Pankaj Advani

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This article is about the English billiards and snooker player. For the film director, see Pankaj Advani (director).
Pankaj Arjan Advani
Pankaj Advani PHC 2012-1.jpg
Pankaj Advani at the 2012 Paul Hunter Classic
Born (1985-07-24) 24 July 1985 (age 29)
Pune, Maharashtra, India
Sport country  India
Nickname The Prince of India / The Golden Boy
Highest break 145 (Snooker), 147 in practice
876 (Billiards)
Best ranking finish Champion - IBSF World 6-Red Snooker Championship, World Team Billiards Championship
Tournament wins
World Champion 10 times (Current World No.1 in 6-Red Snooker and World Team Billiards)[1]
Pankaj Advani
Medal record
Competitor for  India
Men's English billiards
Asian Games
Gold 2006 Doha Singles
Gold 2010 Guangzhou Singles

Pankaj Arjan Advani (born 24 July 1985 in Pune) is an India professional player of English billiards and former professional snooker player. In recognition of his achievements, the Government of India has bestowed several awards upon Advani—Arjuna Award in 2004, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2006, and Padma Shri in 2009. He has achieved a hat-trick of hat-tricks in English billiards, holding the World, Asian, and Indian National Championship titles simultaneously, in three different years: 2012, 2008 and 2008. He became a snooker professional only in 2012, and his first season on the main tour was the 2012/2013 season. Advani won the 2014 IBSF World 6-Red Snooker Championship, on his debut in that discipline. He is the only player ever to win professional world titles in both the long and short formats of snooker (15-red standard, and 6-red) and both formats of English billiards (time and point). Advani is also India's first world champion in 6-red snooker. On August 14th, 2014, Advani helped win the first ever World Team Billiards Championship held in Glasgow, Scotland, along with Rupesh Shan, Devendra Joshi and Ashok Shandilya. This takes Advani's world title tally to 10, making him the only Indian to win as many in any sport.

Early life[edit]

Pankaj Advani was born on 24 July 1985 in Pune, India. Advani spent his initial years in Kuwait before moving to Bangalore, India. He received his education at the Frank Anthony Public School, Bangalore and completed his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Mahaveer Jain College, Bangalore. He received training in snooker from former national Snooker champion Arvind Savur.

At the age of 10 his acumen for snooker came to the notice of Arvind Savur after being introduced to the sport by his elder brother Dr. Shree Advani, a noted Sport & Performance Psychologist. He won his first ever title at the age of 12 and went on to set several records at the state and national levels. In the year 2000 he won his first Indian Junior Billiards Championship title and then went on to win it again in 2001 and 2003. In 2003 he won the India Junior Snooker Championship which made him the youngest National Snooker champion.

Billiards career[edit]

Advani made his international competitive debut at the Asian Billiards Championship 2002, held at Bangalore, in which he finished as a finalist. After an amateur World Snooker Champion title win in 2003, he won the IBSF World Billiards Championship in 2005 at Qawra, Malta, where he became the first to achieve a "grand double" by winning both the time and point formats,[2] a feat he repeated at the 2008 event in Bangalore. He is the only Indian to have won the amateur world title in both snooker and billiards.

He is also the youngest person to have won all these world titles in English billiards, for a record 8 times. Advani also remains the only person to have won all five national, regional, and world billiards tournaments in a single season, a feat he achieved by winning the Indian Junior National Championship and Senior National Championship, the Asian Billiards Championship, and both the World Billiards Championship (point format) and World Billiards Championship (time format).[3][dubious ][when?]

Advani won the WPBSA billiards title, at Leeds in 2009, against the defending champion Mike Russell; Advani won 2030–1253, after gaining an 800-plus lead at his opening break. He became the first person in the world to win the trio of the WPBSA World Billiards Champion pro title (which he has held twice, in 2009 & 2012), and the IBSF World Billiards Champion amateur title, as well as the IBSM World Snooker Champion amateur title.[4]

In April 2012, Advani won the Asian Billiards Championship in Goa, India[5] to become the first player to win 5 Asian Billiards Champion titles. This takes his total tally of international majors to 17 - 8 Worlds, 5 Asian Billiards, 2 Asian Games Golds, 1 Australian Open and 1 Asian Team. It was announced in May that Advani had accepted the Indian wildcard place on the main snooker tour for the 2012/2013 season.[6]

In October 2012, in Leeds, England, Advani won his seventh (counting professional and amateur) World Billiards Champion title, eighth world title overall, beating defending and nine-time WPBSA World Billiards Champion Mike Russell again, in the timed division final (Advani did not make it to the points division final).[7]

Snooker career[edit]

Pankaj Advani, on international competitive debut in the discipline, won the IBSF World Snooker Championship on October 25, 2003 in Jiangmen, China. He was 18 years old, and became the youngest Indian to win the title, his first world title. A decade later, as a 28-year old, at the IBSF World 6-Red World Snooker Championship in Sharm-El-Sheik, Egypt, he won the world title (on debut in the short format).

