2016 World Snooker Championship

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Betfred
World Snooker Championship
World Snooker Championship 2015 Logo.png
Tournament information
Dates 16 April–2 May 2016
Venue Crucible Theatre
City Sheffield
Country England
Organisation(s) WPBSA
Format Ranking event
Total prize fund £1,500,100
Winner's share £330,000
Highest break England Kyren Wilson (143)
Final
Champion England Mark Selby
Runner-up China Ding Junhui
Score 18–14
2015
2017

The 2016 World Snooker Championship (also referred to as the 2016 Betfred World Snooker Championship for the purposes of sponsorship) was a professional snooker tournament, that took place from 16 April to 2 May 2016 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England, the 40th consecutive year that the tournament had been held at the venue.[1] It was the tenth and last ranking event of the 2015/2016 season.

The defending champion Stuart Bingham lost 9–10 against Ali Carter in the first round. Bingham fell to the Crucible curse, becoming the 17th first-time champion unable to defend his title at the venue.

During the tournament, six-time world champion Steve Davis played the last professional match of his 38-year career against Fergal O'Brien in the qualifiers; he announced his retirement a week later on live BBC television. Ding Junhui and Alan McManus set a new record in their semifinal for the most century breaks achieved in a professional match (10), with Ding also setting a new record for the most centuries by one player in a world championship match (7). In defeating McManus, Ding became the first Asian player ever to reach a World Championship final. In the other semifinal, Mark Selby and Marco Fu set a new record for the longest frame of snooker ever played at the Crucible, at 76 minutes 11 seconds.

After beating Robert Milkins 10–6 in the first round, Sam Baird 13–11 in the second round, Kyren Wilson 13–8 in the quarterfinals, and Fu 17–15 in the semifinals, Selby defeated Ding 18–14 in the final to claim his second world title, becoming the 13th player to win the World Snooker Championship more than once, and the sixth player to win more than one world title at the Crucible. A record-equaling 86 century breaks were made at the Crucible in 2016, the same number as the previous year, with Kyren Wilson making the tournament's highest break of 143.

The total global audiences for the tournament exceeded 300 million, with 210 million viewers in China. The afternoon sessions of the final were watched by audiences of 45 million in China, the country's largest audience for a sporting event in the year to date.[2]

Tournament summary[edit]

Seeding and qualifying rounds[edit]

The top 16 seeds automatically qualified for the last 32. Defending champion Stuart Bingham was seeded 1, while other seeded places were allocated based on the latest world rankings. All the other players (from 17th place in ranking) started in the first round of qualifying, and were required to win three best-of-19-frame matches to reach the Crucible. Qualifying rounds were held at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield from 6 to 13 April 2016.[3]

Steve Davis played his last professional match in the qualifying rounds.

Eleven former world champions competed in the tournament. Six-time champion Steve Davis lost 4–10 to Fergal O'Brien in the first round of qualifying,[4] and subsequently announced his retirement from the sport after 38 years as a professional.[5] The 1997 champion Ken Doherty lost 6–10 to Ryan Day in the final round of qualifying.[6] The 2002 champion Peter Ebdon and 2006 champion Graeme Dott successfully qualified for the Crucible, while seven other former winners (Stuart Bingham, John Higgins, Shaun Murphy, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, and Mark Williams) automatically received places in the last 32 by virtue of their top-16 seedings.

Ding Junhui fell out of the top 16 prior to the tournament, and had to qualify to the Crucible for the first time since 2007. He did that at the loss of just seven frames, beating Greg Casey 10–4, Ross Muir 10–1, and the 1995 runner-up Nigel Bond 10–2.[7]

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh missed the final black in attempting a maximum break against Anthony McGill in the fourth frame of their final qualifying round match.[8] Un-Nooh had also missed the last black in attempting a maximum break earlier in the season, in a match against Neil Robertson in the 2015 UK Championship.[9]

Hong Kong's Ng On Yee attempted to become the first woman ever to reach the Crucible, but she lost 1–10 against Peter Lines in the first round of qualifying.[10]

First round[edit]

Mitchell Mann was the only player making his Crucible debut in 2016.[11] He lost 3–10 in the first round to Mark Allen.[12]

Steve Davis announced his retirement on live BBC television during the tournament's first weekend. Before play began on the first Sunday afternoon, an emotional Davis lifted the World Snooker Championship trophy before the Crucible audience for a final time, receiving a standing ovation.[13]

Defending champion Stuart Bingham lost in the first round.

