With the world snooker championship about to begin, its time we take a look at the players and the most likely to do well this year.
Last year saw outsider Stuart “ball run” Bingham lift the trophy, playing the best snooker of his life but can he overcome the crucible curse and win in succession? Or perhaps we might be celebrating a new champion like Judd Trump or Ding Junhiu? The answer is, we don’t really know whose gonna win this year, but we have our favourites who will most likely be in contention to lift the trophy.
Ah now, when was the last time Ronnie played in a tournament and wasn’t favourite to win? Many moons ago no doubt!! Its no wonder he’s favourite at this years world snooker championship, he is the most talented player (not successful) to ever play snooker most people would say!! He has won it all, and lots of times over, including winning the Masters and the Welsh Open this year alone.
We all know Ronnie though. If he shows up on the day and produces what we know he can produce, then there is no doubt, he is unquestionably favourite. Even not playing at his best, he takes some beating, so its hard not to see Ronnie going far in this years world championships and for that reason alone, he is our No.1 to win.
Ronnie is also chasing Hendry’s seven world championship titles, so that might encourage him to focus on the job and try win this year, because as we all fear, time is running out.
There has been a lot of talk lately about how well Judd “juggernaut” Trump is playing and how confident he is feeling coming into the world snooker championship this year. Fresh from his win at the China open, he is undoubtable a man in form, but can he carry this over to the world championships?
Questions always arise when it comes to Trump. Does he have the focus to finish the job at the crucible? When people ask me about Trump I always say, great natural player with tons of natural talent but sometimes lacks conviction on the big stage. He can win this, but his mind needs to be in the right place.
Trump has self confessed to being a bit of a party animal the last few seasons, but who could blame him? 26 years old, tons of cash, fast cars and lots of parties to attend. No wonder his snooker suffered!! But here’s the thing…..Trump has said he’s lived the party life, but now its time to move on and start achieving in snooker, which he has begun to do, hence the win at the China open.
On order of merit, due to his recent win and his new found commitment to the game, we place him second in contention for this years world championships.
Ok, Ok, we have all heard people commentating that Mark Selby is boring, hard to watch etc, but lets face it folks, he gets the job done!! You don’t get to No.1 in the world without being a winner. Of all the players on our list, Mark Selby is probably the hardest working, focused and the most successful this year.
But when it doesn’t fire for Mark, it really doesn’t fire!! But determination, battling capabilities and knowledge of a snooker table has got him through some precarious situations in the past which have propelled him on to win!!
Its hard to judge how well Mark is playing though, given the fact he’s been off due to personal reasons. He skipped the Grand Prix and China open, so when he returns to the crucible next week, eyes will be watching his form, and so we place him at No.3 for the moment. A second world snooker championship is certainly on the cards for Selby!!
The Magician, Shaun Murphy has played some really fantastic snooker recently. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a session of snooker as good as the one I saw him playing in at the players championship against Dominic Dale.
But as quick as he found form, he seemed to just lose it in the very next match. That being said, he overcame his finalist rival Stuart Bingham and won 10-9 to lift the Grand Prix trophy. With his new Parris cue, exceptional form and drive to win, Murphy is a real contender to win this year.
If he comes to the crucible playing his A game, focuses on the job in hand and delivers it on the table, then there is no doubt Murphy will go far again this year.
Murphy played really well at last years world snooker championship and got himself to the final, but can he go one step further this year and win it?
When it comes to “the thunder from down under”, Neil Robertson, its very hard not to see him there or there abouts in such a big tournament. Although the ozzie hasn’t been on our screens much lately, some would argue his form has dropped in the past couple of months.
But lets not forget, he won the second biggest title this year, the UK championship!! When it comes to the “big ones”, you can be damn sure Robertson will be battling away, trying to win and as a previous world snooker champion here, we know he can do it, so a fifth place seed is appropriate.
Some people have ruled out Bingham already, for what reason, I’m uncertain of!! Lets face it, he’s No.2 in the world and current world champion!! How could they rule him out?
Ok, the critics argue that since winning the world championships, his form has been poor. True for most of the year but just recently, he got himself to the final of the Grand Prix and lost in the final frame to Shaun Murphy and he was in the quarter finals of the China open where he lost to finalist Ricky Walden. Bingham is clearly a man coming into form at the right time!!
Bingham faces the crucible curse though, so can he defy superstition and come back and lift the world snooker championship trophy again?
There are a few players to look out for, that might just surprise us all and win the world snooker championship!!
Ricky Walden for instance, who reached two finals in as many weeks. But does pressure get to Ricky? Can he come to the crucible and establish himself as a champion?
How about Mark Allen? Recent winner at the players championships and in good form!! He is due a big win at this stage surely!!
Ding Junhiu. Will he be the first Chinese player to win here. He may have been relegated outside the top 16, but this is a man with oodles of talent.
Well the bottom line is, whoever wins the world snooker championship, will have to earn the title over the 17 days at the crucible theatre. Its not going to be easy, there will be upsets, excitement, drama and most of all, joy for the man that ultimately lifts the trophy.
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