Lyu Haotian (Chinese: 呂昊天, born 29 November 1997) is a snooker player from the People's Republic of China, notable for being one of the youngest snooker players to have played in professional tournaments, aged only 14. He reached the quarter-finals of the 2012 International Championship when he was aged 14, which is still the record in a ranking event.
|Born||29 November 1997|
Tongzhou, Beijing, China
|Highest ranking||24 (September 2019)|
|Current ranking||38 (as of 27 February 2023)|
|Best ranking finish||Runner-up (x1)|
Lyu Haotian began playing when he was 10 years' old and attracted the attention of local coach Pang Weiguo, himself a former professional player. After 8 months he made his first century break. On November 28, 2009, the day before his 11th birthday, he became China's youngest U18 champion by defeating Lyu Chenwei 4-2.
Lyu first broke onto the professional snooker scene as a wildcard in the 2012 Haikou World Open, losing 4–5 to Tom Ford in the wildcard round. In his next tournament, the 2012 China Open, he lost again in the wildcard round 2–5 to Peter Ebdon.
At the start of the 2012/2013 season Lyu won his first ever competitive match in a professional tournament by beating Qiu Yalong 4–1 in the first Asian Players Tour Championship. He then narrowly lost 3–4 to Tom Ford in the last 64. In the 2012 Shanghai Masters, at the age of 14, he became the youngest ever player to win a televised match by beating Marco Fu 5–4 in the wildcard round. He then lost 2–5 to Mark Allen in the first round.
At the 2012 International Championship in China he reached the quarter-finals with a 6–5 defeat of Dominic Dale of Wales in the last 16, before losing 2–6 to former world champion Neil Robertson. He thus became the youngest player ever to reach this stage of a ranking event.
Lyu followed up this result by winning the Chinese Youth Championship, beating Zhao Xintong 3-1 in the final. 
In February 2013, he reached the first round of the 2013 World Open beating professional player Simon Bedford 5–2 in the wildcard round before losing 0–5 to Mark Selby. Lyu also reached the first round of the 2013 China Open courtesy of the withdrawal of Mark Joyce in the wildcard round. He lost 2–5 to Mark Williams.
In July, Lyu won the IBSF World Under-21 Snooker Championship, beating the Mongolian Zhu Yinghui 9-6, to receive a two-year card for the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons.
Lyu Haotian arrived in the UK as the youngest professional of the 2013-14 season, aged just 15. He stayed in Sheffield, playing at the STAR Academy. Lyu started his first season by beating Rod Lawler 5–2 to qualify for the Wuxi Classic where he faced Craig Steadman and won 5–3 to progress into the last 32. He was then whitewashed 5–0 by Ali Carter in the subsequent round. He also qualified for the Indian Open, but lost 4–1 to Thanawat Thirapongpaiboonin the first round.
Two of Lyu's flatmates, Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon and Passakorn Suwannawat, were suspended following an investigation into match fixing at the International Championship. The two players returned to Thailand, but 4 days later their house was set on fire in an arson attack. Lyu Haotian was unharmed, but the trauma had a significant effect on the 15-year old as he struggled to adapt to life in the UK. He became withdrawn and demotivated.
In October, Lyu reached the first final of his career at the minor-ranking Zhengzhou Open in his homeland. He beat the likes of 2006 world champion Graeme Dott and 2013 Shanghai Masters runner-up Xiao Guodong, before losing 4–0 to Liang Wenbo having been edged out of the opening two frames. Lyu was narrowly beaten 6–5 by Marcus Campbell in the first round of the UK Championship despite leading 3–1 at the interval. His final in Asia saw him qualify for the Players Tour Championship Finals for the first time and he lost 4–1 to Mark Williams in the opening round.
Lyu ended his debut season on the main tour ranked world number 93.
At the UK Championship, Lyu defeated Cao Yupeng 6–4 before losing 6–1 to Marco Fu in the second round. He qualified for the Indian Open thanks to a 4–2 win over Dominic Dale and, after coming through a wildcard match in New Delhi, he was eliminated 4–1 in the first round by Tian Pengfei. Overall, Lyu could not recapture his form of last season as he won just two matches in three Asian Tour events and none in five European Tour events which contributed to his relegation from the snooker tour at the end of the season as he finished it 81st in the world rankings. In a subsequent interview he reflected he had been too young, and had become lonely and disoriented living in England without speaking much English.