Playing the defending champion Stuart Bingham, Ali Carter led 5–1 and 8–5 before Bingham won four consecutive frames to lead 9–8. Carter levelled the match with a century break in the 18th frame, before winning a tense deciding frame to make Bingham the 17th victim of the Crucible curse.[14] Shaun Murphy, the previous year's runner-up, also suffered a first-round exit when he lost 8–10 to Anthony McGill.[15] This was the first time since 1980 that both of the previous year's finalists lost the first matches they played upon their return to the Crucible.[16]

Stephen Maguire lost 7–10 to fellow Scot Alan McManus in his fourth consecutive first-round defeat at the Crucible. As a result, Maguire dropped out of the world's top 16 at the end of the season.[17]

After his 10–7 victory over David Gilbert, Ronnie O'Sullivan refused to attend a mandatory post-match press conference, and also refused to talk to the tournament broadcasters, the BBC. He received a formal warning from World Snooker, and was advised that further breaches of contract would lead to fines.[18]

Following losses by Bingham, Murphy, Ebdon, and Dott, Neil Robertson became the fifth former champion to exit in the first round when Michael Holt defeated him 10–6.[19] This meant that O'Sullivan, Selby, Williams, and Higgins were the only former winners to reach the second round.

Second round[edit]

Ronnie O'Sullivan failed to reach the quarterfinals for just the second time in 13 years.

Both Alan McManus and Ding Junhui advanced to the quarterfinals by beating the opponents who had knocked them out the year before. McManus won 13–11 over Carter, who beat him 10–5 in the first round in 2015,[20] while Ding won 13–10 over Judd Trump, who had defeated him 13–4 in the previous year's quarterfinals.[21] Carter was strongly critical of the table on which he played McManus, calling it "the worst I have ever played on." In response, tournament organisers stated that they had taken steps such as changing cloths and cushions to improve playing conditions.[22]

After going 7–0 and then 11–5 up, qualifier Kyren Wilson withstood a fightback from Mark Allen to win the match 13–9 and advance to his first Crucible quarterfinal.[23] With the win, Wilson also entered the top 16 in the rankings for the first time. Mark Selby led another qualifier Sam Baird 11–7 before Baird won four consecutive frames to level at 11–11. Selby then won the next two frames to clinch a place in the quarterfinals, 13–11.[24]

In addition to 45-year-old McManus, several other veteran players reached the quarterfinals for the first time in years. Four-time champion John Higgins beat Ricky Walden 13–8 to reach his first quarterfinal since 2011.[25] Two-time champion Mark Williams defeated Michael Holt, also 13–8, to get past the second round for only the second time since 2006.[26] Marco Fu defeated Anthony McGill 13–9 to reach his first quarterfinal in a decade.[27]

Trailing Barry Hawkins 9–12, Ronnie O'Sullivan won three consecutive frames to take the match to his first deciding frame at the Crucible since his first-round match with Stephen Maguire in 2005. However, Hawkins prevailed in the decider to win the match 13–12, the first time in 14 years that Hawkins had beaten O'Sullivan in a competitive match, and only the second time in 13 years that O'Sullivan had failed to reach the World Championship quarterfinals.[28] Despite losing, O'Sullivan made four century breaks and eight more breaks over 50, scoring 1409 points to Hawkins’s 1135.[29]

Quarterfinals[edit]

Alan McManus reached his first Crucible semi-final in 23 years.

Ding Junhui's comprehensive 13–3 victory over Mark Williams saw him win the match with a session to spare to reach his second Crucible semi-final, after his first appearance in 2011.[30][31]

After going 6–0 ahead, Mark Selby beat Kyren Wilson 13–8 to reach the fourth semifinal of his career. Wilson made a 143 break in the 20th frame, the highest of the tournament.[32]

Alan McManus came from 9–11 behind against John Higgins to win 13–11 and reach his first Crucible semifinal since 1993, as well as his first ranking semifinal appearance since the 2006 Grand Prix.[33][34] At the age of 45, he became the oldest Crucible semifinalist since Ray Reardon, who was 52 when he reached that stage in 1985.[34]

Marco Fu led Barry Hawkins by 9–1 and 10–4 before Hawkins fought back to within one frame at 9–10. Fu eventually won by 13–11 to reach his second Crucible semifinal, a decade after his first in 2006. Hawkins' defeat denied him a fourth consecutive appearance in the World Championship semifinals.[33]

Semifinals[edit]

Ding Junhui became the first Asian finalist at the Crucible.

For the first time in Crucible history, two Asian players made their appearance in the semifinals. This was also the first time since 2005 that two qualifiers reached the semifinals.