As a new player on the tour, Advani would need to win four matches to reach the main stage of the ranking events. He did this in just his fourth attempt, when qualifying for the International Championship. He defeated Craig Steadman 6–1, six-time world champion Steve Davis 6–5 (after being 1–4 down),[8] Alan McManus 6–3 and Michael Holt 6–4 to reach the venue stage for the first time.[9] He made four century breaks during qualification, the most of any player.[10] Advani was to play a wildcard match once at the tournament in Chengdu, China, to reach the last 32, however he decided to withdraw from the tournament in order to take part in the World Billiards Championship, which he went on to win.[7] He also reached the semi-finals of the minor ranking European Tour Event 1, beating four-time world champion John Higgins 4–1 along the way. Advani lost to Mark Selby 2–4.[9] Advani played in eight of the ten of these Players Tour Championship events and finished 40th on the Order of Merit.[11]

At the 2013 Welsh Open, he became the first Indian player to reach the quarter-final stage of a ranking event with a 4–1 win over Graeme Dott in the last 16,[12] but lost 2–5 to Judd Trump.[13] Advani's season ended when he was beaten 8–10 by Joe Swail in the first round of World Championship Qualifying.[14] He was ranked world number 74 after his first year on the main snooker tour.[15]

2013/2014 season[edit]

The 2013/2014 season saw the introduction of a ranking event in Advani's home country of India for the first time which he qualified for by beating Matthew Selt 4–0.[16] At the tournament in New Delhi Advani defeated Marcus Campbell 4–1 and Mark Allen 4–2.[16] His match with Allen finished at 11pm local time, with Advani back in last 16 action at 10am the next morning to play Stuart Bingham. The match went to a deciding frame and when Bingham broke down on a break of 30, Advani stepped in to compose a match winning 86. Advani played compatriot Aditya Mehta in the quarter-finals in an iconic match in Indian snooker as the winner would be the country's first ranking event semi-finalist.[17] The match was heavily focused on safety and it was Mehta who advanced with a 4–3 win.[18] His best run in a ranking event during the rest of the season was at the World Open, where he narrowly beat Xiao Guodong 5–4 to set up a last 32 meeting with Ding Junhui.[19] Advani had a lead of 4–2 in the best of nine frame match and was 35 points to 0 ahead in the seventh frame to be on the cusp of a shock result against the player who had already won four ranking events this season. However, Ding made a break of 52 to win the frame, compiled a 136 to draw level and won the deciding frame in one visit to defeat Advani.[20] Advani's successful season saw him finish inside the top 64 in the world rankings for the first time as he was placed 56th.[21]

2014/2015 season[edit]

Advani didn't enter any tournaments until September 2014, when he announced that he was relinquishing his snooker tour card in order to concentrate on his billiards career and spend more time with his family.[22]

Performance and rankings timeline of professional snooker[edit]

Tournament 2012/
13
2013/
14
2014/
15
Ranking[23][nb 1] UR[nb 2] 74 56[nb 3]
Ranking tournaments
Wuxi Classic LQ LQ A
Australian Goldfields Open LQ LQ A
Shanghai Masters LQ LQ A
International Championship WD 1R A
UK Championship LQ 1R A
German Masters LQ LQ
Welsh Open QF 1R
Indian Open NH QF
Players Championship Grand Final[nb 4] DNQ DNQ
China Open LQ 1R
World Championship LQ LQ
Variant format tournaments
Six-red World Championship RR A A
Former ranking tournaments
World Open LQ 2R NH
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. ^ It shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
  2. ^ New players don't have a ranking.
  3. ^ Since September 2014 he was an amateur.
  4. ^ The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2012/2013)

Titles[edit]

