Snooker World Open returns to China with stellar lineup
Published: Mar 18, 2024 05:03 PM
Photo: Courtesy of organizers

Photo: Courtesy of organizers

The Snooker World Open returned to China after a five-year hiatus on March 17, with a star-studded list of players, including Ding Junhui, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Selby participating.

The Snooker World Open was initiated in 1982 and is the oldest professional ranking snooker event after the World Championship. In 2012, the World Open first came to China and was held annually in Yushan in East China's Jiangxi Province since 2016.

The four major events including the Shanghai Masters, Wuhan Open, International Championship, and World Open are also to be held in China, accounting for more than one-sixth of the total tournaments scheduled in the 2023-24 season. 

This demonstrates China's significant position in the world snooker scene. The World Open serves as the finale of the Chinese events this season, with the total prize money being increased from 772,000 pounds ($983,760) in 2019 to 815,000 pounds, and the champion's prize money elevated to 170,000 pounds.

As a major event leading up to the annual highlight and much anticipated World Snooker Championship, the importance of the World Open is undeniable, as seven-time world champion and current world No.1 O'Sullivan, the 2019 world champion Judd Trump, reigning world champion Luca Brecel, and four-time world champion Selby, have all gathered to quest for the championship in the seven-day competition. 

Judd Trump Photo: Zhang Siyang/GT

Judd Trump Photo: Zhang Siyang/GT

The Chinese contingent, competing on home soil, is equally formidable. Players like the 2017 World Open champion Ding, the 2023 International Championship winner Zhang Anda and Fan Zhengyi, the 2022 European Masters champion are among the 19 Chinese players aiming to keep the championship trophy at home. 

Several Chinese players who regularly play in the UK, including Zhang who has reached three finals this season, have returned home a month early to prepare for the World Open event.