Race to Guangzhou: Live Blog
As well as battling it out to become the tenth winner of the Shanghai Masters this week, some competing at the event are also fighting to qualify for the new Evergrande China Championship, which will be staged in Guangzhou, China in November.
Yesterday I took a look at how the 16 players who will be involved will be selected and the state of play heading into Shanghai, but below I follow the changes across the course of the week and who is in line to make it to the £650,000 event.
The Top 10 Race
The top ten players in the official world ranking list following the Shanghai Masters will qualify to play in Guangzhou.
8th – Ding Junhui – £326,925 (F)
9th – Ricky Walden – £312,208 (r32)
10th – Ronnie O’Sullivan – £302,333 (r16)
11th – Joe Perry – £295,133 (r32)
12th – Marco Fu – £243,750 (r32)
13th – Mark Williams – £243,008 (r32)
14th – Ali Carter – £226,200 (QF)
15th – Kyren Wilson – £225,174 (r32)
16th – Barry Hawkins – £213,525 (r32)
The battle for the top 10 places following the Shanghai Masters was brought to a conclusion on only day three of the Shanghai Masters, with defeats for Joe Perry and Mark Williams meaning that 10th placed Ding Junhui can now no longer be caught by the chasing pack.
The closest player remaining in the tournament is Ali Carter, but even the title would see him fall just short of catching either Ding or Ronnie O’Sullivan.
An important win for Ronnie O’Sullivan on day two of the Shanghai Masters as he hit back from 4-1 down against Liang Wenbo to make it through to the last 16. The 2009 Shanghai champion looked rusty early on, particularly during the scrappy frames, but grew stronger as the match progressed and his opponent’s game became increasingly erratic.
The win means that O’Sullivan climbs two places in the latest provisional seedings, edging Joe Perry out of the top 10 as it stands, ahead of his first match in Shanghai tomorrow evening.
Defeat for Kyren Wilson also means that he cannot finish inside the top ten, although he still has a chance to qualify via the one-year list…
Just one day completed in Shanghai and already we have seen a potentially significant result as 2013 champion Ding Junhui came back from 3-1 and 4-3 down to defeat Scott Donaldson and progress to the last 16. Provisionally ranked 11th at the start of the event, Ding was set to narrowly miss out on automatic qualification, but by adding £8,000 to his tally he has moved up two places to ninth as it stands, with Ronnie O’Sullivan to play tomorrow and Joe Perry getting underway on Wednesday.
Current eighth placed man Ricky Walden meanwhile lost out to Michael White in a close match, but while not yet mathematically certain of remaining inside the top ten, remains well placed to do so. Marco Fu also made an early exit from Shanghai this morning, meaning that he cannot finish higher than 12th and so cannot qualify automatically.
The One Year List
The top four players on the one-year list from the start of this season, to the end of the Shanghai Masters, will also qualify for the event in Guangzhou.
Latest one-year list excluding already qualified players (24/09/2016):
Ali Carter – £105,150 (QF) Anthony McGill – £73,525 (r32) Joe Perry – £41,050 (r32) Michael Holt – £38,150 (QF)
Stephen Maguire – £32,500 (SF) Kyren Wilson – £32,025 (r32) David Gilbert – £23,275 (r16) Ryan Day – £23,050 (QF) Mark Williams – £22,250 (r32) Barry Hawkins – £20,500 (r16) Michael White – £17,725 (QF) Matt Selt – £17,000 (r32) Stuart Carrington – £15,575 (r16) Kurt Maflin – £14,900 (r32) Ben Woollaston – £14,000 (r32) Mei Xiwen – £8,900 (r16)
Finally, we now know that the four qualifying players for the China Championship via the one-year list will be Ali Carter, Anthony McGill, Joe Perry and Michael Holt.
Confirmation follows Stephen Maguire’s 6-3 defeat to Ding Junhui in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters today, meaning that the Scot falls just short of overhauling Holt for the final qualifying spot.
Defeats for Michael Holt, Ryan Day and Michael White on quarter-finals day at the Shanghai Masters mean that Joe Perry is now assured of qualification for the China Championship.
The sole surviving chaser is now Stephen Maguire, who must defeat Ding Junhui tomorrow to reach the final if he is to leapfrog Michael Holt on the one-year qualification list.
Defeats for David Gilbert, Barry Hawkins, Stuart Carrington and Mei Xiwen at the last 16 stage today have taken them out of contention for a place at the China Championship, but there are three players remaining who could yet spoil the party for the top four.
Stephen Maguire, Ryan Day and Michael White all require at least a run to the final this week in Shanghai, while fourth placed Michael Holt remains in the tournament and with his fate still in his own hands. One more win would see the Riga Masters finalist overtake Joe Perry and strengthen his position further.
Defeat for Joe Perry to Stuart Carrington means is bad news for Kyren Wilson, as Perry is now set to claim his place at the China Championship through the one-year list, pushing Wilson out of the qualifying top four.
The majority of the chasing pack must now reach at least the final if they are to catch Michael Holt, while the semis could be enough for David Gilbert.
Defeat for Kyren Wilson, combined with victory for O’Sullivan also means that he drops out of the top four on the one-year list. This is because with Joe Perry falling outside of the top ten on the latest provisional seedings list, he comes into this list at number three following his run to the final at the World Open earlier this summer.
This could however change again when Perry takes on Stuart Carrington tomorrow in Shanghai as victory would put him back inside the top ten (and therefore off this list) provisionally.
A narrow 5-4 victory for David Gilbert against Marco Fu kept him in contention to qualify for Guangzhou via the one-year list, with at least a semi-final still required if he is to move into contention.
Matt Selt, Martin Gould, Scott Donaldson and Fu himself however saw their outside hopes ended with day one defeats in Shanghai.
Further updates will follow tomorrow, while it should also be noted that players not qualifying automatically could make it to Guangzhou as one of the players who will be nominated by the China Billiards and Snooker Association.