After the disappointment of relegation from the main tour, Lyu stopped playing snooker for 6 months. His boyhood coach, Pang Weiguo, persuaded him that at 18 he still had a future in the game, and Lyu resumed 9-ball Pool and snooker. He played in the Haining Open, where he overcame Mike Dunn 4–2, Sanderson Lam 4–1 and Ma Bing 4–2, before losing 4–1 to Ricky Walden in the fourth round.
In December 2015 Lyu played in the Chinese Youth Tour, losing to Zhou Yuelong in the quarter-finals. 
In January, Lyu won the China City Snooker Club League singles title, beating Luo Honghao 5–0 in the final. 
He entered Q School, but failed to win enough games to rejoin the tour.
Lyu continued to achieve strong results in domestic snooker and 9-ball pool. On 12 January, Lyu made a maximum 147 break in a China City Snooker Club League match, playing for Zhejiang Jiaxing club. 
Encouraged by Pang Weiguo, Lyu entered the 2017 Asian Championship, and on 28 April 2017 won the ACBS Asian Snooker Championship held in Doha, beating Pankaj Advani in the final 6–3. As a result, he qualified for the 2017-18 tour.
Lyu's first wins came in qualifying rounds for the European Masters and the Shanghai Masters. 
Lyu won a gold medal in the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, playing 9-ball pool scotch doubles with experienced partner Liu Haitao.  Lyu also played in six-reds events in Ashgabat and Bangkok.
Returning to snooker, he narrowly lost 4–3 in the second round of the European Masters to world champion Mark Selby.
In the Northern Ireland Open, Lyu produced the best result of his career to date. With wins against Joe Swail, Yuan Sijun, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Liam Highfield and Tian Pengfei he progressed to the semi-final, where he lost to fellow Chinese teenager Yan Bingtao 6–2.
In the UK Championship, a trio of wins against experienced players Anthony Hamilton, Peter Ebdon and Marco Fu took him to the last 16, where he lost to Mark Joyce 6–4.
Lyu started 2018 with a win in the qualifying tournament for the China Open, against in-form player Ryan Day 6–3. In the main event he progressed to the last 16 with wins over Liam Highfield and Fergal O'Brien before losing to the eventual winner, World Champion Mark Selby.
At the qualifying for the 2018 World Snooker Championship he beat Fang Xiongman 10–8, before playing Martin O'Donnell. He fell behind 5–9, before winning 5 straight frames to take the match 10–9. In the final round he continued his run by beating Rory McLeod 10–2, winning the last 9 frames, to qualify for the main event at the Crucible for the first time.
At the Crucible he was drawn against Marco Fu, who had not competed for 4 months due to eye surgery. Lyu won the match 10–5, scoring two century breaks, becoming the youngest player to win a match at the Crucible since Ronnie O'Sullivan in 1995. In the second round he faced Barry Hawkins. Despite trailing 4-0 and 8–3, he levelled the scores at 9-9, but ultimately lost 13–10.
Lyu finished the season with £94000 prize money, ranking him 30th on the one-year list, and 61st on the official two-year list, easily the highest of all players in the first year of a new 2-year tour card.
Lyu Haotian was one of only two players (the other being Masters Champion Mark Allen) to reach the last-16 of the World Championship, UK Championship and China Open, the three most important ranking tournaments in the 2017–18 season.
Lyu reached his second ranking semi-final in the China Championship, in Guangzhou in September, beating Joe Perry, Shaun Murphy and Martin O'Donnell, before losing 6–3 to John Higgins. After this, his form collapsed, losing 7 of his next 8 matches, his only win being against his practice partner Fan Zhengyi in the Scottish Open. However, at the Indian Open in March, he produced his best result to date, beating Zhou Yuelong, Luke Simmonds, Andy Hicks, Mark Davis and Anthony Hamilton to reach his first ranking final. However, after leading 3–2, he lost to Matthew Selt 5–3. The result lifted him into the top 32 in the rankings for the first time. In the World Championship, after rare a 10-0 demolition of Jordan Brown, he lost 10–8 to Mark Davis in the final qualifying round.