In the first semifinal, Ding Junhui was leading Alan McManus by 5–0 and 9–3 (with three centuries in five frames and five centuries in nine frames), before McManus fought back with three centuries of his own to trail 8–9. Ding then pulled away to lead 12–8, and finally won 17–11 to reach his first World Championship final.[35] In the 20th frame, Ding attempted a maximum break, but missed the 15th black for a break of 113, his sixth century in the match.[36] In the 27th frame, Ding made his seventh century of the match to set a new record for the most centuries made by a player in a World Championship match, beating the previous record of six centuries set by Joe Davis in 1946, Mark Selby in 2011, and Ronnie O'Sullivan in 2013. Ding's seven centuries equalled the record for the most by one player in any professional snooker match, set by Stephen Hendry in the 1994 UK Championship final. In total, 10 centuries were made in the match, which was a record in professional play, surpassing the previous record of 8 which had been first achieved in the 1999 semifinal by Hendry and O'Sullivan.[37]

In the opening session of the other semifinal, Mark Selby took a 3–0 and 5–3 lead, but Marco Fu fought back to end the second session all-square at 8–8. Fu's tip separated from his cue in the 15th frame as he was chalking it. A ten-minute break was called while the tip was glued back on.[38] The 24th frame, won by Selby to level at 12–12, lasted 76 minutes 11 seconds, becoming the longest frame ever played at the Crucible, breaking the previous record of 74 minutes 58 seconds set in the 2009 match between Stephen Maguire and Mark King.[39] The frames were shared until Selby won the final two frames to win the match 17–15. The 32nd frame also lasted more than an hour.[40]

Final[edit]

Mark Selby played in his third World Championship final and won his second world title.

Ding Junhui was the first qualifier to contest the final since Judd Trump was beaten by John Higgins in 2011.[40] The Chinese player also became the first Asian finalist at the Crucible,[37] and the match drew a peak television audience of over 42 million in China on CCTV-5.[41]

In the first session of the final, Mark Selby took a 6–0 lead, before Ding won the last two frames of the session to leave Selby 6–2 ahead. Ding fought back in the second session to trail by only one frame at 7–8, but Selby won the final two frames of the day for a 10–7 overnight lead. Some frames involved lengthy tactical battles, and play did not end at the Crucible until 00:24 local time on Monday morning.[42]

On the second day of the final, Ding again fought back to trailing by only one frame at 10–11, but Selby won three of the session's last four frames to go into the final session 14–11 ahead. Although Ding won three more frames in the evening session - coming from 16-11 behind to 16-14 - Selby eventually clinched the match by 18 frames to 14 to claim his second world title, along with the £330,000 prize.[43] The match ended just minutes after Selby's home city of Leicester celebrated Leicester City F.C.'s first ever Premier League title win.[44]

Prize fund[edit]

The total prize money of the event was raised to £1,500,100 from the previous year's £1,364,000. The breakdown of prize money for this year is shown below:[45]

The "rolling 147 prize" for a maximum break stood at £20,000.

Main draw[edit]

Shown below are the results for each round. The numbers in parentheses beside some of the players are their seeding ranks (each championship has 16 seeds and 16 qualifiers).

First round Second round Quarter-finals Semi-finals
Best of 19 frames Best of 25 frames Best of 25 frames Best of 33 frames
                           
