Liang Wenbo

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Liang.
Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo PHC 2012-3.jpg
Liang Wenbo at the 2012 Paul Hunter Classic
Born (1987-03-05) 5 March 1987 (age 27)
Zhaodong, Suihua, Heilongjiang, China
Sport country  China
Nickname The Fearless[1]
Wenbo Selecta
"Should he stay or should he go"
Professional 2004–
Highest ranking 16 (May–June 2010)[2]
Current ranking 24 (as of 11 August 2014)
Career winnings £371,869[3]
Highest break 147 (2008 Bahrain Championship Qualifying)
Century breaks 118[4]
Best ranking finish Runner-up (2009 Shanghai Masters)
Tournament wins
Minor-ranking 1
Non-ranking 1
Liang Wenbo
Medal record
Competitor for  China
Men's Snooker
World Games
Silver 2013 Cali Singles
Asian Games
Silver 2006 Doha Singles
Gold 2006 Doha Team
Gold 2010 Guangzhou Team
Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games
Gold 2013 Incheon Team
Men's Six-red snooker
Asian Indoor Games
Silver 2009 Ho Chi Minh City Singles

Liang Wenbo (Chinese: 梁文博, pinyin: Liáng Wénbó; born 5 March 1987 in Zhaodong, Suihua, Heilongjiang) is a Chinese professional snooker player. He is left-handed and ranked as China's number 2 player, after Ding Junhui. Liang is based at the Grove Snooker Academy in Romford, England, United Kingdom.[5]

Career[edit]

Amateur years[edit]

As an amateur, Liang's major feats were as follows:[6]

Liang built on the positive start to his snooker career, winning an individual silver medal and a team gold medal at the 2006 Asian Games.

2004/2005[edit]

During the 2004/05 snooker season, he began his professional career by playing Challenge Tour.,[7] the tier below the World Snooker Association Main Tour. He finished a lowly 104th out of 168 competitors, having only accumulated 2150 points.[8]

2005/2006[edit]

Despite not qualifying for the Main Tour directly, Liang received a wildcard nomination to the Main Tour;[9] this was because he won the 2005 IBSF World Under-21 Championship and because not all the players that were eligible for the Main Tour took their places.[10] In his first ranking tournament, the Grand Prix, Liang lost in the first qualifying round to Rory McLeod 2–5.[11] In the next ranking event, the UK Championship, he fared better, nearly whitewashing Alfred Burden in the first qualifying round 9–1; he lost in the second qualifying round to Marcus Campbell by the narrowest of margins, 8–9.[12]

It was to be at the Welsh Open where Liang would qualify for his first ranking event; he beat Sean Storey, Jamie Burnett and Rory McLeod to get into the main draw. His first opponent in the main draw he beat Nigel Bond 5–0. His run was halted by Graeme Dott, when he lost 3–5.[13]

However at the Malta he lost in the first qualifying round to Paul Davies 3–5.[14] At the China Open he beat David McDonnell and Matthew Couch before losing against Adrian Gunnell 3–5 in the third qualifying round.[15] He ended the season, falling at the first hurdle at the World Championship losing to Joe Delaney 5–10 in the first qualifying round.[16] He ended his debut season on the professional tour ranked 78th on the tour, which did not guarantee a place in next season's tour; however he just finished inside the top 8 of the one year list, qualifying him for a place in next season's main tour.[17]

2006/2007[edit]

During the 2006/07 season, Liang reached at least the second round of qualifying in every ranking event. At the Northern Ireland Trophy he beat Robert Stephen 5–0 before falling to David Gilbert 0–5 in qualifying.[18] However, at the Grand Prix, Liang came top of his qualifying group, above more experienced players such as Gerard Greene and Barry Pinches. He finishing fourth in the group, and although he did not qualify for the next round, he did beat former world champion and world number one Stephen Hendry 3–0.[19] At the UK Championship, he lost in the second round of qualifying to Jamie Burnett 7–9.[20] In the following ranking event, the Malta Cup, he lost to Joe Jogia 3–5, again in the second round of qualifying.[21] He qualified for his third ranking tournament, at the Welsh Open by beating Dene O'Kane, Joe Jogia and Mark Davis. In the Last 48, he met Nigel Bond again, this time he lost only 3–5.[22]

He continued his run of reaching the second round of qualifying in every ranking tournament at the China Open, beating Robert Stephen before losing to Finland's Robin Hull.[23] At the World Championship he beat Jeff Cundy before losing to Mike Dunn.[24] After a modest season, he improved on his tour ranking by finishing in 66th place, just outside the top 64;[25] he topped the one year ranking list to ensure his place on the WSA Tour for next season.[26]

2007/2008[edit]

