Ricky Walden

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Ricky Walden
Ricky Walden PHC 2012.jpg
Ricky Walden at the 2012 Paul Hunter Classic
Born (1982-11-11) 11 November 1982 (age 31)
Chester
Sport country  England
Nickname The Stamina Man
The Walnut[1]
Professional 1999, 2001–
Highest ranking 7 (August–September 2013)[2][3]
Current ranking 12 (as of 7 July 2014)
Career winnings £805,341[4]
Highest break 147 (2011 PTC10)
Century breaks 167[5]
Tournament wins
Ranking 2
Minor-ranking 1
Non-ranking 1
www.rickywalden.co.uk

Richard "Ricky" Walden, born 11 November 1982 in Chester, is an English snooker professional.

He has won two ranking event titles, the 2008 Shanghai Masters and the 2012 Wuxi Classic. He has spent four seasons in the top 32 of the rankings, and has reached the televised stages of the World Snooker Championship on four occasions. He lost in the first round in 2009 and 2011. In the 2013 World Snooker Championship, he defeated Michael Holt, Robert Milkins, and Michael White to reach the semi-finals, where he lost to Barry Hawkins. In 2014 he again lost to Hawkins, this time in the second round.

Early years[edit]

Walden was born in Chester but raised in Bagillt, where he now lives once more, having spent some time living elsewhere in Flintshire. He was one of the Young Players of Distinction in a scheme run in 2000, designed to help young players develop their playing and media skills, alongside Shaun Murphy, Stephen Maguire and Ali Carter. In 2001 he won the World Under-21 Championship.

Career[edit]

1999–2011[edit]

Walden began his professional career by playing UK Tour in 1999 (renamed the Challenge Tour in 2000), at the time the second-level professional tour.[6] Then he played Challenge Tour in 2001 and entered Main Tour. He started the 2004/2005 season ranked at number 78 in the world, but climbed 30 places that year. He beat John Higgins twice that season, at the Grand Prix and UK Championship, and reached the Quarter-Final of the China Open.

In 2005/2006 his best run was to the last 16 in the China Open, which he achieved by beating Stephen Maguire. In 2006/2007 he had 2 last-32 appearance including the UK Championship, where he lost to Ronnie O'Sullivan 8–9. He lost to eventual finalist Mark Selby in qualifying for the World Championship.

He reached #36 for the 2007/2008 season and the same year he reached the last 16 of the Grand Prix, beating John Parrott in qualifying and four top-32 players in the main round-robin stage. He crashed out in the China Open to Mark Selby and in the qualifying for the World Championship, to Mark Allen.

In the 2008 Shanghai Masters he defeated Lee Spick and Ian McCulloch to qualify. At the venue he defeated wildcard Zhang Anda, Stephen Hendry, Neil Robertson (5–4, from 1–4 down), Steve Davis in the quarter-finals (5–2, from 0–2 down), and Mark Selby in the semi-final (6–4, from 1–4 down).[7] He won his first ranking title by beating Ronnie O'Sullivan 10–8 in the final.[8] The rest of the season was solid rather than spectacular, but a qualifying victory over Anthony Hamilton earned him a first appearance at the Crucible Theatre, where he lost 6–10 to Mark Selby.

In 2008 he also won the Six-red Snooker International, beating Stuart Bingham 8–3 in the final.[9]

Walden made it to the World Championship for the second time in 2011 as a seeded player, but was beaten by qualifier Rory McLeod 10–6. After the match, Walden criticised McLeod for what he considered to be a slow and 'boring' style of play, although Walden was only marginally quicker than McLeod. McLeod responded to the criticism by arguing that Walden was more responsible for the pace of the match.[10]

2011/2012 season[edit]

Walden started the 2011/2012 season slowly, by losing in qualifying for the first two ranking events of the year.[11] However, he qualified for the UK Championship by defeating Jamie Jones 6–2. In the main draw he beat Stephen Lee, Mark Williams and Shaun Murphy all by 6–3 scorelines to set up a semi-final meeting with Mark Allen.[11][12][unreliable source?] After the first session of the best-of 17-frames match Walden held a 5–3 advantage. However, upon resumption in the evening he lost the opening four frames and would eventually lose the match 7–9.[13] This was Walden's first semi-final in a ranking event based in Britain.

