Rankings after the Kreativ Dental Lisbon Open 2014 (ET5)" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 15 December 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 December 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  40. ^ "Asian Tour Event Three (2015)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  41. ^ "World Rankings after the Xuzhou Open 2015 (AT3)" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 27 January 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 January 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  42. ^ "Kreativ Dental German Masters (2015)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  43. ^ "World Rankings after the German Masters 2015" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 8 February 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 February 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  44. ^ "Hall of Fame". Snooker.org. Retrieved 24 February 2011.

External linksEdit