Lyu's season was marred by technical issues, and some agonising losses. His best result came in the 2020 Snooker Shoot Out, where he reached the semi-final, losing to his flatmate Zhou Yuelong. Towards the end of the season he had wins against Mark Williams (in the Championship League) and Mark Selby (in the Gibraltar Open).
In March, the snooker season was suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak and Lyu Haotian returned to China. He returned to the UK for the World Championship, but lost 6-2 to Eden Sharav. He finished the season ranked 43.
Lyu's form improved from the previous season. He reached the third round of the European Masters, only losing narrowly to Ding Junhui. His best result came in the Scottish Open, in which he defeated Gary Wilson, Alan McManus, Akani Songsermsawad, before losing to the eventual champion Mark Selby.
In the inaurgural WST Pro Series, Lyu Haotian successfully qualified for the second stage, winning his first 6 mini-matches, including a 2–0 victory over reigning World Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.
In the World Championship, Lyu beat fellow Chinese players Gao Yang and Chang Bingyu to qualify for the Crucible for a second time. However, his break-off shot in the first frame hit the blue, and his opponent Mark Allen cleared the table with a 139 break. This set the tone for the match, which was won by Allen 10–2. Lyu finished the season ranked 53.
Lyu's results were again inconsistent. His best results were to reach the 3rd round on the Northern Ireland Open, beating Allister Carter and Mark King, and the 4th round of the Gibraltar Open, beating Allan Taylor, Ross Muir and Michael Georgiou.
In the World Championship Lyu Haotian had victories over Xu Si 6-4, Lu Ning 6-3 and Dominic Dale 10-4 to qualify for the main event at the Crucible Theatre for the third time. There he faced Stuart Bingham, but lost 10-5. Lyu finished the season ranked 45.
Lyu Haotian lives in Sheffield where he practices at the Victoria Snooker Academy with Zhao Xintong, Yan Bingtao, Fan Zhengyi and several other players.
Performance and rankings timelineEdit
|Ranking[nb 1]||[nb 2]||[nb 2]||[nb 3]||93||[nb 2]||[nb 2]||[nb 3]||61||26||43||53||45|
|Championship League||Non-Ranking Event||RR||A||3R|
|European Masters||Tournament Not Held||A||2R||LQ||1R||3R||LQ||1R|
|British Open||Tournament Not Held||1R||QF|
|Northern Ireland Open||Tournament Not Held||A||SF||1R||1R||1R||3R||QF|
|Scottish Open||NH||MR||Tournament Not Held||A||1R||2R||1R||4R||LQ||1R|
|English Open||Tournament Not Held||A||2R||1R||1R||1R||LQ||LQ|
|World Grand Prix||Tournament Not Held||NR||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||1R|
|Shoot Out||Non-Ranking Event||A||2R||1R||SF||4R||1R||1R|
|Players Championship[nb 4]||DNQ||DNQ||1R||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ|
|WST Classic||Tournament Not Held|
|Tour Championship||Tournament Not Held||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ|
|Six-red World Championship||NH||A||A||A||A||A||RR||A||A||Not Held||LQ|
|Former ranking tournaments|
|Wuxi Classic||NR||WR||2R||LQ||Tournament Not Held|
|Australian Goldfields Open||A||A||LQ||LQ||A||Tournament Not Held|
|Shanghai Masters||A||1R||LQ||LQ||A||A||1R||Non-Ranking||Tournament Not Held|
|Indian Open||Not Held||1R||1R||NH||A||LQ||F||Tournament Not Held|
|China Open||WR||1R||LQ||LQ||A||A||3R||3R||Tournament Not Held|
|Riga Masters[nb 5]||Tournament Not Held||Minor-Ranking||A||LQ||LQ||2R||Tournament Not Held|
|International Championship||NH||QF||LQ||LQ||A||A||LQ||LQ||LQ||Tournament Not Held|
|China Championship||Tournament Not Held||NR||LQ||SF||1R||Tournament Not Held|
|World Open||WR||1R||LQ||Not Held||A||A||1R||1R||Tournament Not Held|
|WST Pro Series||Tournament Not Held||2R||Not Held|
|Turkish Masters||Tournament Not Held||1R||NH|
|Gibraltar Open||Tournament Not Held||MR||A||A||A||4R||1R||4R||NH|
|Former non-ranking tournaments|
|Haining Open||Tournament Not Held||Minor-Ranking||3R||4R||A||A||NH||A||NH|
|Shanghai Masters||Ranking Event||A||1R||Tournament Not Held|
|Performance Table Legend|
|LQ||lost in the qualifying draw||#R||lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
|QF||lost in the quarter-finals|
|SF||lost in the semi-finals||F||lost in the final||W||won the tournament|