Walden played in all 12 of the minor-ranking Players Tour Championship series of events throughout the season, reaching the final in Event 6, where he lost to Neil Robertson 1–4.[14] This result was a large factor in him finishing 15th on the PTC Order of Merit, inside the top 24 who reached the Finals.[15] He also produced a maximum break during Event 10, the second 147 of the event.[16] At the Finals he whitewashed Matthew Stevens 4–0, before receiving a bye to the quarter-finals due to Ronnie O'Sullivan withdrawing from the event. He played Stephen Maguire and was beaten 3–4.[11]

Walden's performance in the UK Championship proved to be his best run in the ranking events of the season, as he could not get past the second round in any of the remaining tournaments.[11] His season finished in disappointment as he failed to qualify for the World Championship, losing to Jamie Jones 2–10.[17][unreliable source?] However, Walden's form throughout the season was enough for him to end it ranked world number 15, meaning he had finished the season inside the elite top 16 for the first time.[18]

2012/2013 season[edit]

Walden began the season by winning his second ranking event title at the Wuxi Classic. He beat amateur Zhu Yinghui in the first round 5–0 and was leading Joe Perry 4–0 and by 64–0 in the fifth frame, before Perry incredibly went on to level the match.[19] The deciding frame came down to the final black, with Perry missing and Walden potting it at 1am local time, to reach the quarter-finals.[20] He defeated Robert Milkins 5–3 and comfortably beat Marcus Campbell 6–1 in the semi-finals to play in his second career ranking final, where he faced Stuart Bingham.[21] Walden raced into a 7–1 lead in the first session, despite Bingham's solitary frame being a 147, and would return to close out a 10–4 victory.[22] Following this he lost in the first round of the Australian Goldfields Open 4–5 to Jamie Cope and in the second round of the Shanghai Masters 2–5 to Mark Williams.[19]

At the inaugural International Championship Walden saw off Lu Ning in the first round and then kept his concentration at 4–0 up against world number one Mark Selby in the next round to triumph 6–3.[23] He was then whitewashed 0–6 by Peter Ebdon in the quarter-finals.[19] At the UK Championship, Walden played 17-year-old world number 74 Luca Brecel in the first round and despite leading 2–0, 4–2, and 5–4 in the best-of-11 frame match, Walden was eventually beaten 5–6.[24] Now a part of the elite top 16, Walden played in the Masters for the second time in his career and looked to have all the momentum in his first round match against Shaun Murphy as he recovered from 1–4 down to draw level at 4–4, but Murphy upped his game to take the last two frames and expel Walden from the tournament.[25]

Successive first round losses at the German Masters and Welsh Open ensued, before Walden rediscovered some form at the World Open by eliminating Ebdon 5–2 and Stephen Maguire 5–4, but then lost to reigning champion Mark Allen 1–5 in the quarter-finals.[19] Walden emphatically recorded his first ever victory at the World Championship by thrashing Michael Holt 10–1 in the opening round.[26] He played Robert Milkins in the last 16 and saw a dominating lead of 9–3 cut to 11–10, before holding his nerve to advance to the quarter-finals with a 13–11 win.[27] Walden played qualifier Michael White in the quarter-finals, defeating him 13–6 to progress to the semi-finals, where he faced Barry Hawkins.[28] Walden led the match 12–8 before Hawkins won eight successive frames and went on to defeat Walden 17–14.[29] He finished the season at a career high world number eight in the rankings.[30]

2013/2014 season[edit]

