Sunny Akani

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Sunny Akani
Born (1995-09-10) 10 September 1995 (age 23)
Bangkok, Thailand
Sport country  Thailand
Nickname Sunny
Professional 2015–
Highest ranking 65 (August 2018)
Current ranking 65 (as of 27 August 2018)
Career winnings £131,697
Highest break 128:
2017 UK Championship
Century breaks 19
Best ranking finish Quarter-final
(2016 Indian Open, 2018 Snooker Shoot-Out)

Sunny Akani (born Akani Songsermsawad; 10 September 1995) is a Thai professional snooker player.

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Akani, a regular in amateur Thai snooker events since 2011,[1] first came to international attention with a 5–2 win over professional Matthew Selt in the Six-red World Championship,[1] in 2008.[2]

2015–2017[edit]

In 2015 he won the ACBS Asian Under-21 Snooker Championship, beating Yuan Sijun 6–4 in the final and as a result was given a two-year card on the professional World Snooker Tour for the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 seasons.[1][3] His first appearance in a ranking event qualifier came at the 2016 World Championship, where he was edged out 10–9 by compatriot Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in the opening round.[4]

Akani qualified for the 2016 Indian Open by defeating Ben Woollaston 4–3 and then saw off Jamie Burnett 4–1, Mark Davis 4–2 and Gary Wilson 4–2 (opened the match with a 104 break) to reach the quarter-finals of the first ranking he had appeared at.[5] He took a 2–1 lead over Kyren Wilson, but would go on to lose 4–2.[6] He also lost in the quarter-finals of the non-ranking Six-red World Championship 7–4 to Stuart Bingham. At the Northern Ireland Open, Akani eliminated Cao Yupeng 4–1 and Mark Davis 4–3 and was knocked out in the third round 4–2 by Wilson. He qualified for the German Masters by seeing off Graeme Dott and Jack Lisowski, but was thrashed 5–0 by Zhao Xintong in the first round. He stood one win away from playing in the World Championship after defeating Mei Xiwen 10–5 and Joe Perry 10–9, but was heavily beaten 10–3 by David Grace.[7] Akani failed to break into the top 64 in the rankings during his two years on tour, but will stay on it by topping the one-year list.[8]

2017–2018[edit]

In 2017, he started the season like the year before. He reached the Last 16 of the 2017 Indian Open after beating Scott Donaldson, Stephen Maguire, and Dominic Dale before losing 4–2 to Liam Highfield. At the 2017 World Open qualifying round, he had a close match against Liang Wenbo losing 5–4 after being 2–0 and 4–2 up and scoring back-to-back century breaks (101 and 119) but losing the "decider". At the 2017 International Championship, he was 2–0, 3–1 and 4–2 behind but he won the last 4 frames to beat Marco Fu by 6–4. In the last frame, he cleared the table with a break of 53 to win the frame by 2 points. After a walkover in the last 64, he lost against Martin O'Donnell 5–6, despite a lead of 5–2.

During the 2017 UK Championship, Akani defeated three higher seeds, defeating Fergal O'Brien 6–5, Michael Holt 6–4, and whitewashing former world championship runner-up Barry Hawkins 6–0. After the match, Hawkins said the match "was up there with one of the worst I have ever played".[9] In the last 16, Akani drew Ronnie O'Sullivan and went ahead at scores of 2–0, 4–2 and 5–4, before losing the match 6–5. After the match O'Sullivan stated he believed Akani "deserved to win" and "felt like (he) robbed him of victory".[10]

The following competition, the 2017 Scottish Open saw Akani lose in the first round to Jimmy White 4-1.

Performance and rankings timeline[edit]

Tournament 2008/
09
2015/
16
2016/
17
2017/
18
2018/
19
Ranking[11][nb 1] [nb 2] [nb 3] 91 [nb 4] 66
Ranking tournaments
Riga Masters[nb 5] NH MR LQ A LQ
World Open A NH LQ LQ 1R
Paul Hunter Classic PA MR A A A
China Championship Not Held NR A
European Masters Not Held LQ LQ LQ
English Open Not Held 2R 3R
International Championship NH A 1R 2R
Northern Ireland Open Not Held 3R 3R
UK Championship A A 1R 4R
Scottish Open Not Held 2R 1R
German Masters NH A 1R LQ
World Grand Prix NH DNQ DNQ DNQ
Welsh Open A A 1R 3R
Shoot-Out NH NR 2R QF
Indian Open Not Held QF 3R LQ
Players Championship[nb 6] NH DNQ DNQ DNQ
Gibraltar Open NH MR A A
Tour Championship Tournament Not Held
China Open A A LQ LQ
World Championship A LQ LQ LQ
Variant format tournaments
Six-red World Championship[nb 7] RR RR QF 1R SF
Former ranking tournaments
Australian Goldfields Open NH A Not Held
Shanghai Masters A A LQ 2R NR
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.
PA / Pro-am Event means an event is/was a pro-am event.
VF / Variant Format Event means an event is/was a variant format event.
  1. ^ It shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
  2. ^ He was an amateur.
  3. ^ New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
  4. ^ Players qualified One Year Ranking List started the season without ranking points.
  5. ^ The event was called the Riga Open (2015/2016)
  6. ^ The event was called the Players Championship Grand Final (2015/2016)
  7. ^ The event was called the Six-red Snooker International (2008/2009) and the Six-red World Grand Prix (2009/2010)

Playing Style[edit]

Akani is known for his very deliberate cue action, where he plants his hand down with the cue before playing the next shot. In the book 147 Snooker Drills and Exercises by Andrew Highfield, he named a challenge after Akani, after challenging him to complete the drill.[12] He is also known for resting his chin on the cue extension when playing with a rest.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Akani Songsermsawad". Pro Snooker Blog. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "2008 Sangsom 6-reds International Snooker". Global Snooker Centre. Archived from the original on 24 December 2008. 
  3. ^ 泰国小将宋沙瓦夺冠 连克赵心童袁思俊成中国苦主 (in Chinese). my147.com. 13 April 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Akani Songsermsawad 2015/2016". Snooker.org. Retrieved 16 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "Lilley Continues Dream Run". World Snooker. Retrieved 16 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "Murphy/McGill/Wilson/Bond Into Semis". World Snooker. Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  7. ^ "Akani Songsermsawad 2016/2017". Snooker.org. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  8. ^ "Provisional Rankings". Snooker.org. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  9. ^ "UK Snooker Championship 2017: Barry Hawkins 'in state of shock' after 6-0 loss". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Ronnie O'Sullivan: I robbed Sunny Akani of the win in UK Snooker Championship". Daily Express]. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017. 
  11. ^ "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  12. ^ Highfield, Andrew. 147 Snooker Drills and Exercises. Andrew Highfield. ISBN 9781785003561. 

External links[edit]