  • 2014
    • World 6-Red Snooker Championship - Gold (a world record of winning world titles in both billiards and snooker in all formats)
    • World Team Billiards Championship - Gold (highest number of world titles by any Indian sportsperson)
  • 2012
    • World Billiards Championship (a record 8 world titles for a 27-year old)
    • Asian Billiards Championship (a record 5 times)
  • 2010
    • Asian Games Gold Medallist — English Billiards Singles (first Gold Medal for India)
    • Asian Billiards Championship
  • 2008
    • IBSF World Billiards Championship (both formats — timed and points) (repeated 2005 achievement and first ever again to win 2 twin formats)
    • Asian Billiards Championship
  • 2006
    • Asian Games Gold Medallist — English Billiards singles
  • 2005
    • IBSF World Billiards Championship (both formats — timed and points) (first person to ever achieve this)
    • Asian Billiards Championship
    • India Billiards Championship
    • India Junior Snooker Championship
    • India Junior Billiards Championship
    • WSA Challenge Tour
  • 2004
    • WSA Challenge Tour
  • 2003
    • IBSF World Snooker Championship
    • Indian Junior Billiards Championship
    • Indian Junior Snooker Championship
  • 2001
    • Indian Junior Billiards Championship
  • 2000
    • Indian Junior Billiards Championship
  • 1999
    • Pot Shot All India Triangular Championship
    • Pot Shot non-medallist Championship
  • 1998
    • Karnataka State Junior Snooker Championship
  • 1997
    • 27th BS Sampath Memorial Handicap Snooker Championship
    • T.A. Selvaraj Memorial Billiards Championship
    • Karnataka Stage Junior Snooker Championship

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour, 2009 [25]
  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India's highest sporting honour, 2005-06 [26]
  • Rajyotsava Award, Karnataka's highest civilian award, 2007.[27]
  • Karnataka's 'Kempegowda Award" in 2007.
  • Ekalavya Award in 2007
  • Vision of India's "International Indian" Award in 2005.
  • Senior Sportsperson of the Year 2005
  • The Sports Writers' Association of Bangalore
  • The Bangalore University Sportsperson of the Year, 2005
  • The Hero India Sports Award (HISA) in 2004
  • The Rajeev Gandhi Award in 2004
  • The Arjuna Award in 2004
  • The Indo-American Young Achiever's Award - 2003
  • The Sports Star Sportsperson of the Year 2003.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/more-sports/snooker/billiards/Historic-title-win-for-Advani-in-Egypt/articleshow/37466644.cms
  2. ^ http://www.ibsf.info/past-champions.shtml
  3. ^ http://www.ibsf.info/cgi-bin/ibsf.pl?A=PlayerProfile&Player=Pankaj%20Advani
  4. ^ Everton, Clive (2009-09-06). "Pankaj Advani seals World Professional Billiards Championship win". The Guardian (London). 
  5. ^ "Pankaj Advani". Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  6. ^ "Pankaj on pro snooker circuit". The New Indian Express. 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  7. ^ a b "Pankaj Advani wins world billiards title". BBC. October 29, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Cao Wins Black Ball Thriller". World Snooker. Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Pankaj Advani 2012/2013". Snooker.org. Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "International Championship qualifiers — Centuries". worldsnookerdata.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Archived from the original on 23 August 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "Order of Merit 2012/2013". Snooker.org. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "Welsh Open: Pankaj Advani first Indian player to reach last eight". BBC Sport. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "Welsh Open: Judd Trump ends Pankaj Advani's historic run". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Betfair World Championship Qualifiers". Snooker.org. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "Official World Snooker Ranking List For The 2013/2014 Season". World Snooker. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Pankaj Advani 2013/2014". Snooker.org. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  17. ^ "Aditya Mehta to clash with Pankaj Advani in quarters of Indian Open". The Times of India. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "Indian Open snooker: Aditya Mehta makes history in Delhi". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "Haikou World Open: Ding Junhui makes flying start; Shaun Murphy knocks out Jimmy White". Sky Sports. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "Ding Comes Through Advani Test". World Snooker. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "World Snooker Rankings After the 2014 World Championship". World Snooker. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "Advani Gives Up Tour Card". World Snooker. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  23. ^ "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  24. ^ "Pankaj Advani — the second Indian to win World Billiards Championship". Headlinesindia.com. 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  25. ^ "Press Information Bureau English Releases". Pib.nic.in. 2009-01-26. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  26. ^ http://pankajadvani.com/biography/achievements.html
  27. ^ "100-year-old folk medicine expert among Rajyotsava award winners". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 30 October 2007. 

External links[edit]