Walden began using a new cue at the start of the 2013/2014 season and lost in the first round of the opening two ranking events, but won the minor-ranking Bluebell Wood Open, defeating Marco Fu 4–3 in the final.[31] In the UK Championship, Walden defeated Mark Williams 6–5 in the last 32, Ding Junhui 6–4 in the last 16, and Mark Allen 6–2 in the quarter-finals to reach his second UK semi-final in three years.[32] Playing Mark Selby in the semi-final, he was on the receiving end of snooker's 100th professional maximum break in the seventh frame and went on to lose the match 9–5.[33] Five days later, Walden witnessed another 147 against him, this time by Gary Wilson in qualifying for the German Masters, a match that Walden lost 5–3.[34]

In the Masters, Walden came from 5–2 behind to defeat Barry Hawkins 6–5 in the first round.[35] He faced Ronnie O'Sullivan in the quarter-finals, but was whitewashed 6–0 in a match that lasted just 58 minutes. Walden scored 39 points in the first frame, but nothing thereafter as O'Sullivan compiled 556 points without reply, setting a new professional record.[36] He beat Pankaj Advani, Xiao Guodong and Shaun Murphy in reaching the quarter-finals of the China Open, but then lost 5–3 to Ali Carter.[37] At the World Championship, Walden beat Kyren Wilson 10–7 to face Hawkins in the second round, a repeat of last year's semi-final.[38] At 9–5 ahead, Walden again squandered a lead against Hawkins as he was defeated 13–11.[39]

Personal life[edit]

Walden married Natalie Wilton in a short ceremony at New York City Hall on Thursday 22nd May 2014. They have been together since 2010.[40]

Performance and rankings timeline[edit]

Tournament 1999/
00
2000/
01
2001/
02
2002/
03
2003/
04
2004/
05
2005/
06
2006/
07
2007/
08
2008/
09
2009/
10
2010/
11
2011/
12
2012/
13
2013/
14
2014/
15
Ranking[41][nb 1] UR[nb 2][nb 3] UR[nb 3] UR 109 99 78 48 36 36 35 20 20 20 15 8 10
Ranking tournaments
Wuxi Classic[nb 4] Not held Non-ranking W 1R 2R
Australian Goldfields Open Not held LQ 1R 1R QF
Shanghai Masters Not held LQ W QF 1R LQ 2R 1R
Indian Open Tournament Not Held 2R
International Championship Not held QF LQ
UK Championship A A LQ LQ LQ 3R 1R 2R 1R LQ 1R 1R SF 1R SF
World Open[nb 5] A A LQ LQ LQ 2R 2R LQ 2R 1R 1R QF 1R QF 3R
German Masters Not held 2R 2R 1R LQ
Welsh Open A A LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R 1R LQ LQ LQ 1R LQ 1R 4R
Players Championship Grand Final[nb 6] Not held 2R QF DNQ 1R
China Open A A LQ Not held QF 2R LQ 1R 2R LQ 2R 2R 2R QF
World Championship LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R LQ 1R LQ SF 2R
Non-ranking tournaments
Champion of Champions Tournament Not Held 1R
The Masters A A A LQ LQ A LQ LQ LQ 1R LQ A A 1R QF
Championship League Not held A RR RR RR RR RR 2R
Variant format tournaments
Six-red World Championship[nb 7] Not held W 2R F NH SF 2R
Shoot-Out Not held 1R 2R 2R 1R
Former ranking tournaments
Thailand Masters A A LQ NR Not Held NR Tournament Not Held
Scottish Open[nb 8] A A LQ LQ LQ Not held MR Not Held
British Open A A LQ 1R 2R LQ Not held
Irish Masters Non-ranking LQ LQ LQ NH NR Not held
Malta Cup[nb 9] Not held LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R NR Not held
Northern Ireland Trophy Not held NR LQ LQ 1R Not held
Bahrain Championship Not held 1R Not held
Former non-ranking tournaments
Brazil Masters Not held QF 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.
  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. ^ a b He was not on the Main Tour.
  4. ^ The event was called the Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009–2009/2010)
  5. ^ The event was called the Grand Prix (1999/2000–2000/2001 and 2004/2005–2009/2010) and the LG Cup (2001/2002–2003/2004)
  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)
  8. ^ The event was called the Players Championship (2003/2004)
  9. ^ The event was called the European Open (2001/2002–2003/2004)