|DNQ||did not qualify for the tournament||A||did not participate in the tournament||WD||withdrew from the tournament|
|NH / Not Held||means an event was not held.|
|NR / Non-Ranking Event||means an event is/was no longer a ranking event.|
|R / Ranking Event||means an event is/was a ranking event.|
|MR / Minor-Ranking Event||means an event is/was a minor-ranking event.|
Ranking finals: 1Edit
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Runner-up||1.||2019||Indian Open||Matthew Selt||3–5|
Minor-ranking finals: 1Edit
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Runner-up||1||2013||Zhengzhou Open||Liang Wenbo||0–4|
Amateur finals: 2 (2 titles)Edit
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Winner||1||2012||World Under-21 Snooker Championship||Zhu Yinghui||9–6|
|Winner||2||2017||Asian Amateur Championship||Pankaj Advani||6–3|
- ^ "Judd Trump to face Peter Ebdon in International Championship semis". BBC Sport. 1 November 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- ^ "Snooker Database - 2012 World Open". CueTracker. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- ^ "Baidu Snooker Biography of Lyu Haotian".
- ^ "Snooker Database - 2012 Asian PTC 1". CueTracker. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- ^ a b "Snooker - Lu Haotian stuns Dale to reach International Championship quarters". Eurosport. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- ^ "Snooker Database - 2012 Shanghai Masters". CueTracker. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- ^ "Snooker Database - 2012 International Championship". CueTracker. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- ^ "2012 China Youth Championship".
- ^ "Lu Haotian 2012/2013". Snooker.org. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- ^ "World Under 21 Snooker Championship 2012". International Billiards and Snooker Federation. Archived from the original on 16 November 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2013.(registration required)
- ^ a b c "Lu Haotian 2013/2014". Snooker.org. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- ^ "Hawkins, Ding beaten at Wuxi Classic". Eurosport. Archived from the original on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- ^ "Shanghai Masters winner Ding Junhui warns that Chinese are set to dominate". 22 September 2013.
- ^ a b "Interview with Lyu Haotian". sina.com. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- ^ "Wonderful Wenbo Wins In Zhengzhou". World Snooker. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- ^ "UK Snooker: Marcus Campbell hails 15-year-old Lyu Haotian". The Press. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- ^ "World Snooker Rankings After the 2014 World Championship" (PDF). World Snooker. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
- ^ a b "Lü Haotian 2014/2015". Snooker.org. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- ^ "World Rankings After 2015 World Championship". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 7 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- ^ "Chinese Youth Tour Results 2015/2016". www.weixinnu.com. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- ^ "China City Snooker Club League Results 2015/2016". top147.com. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- ^ "Lü Haotian 2015/2016". Snooker.org. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- ^ "China City Snooker Club League Results 2016/2017". cbsa.org. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- ^ "China City Snooker Club League Results 2016/2017". top147.com. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- ^ "Lü Haotian ACBS Champion 2017". acbs.qa. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- ^ "Lyu Haotian Snooker Results 2017/2018". snooker.org. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- ^ "Ashgabat 2017 Results". ashgabat2017.com. Archived from the original on 24 December 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- ^ "Snooker Provisional Rankings". snooker.org. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- ^ "Ding Junhui v Lyu Haotian". es.betsapi.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-12-17.
- ^ "MARK SELBY - LYU HAOTIAN". www.eurosport.com. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
- ^ "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
- Lyu Haotian at worldsnooker.com