16 April            
 England Stuart Bingham (1)  9
21, 22 & 23 April
 England Ali Carter  10  
 England Ali Carter  11
16 & 17 April
   Scotland Alan McManus  13  
 Scotland Stephen Maguire (16)  7
26 & 27 April
 Scotland Alan McManus  10  
 Scotland Alan McManus  13
17 & 18 April
   Scotland John Higgins (8)  11  
 England Ricky Walden (9)  10
23, 24 & 25 April
 England Robbie Williams  8  
 England Ricky Walden (9)  8
18 & 19 April
   Scotland John Higgins (8)  13  
 Scotland John Higgins (8)  10
28, 29 & 30 April
 Wales Ryan Day  3  
 Scotland Alan McManus  11
20 & 21 April
   China Ding Junhui  17
 England Judd Trump (5)  10
24 & 25 April
 China Liang Wenbo  8  
 England Judd Trump (5)  10
20 April
   China Ding Junhui  13  
 England Martin Gould (12)  8
26 & 27 April
 China Ding Junhui  10  
 China Ding Junhui  13
17 & 18 April
   Wales Mark Williams (13)  3  
 Wales Mark Williams (13)  10
22 & 23 April
 Scotland Graeme Dott  4  
 Wales Mark Williams (13)  13
19 April
   England Michael Holt  8  
 Australia Neil Robertson (4)  6
 England Michael Holt  10  
16 & 17 April            
 England Shaun Murphy (3)  8
21 & 22 April
 Scotland Anthony McGill  10  
 Scotland Anthony McGill  9
16 April
   Hong Kong Marco Fu (14)  13  
 Hong Kong Marco Fu (14)  10
26 & 27 April
 England Peter Ebdon  2  
 Hong Kong Marco Fu (14)  13
19 & 20 April
   England Barry Hawkins (11)  11  
 England Barry Hawkins (11)  10
23, 24 & 25 April
 China Zhang Anda  5  
 England Barry Hawkins (11)  13
17 & 18 April
   England Ronnie O'Sullivan (6)  12  
 England Ronnie O'Sullivan (6)  10
28, 29 & 30 April
 England David Gilbert  7  
 Hong Kong Marco Fu (14)  15
19 & 20 April
   England Mark Selby (2)  17
 Northern Ireland Mark Allen (7)  10
24 & 25 April
 England Mitchell Mann  3  
 Northern Ireland Mark Allen (7)  9
20 & 21 April
   England Kyren Wilson  13  
 England Joe Perry (10)  9
26 & 27 April
 England Kyren Wilson  10  
 England Kyren Wilson  8
17 & 18 April
   England Mark Selby (2)  13  
 Wales Michael White (15)  7
22 & 23 April
 England Sam Baird  10  
 England Sam Baird  11
18 & 19 April
   England Mark Selby (2)  13  
 England Mark Selby (2)  10
 England Robert Milkins  6  
Final (Best of 35 frames) Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, 1 & 2 May. Referee: Paul Collier[46]
Ding Junhui
 China
14–18 Mark Selby (2)
 England
8–125 (91), 68–70 (Ding 52), 43–101 (76), 0–124 (120), 0–100 (70), 38–77, 68–47, 107–14 First session (8 frames)
2–6
8–125 (91), 68–70 (Ding 52), 43–101 (76), 0–124 (120), 0–100 (70), 38–77, 68–47, 107–14
22–73, 92–30 (76), 103–1 (103), 93–49 (89), 1–71, 86–0 (86), 82–52 (55), 25–86, 27–67 Second session (9 frames)
7–10
22–73, 92–30 (76), 103–1 (103), 93–49 (89), 1–71, 86–0 (86), 82–52 (55), 25–86, 27–67
121–7 (89), 61–56, 11–126 (126), 103–0 (103), 43–75 (52), 9–118 (68), 69–1 (52), 11–75 (55) Third session (8 frames)
11–14
121–7 (89), 61–56, 11–126 (126), 103–0 (103), 43–75 (52), 9–118 (68), 69–1 (52), 11–75 (55)
0–103 (57), 60–67 (Ding 60), 87–0 (73), 108–0 (70), 103–0 (103), 11–59, 0–74 (74) Fourth session (7 out of 10 frames)
14–18
0–103 (57), 60–67 (Ding 60), 87–0 (73), 108–0 (70), 103–0 (103), 11–59, 0–74 (74)
Match time: 13:02:28 (HH:MM:SS),[44] Average frame time: 24:27 (MM:SS)
103 Highest break 126
3 Century breaks 2
13 50+ breaks 10
England Mark Selby wins the 2016 Betfred World Snooker Championship

Qualifying[edit]

128 players competed in the qualifying. There were 3 qualifying rounds, reducing the qualifiers to 16, who would go on to play in the final stages at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Qualifying took place between 6 and 13 April 2016 at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield, England. All matches were the best of 19 frames. The draw for the final stages was made on 14 April.

The 128 players competing in the qualifying included tour players outside the top 16, Q School top-ups and WPBSA invites.[47] The 16 invited qualifiers were made up of 7 players, who won or were runner-up in important events together with 9 players invited based on the EBSA Order of Merit, but limited to one player per country.,[48]

The 7 winners/runners-up were:

The remaining 9 invitees were:

Round 1[edit]

Round 2[edit]

Round 3[edit]

Century breaks[edit]

Televised stage centuries[edit]

There were 86 century breaks made by 24 players in the televised stage of the World Championship, equalling the record set the year before.[49] For every century break made during the 17-day championship in Sheffield, the title sponsor, Betfred, was due to donate £200 to World Snooker’s official charity, the Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice. However, in line with the sponsor's declaration, the donation was rounded up to £25,000 as at least 70 centuries were achieved.[50] Ding Junhui made 15 centuries which is the second highest total in Crucible history, one short of a record of 16 set by Stephen Hendry in 2002.[44]

Qualifying stage centuries[edit]

There were 132 century breaks made by 63 players in the qualifying stage of the World Championship.[51]

References[edit]

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