Liang's season started brightly; he nearly qualified for the Shanghai Masters, however again Nigel Bond beat him 5–3 in the last qualifying round preventing him from appearing in his home tournament. At the Grand Prix, he could not repeat the success of last season and failed to qualify, finishing third on frame difference. The next tournament the Northern Ireland Trophy brought more luck; he won through the qualifying beating Fraser Patrick, Joe Delaney and Rory McLeod on the way. In the last 48, he faced Gerard Greene, but lost 2–5. He did not do as well in the UK Championship; he lost in the second qualifying round to David Roe 2–9. He also failed to qualify for the Welsh Open, falling at the last hurdle losing to Andrew Norman 2–5. At his other home tournament, the China Open he fell at the first hurdle, losing in the first qualifying round to Steve Mifsud, who at the end of this season was ranked 54 places below him.[27]

At the World Championships, Liang was the third Chinese player to qualify for the event, with victories over Ben Woollaston, Rod Lawler, David Gilbert and Ian McCulloch.

At the championship itself, he drew a first round meet with Ken Doherty, whom he defeated 10 frames to 5. Before the start of this match, Liang accidentally entered the arena with the match officials and had to scurry back. He subsequently got a warm ovation when he entered the arena for a second time after being introduced by MC Rob Walker.[28] For every session thereafter, Walker introduced him as "Should he stay or should he go... Liang Wenbo", despite the rhyme occurring because of a mispronunciation of his name ("bo" is pronounced "boo-a" in Chinese).

Liang faced Northern Ireland's Joe Swail in the last 16 of the tournament. In a humorous incident, Liang fluked a red after scattering the balls, but failed to notice and went back to his seat. To laughter, Swail pointed out his mistake and the referee called Liang back to the table.[28] In the 23rd frame, Liang, with a 12–10 lead, prematurely celebrated winning after potting match ball, only to go on to lose the frame due to a snooker. Swail came back to level the match at 12–12.[29] In the final frame, Liang made breaks of 34 and 30 early on. He missed the final yellow but snookered Swail, leaving the white in the jaws of the pocket. Liang played a safety and Swail snookered him behind the blue, but Liang failed to hit the ball and Swail had the white replaced. Liang then hit the yellow directly.[29] This incident proved controversial as the referee replaced the white in the wrong position, giving Liang a better sight of the yellow. At the time, Swail nodded his assent to the referee, but in a post-match interview, complained and accused Liang of unprofessional behaviour for not pointing out the referee's error. Commentators countered that Swail should have queried the placement of the ball before Liang took his shot, and given the tension of the situation Liang could be forgiven for not thinking clearly. Liang went on to win the frame 74–34, and thus, the match 13–12.[29]

In the quarter final Liang faced eventual champion Ronnie O'Sullivan. Liang took the first two frames with a break of 80 in the first. O'Sullivan levelled the match 4–4 by the end of the first session. In the second session O'Sullivan eased ahead, and went on to win 13–7.

Liang's run to the quarter-finals gained him 5000 ranking points, boosting his final ranking to number 40 in the world.[27] This guaranteed that he would only have to play two qualifying matches to get into the main draw of the ranking tournaments.

2008/2009[edit]

Liang began the new season by qualifying for the last 48 of the Northern Ireland Trophy. At the venue he then beat Steve Davis and Peter Ebdon to reach the last 16, where he lost to John Higgins 1–5. This result lifted him to a provisional career high of 26 in the world.[30] At the Grand Prix he reached the main draw by winning 2 qualifying matches, but then succumbed to Ronnie O'Sullivan in the first round of the main draw. He then made a 147 (and three other centuries, including two total clearances of 139) in a 5–1 victory over Martin Gould in the third qualifying round of the Bahrain Championship. However, he failed to qualify for the main draw, losing 2–5 to Michael Judge.[31]

For the two Chinese events on the 2008/2009 tour, Liang's two qualifying matches were held over until the venue stages. At the Shanghai Masters Liang defeated Atthasit Mahitthi and Mark Allen to reach the main draw, but lost to Ryan Day 0–5 in the first round.[32] Ironically, his second qualifying match for the Welsh Open was held over to ensure that his Welsh opponent Dominic Dale played at the venue.

Liang ended the season at the World Championship, after defeating Dave Harold 10–3 in the last qualifying.[33] He lost in the first round 8–10 against Ding Junhui.