Career finals[edit]

Ranking event finals: 2 (2 titles)[edit]

Legend
World Championship (0–0)
UK Championship (0–0)
Other (2–0)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2008 Shanghai Masters England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 10–8
Winner 2. 2012 Wuxi Classic England Bingham, StuartStuart Bingham 10–4

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

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 2011 Warsaw Classic Australia Robertson, NeilNeil Robertson 1–4
Winner 1. 2013 Bluebell Wood Open Hong Kong Fu, MarcoMarco Fu 4–3

Non-ranking wins (1 title)[edit]

Amateur wins[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ricky enters the prestigious Top 16". Q Manager. Archived from the original on 19 April 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Issued after the Bluebell Wood Open (ET3) 2013" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "World Rankings after the Paul Hunter Classic (ET4) 2013" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 27 August 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Prize Money - All-time, Professional". CueTracker - Snooker Database. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Centuries". Pro Snooker Blog. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Ricky Walden – Season 1999/2000". Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Walden Springs Shanghai Surprise[dead link]
  8. ^ "Walden stuns O'Sullivan in final". BBC News. 5 October 2008. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  9. ^ Merchant, Yasin (14 July 2008). "Ricky Walden wins with ease in Thai snooker final". Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  10. ^ "Walden critical of McLeod style". BBC News. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Ricky Walden 2011/2012". Snooker.org. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "Walden Shocks Murphy, Allen Through". Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "Mark Allen defeats Ricky Walden in semi-final". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "Snooker: Robertson wins in Poland". espnstar.com. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "Order of Merit". Snooker.org. 8 January 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  16. ^ "PTC10 Results". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "World Championship Qualifiers 2012 – Jones & Doherty qualify for Crucible". Maximum Snooker. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  18. ^ "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  19. ^ a b c d "Ricky Walden 2012/2013". Snooker.org. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  20. ^ "Selby Hammers Out-Of-Sorts Cope". World Snooker. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  21. ^ "Red Hot Ricky Drops Campbell In The Soup". World Snooker. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  22. ^ "Walden Is Wuxi Wonder". World Snooker. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  23. ^ "Mark Selby beaten by Ricky Walden at International Championship". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  24. ^ "Snooker: ‘Gutted’ Ricky Walden knocked out of UK Championships by whizz-kid Luca Brecel". Chester Chronicle. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  25. ^ "Shaun Murphy through to quarter-finals of Betfair Masters with win over Ricky Walden.". Sky Sports. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  26. ^ "World Snooker Championships: Ricky Walden completes 10–1 mauling of Michael Holt". Sky Sports. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  27. ^ "Walden Holds Nerve To Reach Last Eight". World Snooker. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  28. ^ "Wonderful Walden to face Hawkins". World Snooker. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  29. ^ "Hawk Lands In World Final". World Snooker. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  30. ^ "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  31. ^ "Walden Wins In Doncaster". World Snooker. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  32. ^ "UK Snooker Championship 2013 results". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  33. ^ "Mark Selby hits landmark 147 break in UK Championship semi-final as he progresses to meet Neil Robertson". RTÉ Sport. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  34. ^ "Gary Wilson: Snooker player shoots maximum 147 break". BBC Sport. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  35. ^ "Snooker - Walden overcomes Hawkins to set up Masters meeting with O'Sullivan". Yahoo Sport. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  36. ^ "Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Ricky Walden 6-0 to reach Masters semi". BBC Sport. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  37. ^ "Ricky Walden 2013/2014". Snooker.org. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  38. ^ "World Championship: Ricky Walden beats rookie Kyren Wilson to reach second round". Sky Sports. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  39. ^ "Ditton snooker player Barry Hawkins beats Ricky Walden at World Snooker Championships in Sheffield". Kent Online. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  40. ^ "Walden Gets Married In A New York Minute". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  41. ^ "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 

External links[edit]