2016 World Snooker Championship

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

The defending champion was Stuart Bingham, having defeated Shaun Murphy in the 2015 event final. Bingham lost 9–10 against Ali Carter in the first round falling to the Crucible curse and becoming the 17th first-time champion unable to defend his title at the venue. China's Ding Junhui and Scot Alan McManus set a new record in their semi-final for the most century breaks achieved in a professional match, scoring ten. Ding also setting a new record for the most centuries by one player in a single World Championship match with seven. Ding defeated McManus to become the first Asian player ever to reach a World Championship final. In the other semi-final, Englishman Mark Selby and Hongkonger 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, Sam Baird 13–11, Kyren Wilson 13–8, and Fu 17–15, Selby defeated Ding 18–14 in the final to claim his second World title, having won the 2014 event previously. A total of 86 century breaks were made at the event, 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 alone. The afternoon sessions of the final were watched by audiences of 45 million in China, the country's largest audience for a sporting event that year. During the tournament, six-time champion Steve Davis played the last professional match of his 38-year career against Fergal O'Brien in the qualifiers; he announced his retirement later during the first round of the event.

Prize fund

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:

  • Winner: £330,000
  • Runner-up: £137,500
  • Semi-final: £66,000
  • Quarter-final: £33,000
  • Last 16: £22,000
  • Last 32: £13,250
  • Last 48: £9,900
  • Last 80: £6,600
  • Televised highest break: £10,000
  • Total: £1,500,100

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

Tournament summary

The World Snooker Championship is an annual cue sport tournament and is the official world championship of the game of snooker. The sport of snooker was founded in the late 19th century by British Army soldiers stationed in India.

The world championship sees 32 professional players compete in one-on-one snooker matches in a single elimination format, each played over several frames. The 32 players for the event are selected through a mix of the world snooker rankings, and pre-tournament qualification rounds. The first world championship was held in 1927 taking place in Camkin's Hall, Birmingham, England and was won by Joe Davis. Since 1977, the event has been held in the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England.

Stephen Hendry is the most successful player in the modern era, having won the championship 7 times. The previous year's championship was won by England's Stuart Bingham, who won the event defeating Shaun Murphy in the final 18–15. This was Bingham's first championship. The winner of the 2016 event earned prize money of £330,000, from a total pool of £1.5m. The event was the tenth and last ranking event of the 2015–2016 season.

Seeding and qualifying rounds

The top 16 seeds automatically qualified for the first round. Defending champion Stuart Bingham was seeded first, 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.

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, and subsequently announced his retirement from the sport after 38 years as a professional. The 1997 champion Ken Doherty lost 6–10 to Ryan Day in the final round of qualifying. Former world number one Ding Junhui was no longer in the top 16 ranked players prior to the tournament, and had to qualify to the Crucible. He did that at the loss of only seven frames, defeating Greg Casey 10–4, Ross Muir 10–1, and the 1995 runner-up Nigel Bond 10–2.

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. 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. Hong Kong's Ng On-yee attempted to become the first woman ever to reach the Crucible, however, lost 1–10 against Peter Lines in the first round of qualifying.

First round

The first round was played between 16–21 April as best-of-19-frame matches. Mitchell Mann was the only player making his Crucible debut. He lost 3–10 in the first round to Mark Allen. Steve Davis announced his retirement on live television during the tournament's first weekend, before play began on the first Sunday afternoon.

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 tied the match with a century break in the 18th frame, before winning the deciding frame to win 10–9. The loss made Bingham the 17th player to succumb to the Crucible curse, as no first time defending champion won the event the following season. Shaun Murphy, the previous year's runner-up, also received a first-round exit when he lost 8–10 to Anthony McGill. This was the first time since the 1980 championship that both of the previous year's finalists lost the first matches they played upon their return.

Stephen Maguire lost 7–10 to fellow Scot Alan McManus in his fourth consecutive first-round defeat at the Crucible. As a result, Maguire was guaranteed to be outside of the world's top 16 at the end of the tournament. After his 10–7 victory over David Gilbert, Ronnie O'Sullivan refused to attend a post-match meeting with the press or talk to tournament broadcasters, and received a formal warning. Following losses by Ebdon and Dott, Neil Robertson became the fifth former champion to exit in the first round when Michael Holt defeated him 10–6. This meant that O'Sullivan, Selby, Williams, and Higgins were the only former winners to reach the second round.

Second round

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

The second round was played between 21–25 April as best-of-25-frames, over three sessions. Alan McManus won 13–11 over Carter, who defeated him 10–5 in the first round in 2015. Ding Junhui won 13–10 over Judd Trump, who had defeated him 13–4 in the previous year's quarter-finals. 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 changed the cloth and cushions used on the tables.