2009/2010[edit]

In July 2009 Liang won his first professional title, the Beijing International Challenge beating world number #2 Stephen Maguire 7–6 in the final.[34]

In August 2009 he made a further breakthrough when he reached the final of the Shanghai Masters. With this he became only the second Chinese player to reach a ranking final, and the fourth Asian man. He ultimately finished runner-up to Ronnie O'Sullivan .[35] [36]

Liang qualified for the Grand Prix but was defeated 5–2 by Peter Ebdon in the first round, winning the first two frames and losing the last five in the succession. Prior to this meeting, Liang had played Ebdon twice and won 5–1 and 5–0.[37]

Liang reached the quarter finals of the UK Championship after defeating Ryan Day (9–3) and Mark King (9–2). He went on to lose 2–9 to John Higgins in the quarter-finals.[38]

He didn't qualify for the Welsh Open and the China Open as he lost 3–5 against Michael Judge and 2–5 against Andrew Higginson respectively.[39][40]

He qualified for the World Championships by defeating Rod Lawler 10–2.[41] He was drawn against Ronnie O'Sullivan, but he lost 7–10.[42] After the quarter-finals of the event it was clear, that Liang will ranked as number 16 in the next season, the only new player entering the top 16 that season.[43]

2010/2011[edit]

Liang had begun the season at the Wuxi Classic, where he lost in the first round of 2–5 against Marco Fu.[44] Liang participated at the Beijing International Challenge to defend his first professional title, but lost in the semi-finals 4–6 against eventual winner Tian Pengfei.[45] Liang failed to qualify for the World Open, as he lost 1–3 against Andrew Higginson and lost his first round match at the Shanghai Masters 3–5 against Matthew Stevens.[44] Having started the season inside the top 16, his results were not enough to maintain that position and he slipped out of the top 16.[46] After this Liang lost his qualifying matches in the five ranking tournaments.[44]

Liang also participated at the Players Tour Championship, his best performance coming at the third European event, where he reached the final, but lost 0–4 against Marcus Campbell.[44] After 12 out of 12 events he was ranked 14th in the Players Tour Championship Order of Merit.[47] Liang lost his first round match at the Finals 1–4 against Ricky Walden.[48]

2011/2012[edit]

Liang and Ding Junhui represented China at the World Cup and they won in the final 4–2 against the Northern Ireland.[49] During his match against Matthew Stevens in the first round of Australian Goldfields Open, Liang had a chance to make his second maximum break in his career, but he snookered himself on the yellow ball, and the break ended at 120.[50] Liang won the match 5–4 to reach the second round, where he lost 4–5 against Ken Doherty.[51] Liang also qualified for the Shanghai Masters, but lost in the first round 1–5 against Neil Robertson.[52] After this Liang couldn't qualify for the next two ranking events, as he lost 2–6 against Michael White at the UK Championship,[53] and 3–5 against Liu Chuang at the German Masters.[54] In December 2011 Liang joined Romford-based snooker Academy and management team Grove Leisure.[5] He beat David Gilbert and Rory McLeod both by 4 frames to 1 to reach the first round of the Welsh Open, where he faced John Higgins and was this time on the wrong end of a 4–1 scoreline.[55] Liang narrowly missed out on a place in the World Open as he was defeated 4–5 by Mark King in the final round of qualifying.[56] He also lost in qualifying for the China Open to the eventual winner of the event Peter Ebdon 0–5.[57]

Liang played in 11 of the 12 minor-ranking PTC events throughout the season, with a best finish in Event 10, where he lost in the quarter-finals to Dominic Dale. He also reached the last 16 in two other events to finish 38th in the PTC Order of Merit, outside of the top 24 who qualified for the Finals.[58]

Liang qualified for the World Championship by defeating Marcus Campbell 10–9. He had led the match 8–2 and 9–5 before Campbell took it to 9–9, at which point the match was suspended to allow players on the other tables to begin their sessions. He subsequently won the decider with a 72 break and played defending champion Higgins again in the first round.[59] Liang was involved in another final-drame decider, but was this time on the losing end as he bowed out of the tournament on the opening day, 9–10.[60] He finished the season ranked world number 37.[61]

2012/2013[edit]

Liang lost in qualifying for both the Wuxi Classic and the Shanghai Masters to Rod Lawler. He reached the venue stage of the Australian Goldfields Open by beating Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon, but lost 3–5 in the first round against Matthew Stevens.[62] Liang beat Anthony McGill and Andrew Higginson to qualify for the UK Championship, where he saw a 4–3 lead in the first round against Barry Hawkins turn into a 4–6 defeat.[63] Liang failed to qualify for the next two events, but won two matches to enter the main draw of both the Welsh Open and the China Open. In Wales he lost 2–4 to local favourite Stevens in the first round, and in his homeland of China he beat Lu Ning 5–1 in the wildcard round, before losing 3–5 to Stuart Bingham in the first round.[62] Liang had a very consistent season in the Players Tour Championship series as he advanced to, but not past, the last 16 in five of the ten events.[62] This saw him placed 27th on the PTC Order of Merit, one spot short of making the Finals.[64] Liang's season ended when he was beaten 6–10 by Mark Davis in the final round of World Championship Qualifying.[65] His end of year ranking was world number 32.[66]

2013/2014[edit]

Liang Wenbo at the 2014 German Masters

In July 2013, Liang reached the final of the World Games but lost in the gold medal match 3–0 to Aditya Mehta.[67] He had an excellent season in the Asian Tour events by reaching the semi-finals of the Zhangjiagang Open where he was defeated 4–1 by Michael Holt and at the Zhengzhou Open, where Liang won his first individual title on the World Snooker Tour.[67] He beat Anthony McGill 4–3 in the semi-finals before whitewashing Lu Haotian 4–0 to claim the £10,000 first prize.[68] In the full ranking events, Liang won five successive frames against defending world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan in the second round of the International Championship to triumph 6–4 which marked his first ever success over his opponent having lost in all four previous attempts.[69] He then thrashed Mark Davis 6–1 to reach the quarter-finals of a ranking event for the first time in four years, where he lost 6–3 against Graeme Dott.[70][71] Wenbo reached the last 16 of both the German Masters and Welsh Open, losing 5–2 to Mark Davis and 4–2 to Barry Hawkins respectively.[67] A second final on the Asian Tour followed at the Dongguan Open where Stuart Bingham made four breaks above 50 to defeat him 4–1, but Wenbo still topped the Order of Merit to qualify for the Finals.[72] There, he was beaten 4–2 by Yu Delu and Wenbo was defeated 10–7 by Martin Gould in the final round of World Championship qualifying.[67]

Performance and rankings timeline[edit]

Tournament 2004/
05
2005/
06
2006/
07
2007/
08
2008/
09
2009/
10
2010/
11
2011/
12
2012/
13
2013/
14
2014/
15
Ranking[73][nb 1] UR[nb 2][nb 3] UR 73[74] 66 40 27 16 30 37 32 26
Ranking Tournaments
Wuxi Classic[nb 4] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking LQ 2R 3R
Australian Goldfields Open Tournament Not Held 2R 1R A 1R
Shanghai Masters Tournament Not Held LQ 1R F 1R 1R LQ LQ
Indian Open Tournament Not Held 3R
International Championship Tournament Not Held LQ QF
UK Championship A LQ LQ LQ LQ QF LQ LQ 1R 3R
World Open[nb 5] A LQ RR LQ 1R 1R LQ LQ LQ 3R
German Masters Tournament Not Held LQ LQ LQ 3R
Welsh Open A 2R 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R 1R 4R
Players Championship Grand Final[nb 6] Tournament Not Held 1R DNQ DNQ 1R
China Open 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R LQ
World Championship LQ LQ LQ QF 1R 1R LQ 1R LQ LQ
Non-Ranking Tournaments
The Masters A A LQ LQ LQ A A A A A
Championship League Not Held A RR RR RR A A A
Variant format Tournaments
Six-red World Championship[nb 7] Tournament Not Held A A A NH A A
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held WD 3R 1R A
Former Ranking Tournaments
Malta Cup A LQ LQ NR Tournament Not Held
Northern Ireland Trophy NH NR LQ 1R 3R Tournament Not Held
Bahrain Championship Tournament Not Held LQ Tournament Not Held
Former Non-ranking Tournaments
Wuxi Classic[nb 4] Not Held RR A 1R 1R Ranking Event
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.
  1. ^ From the 2010/2011 season it shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
  2. ^ New players don't have a ranking.
  3. ^ He was not on the Main Tour.
  4. ^ a b The event ran under the name Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009–2009/2010)
  5. ^ The event run under different name as Grand Prix (2004/2005-2009/2010)
  6. ^ The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011-2012/2013)
  7. ^ The event was called the Six-red Snooker International (2008/2009) and the Six-red World Grand Prix (2009/2010)

Career finals[edit]

Ranking event finals: 1 (1 runner-up)[edit]

Legend
World Championship (0–0)
UK Championship (0–0)
Other (0–1)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 2009 Shanghai Masters England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 5–10

Minor-ranking event finals: 3 (1 title, 2 runner-ups)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1 2010 Rhein–Main Masters Scotland Campbell, MarcusMarcus Campbell 0–4
Winner 1 2013 Zhengzhou Open China Lu Haotian 4–0
Runner-up 2 2014 Dongguan Open England Bingham, StuartStuart Bingham 1–4

Non-ranking event finals: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Legend
Masters (0–0)
Premier League (0–0)
Other (1–1)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1 2009 Beijing International Challenge Scotland Maguire, StephenStephen Maguire 7–6
Runner-up 1 2009 General Cup International England Walden, RickyRicky Walden 2–6

Team event finals: 1 (1 title)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1 2011 World Cup (with  Team China)  Northern Ireland 4–2

Amateur[edit]

References[edit]

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  5. ^ a b "Liang Wenbo joins the Grove". Grove Leisure. 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
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External links[edit]