Kyren Wilson led at both 7–0 and then 11–5 over Mark Allen before Allen won four straight frames to trail 11–9, but Kyren won the next two to win the match 13–9 and advance to his first World Championship quarter-final. Mark Selby led Sam Baird 11–7 before Baird won four consecutive frames to level at 11–11. Selby then won the next two frames to win 13–11. Four-time champion John Higgins beat Ricky Walden 13–8, and two-time champion Mark Williams defeated Michael Holt, also 13–8, to get past the second round for only the second time since 2006. Marco Fu defeated Anthony McGill 13–9 to reach his first quarter-final in a decade.

Trailing Barry Hawkins 9–12, Ronnie O'Sullivan won three consecutive frames to take the match to a deciding frame. 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. This was also the only the second time in 13 years that O'Sullivan had failed to reach the quarter-finals. Despite losing, O'Sullivan made four century breaks and eight more breaks over 50, scoring 1409 points to Hawkins's 1135.

Quarter-finals

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

The quarter-finals were played between 26–27 April as best-of-25-frames, over three sessions. Ding Junhui's 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. After going 6–0 ahead, Mark Selby defeated Kyren Wilson 13–8. Wilson made a 143 break in the 20th frame, the highest of the tournament.

Alan McManus came from 9–11 behind against John Higgins to win 13–11 and reach his first Crucible semi-final since 1993. At the age of 45, he became the oldest Crucible semi-finalist since Ray Reardon, who was 52 when he reached that stage in 1985. Marco Fu led Barry Hawkins by 9–1 before Hawkins won five straight frames to within one at 10–9. Fu won 13–11 to reach his second Crucible semi-final, a decade after his first in 2006.

Semi-finals

Ding Junhui became the first Asian finalist at the Crucible.

The semi-finals were played 28–30 April over four sessions as best-of-33-frame matches. In the first, Ding Junhui was leading Alan McManus 5–0 and 9–3 scoring five centuries in nine frames. McManus scored centuries of his own winning six frames to trail 8–9. Ding increased his lead to 12–8, and won 17–11 to reach his first World Championship final. In frame 20, Ding attempted a maximum break, but missed the 15th black for a break of 113, his sixth century. In the 27th frame, Ding made his seventh century to set a new record for the most centuries made by a player in a World Championship match. The record surpassed 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.

In the opening session of the other semi-final, Mark Selby took a 3–0 and 5–3 lead, before Marco Fu ended the second session all-square at 8–8. Fu's cue 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. Frame 24, won by Selby to level at 12–12, lasted 76 minutes 11 seconds. This was 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. The match was later tied at 15–15 until Selby won the final two frames to win the match 17–15. Frame 32 also lasted more than an hour.

Final

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

The final was played 1–2 May, held as best-of-35-frames, over four sessions. Ding Junhui was the first qualifier to play the World final since Judd Trump was beaten by John Higgins in 2011. Ding also became the first Asian finalist in the championships.

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 won five of the next seven frames 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 in the second session were length, and play did not end at the Crucible until 00:24 local time on Monday morning.

On the second day of the final, Ding again fought back to trailing by only one frame at 10–11, however, Selby won three of the session's last four frames to go into the final session 14–11 ahead. Selby won the next two frames to need only two more frames for victory. Ding won three more frames in the evening session – coming from 16–11 behind to 16–14. Selby clinched the match by 18 frames to 14 to claim his second world title, along with the £330,000 prize. The match ended just minutes after Selby's home city of Leicester celebrated Leicester City F.C.'s first ever Premier League title win. The afternoon session of the final were watched by audiences of 45 million in China, the country's largest audience for a sporting event that year. The event as a whole saw a total of 210 million viewers from China on CCTV-5 in China. of a total viewership of 300 million.

Main draw

Shown below are the results for each round. The numbers in parentheses beside some of the players are their seeding. Players in bold denote match winners.

First roundSecond roundQuarter-finalsSemi-finals
Best of 19 framesBest of 25 framesBest of 25 framesBest of 33 frames
              
16 April      
  Stuart Bingham (ENG) (1) 9
21, 22 & 23 April
  Ali Carter (ENG) 10 
 EnglandAli Carter 11
16 & 17 April
  ScotlandAlan McManus 13 
  Stephen Maguire (SCO) (16) 7
26 & 27 April
  Alan McManus (SCO) 10 
 ScotlandAlan McManus 13
17 & 18 April
  ScotlandJohn Higgins (8) 11 
  Ricky Walden (ENG) (9) 10
23, 24 & 25 April
  Robbie Williams (ENG) 8 
 EnglandRicky Walden (9) 8
18 & 19 April
  ScotlandJohn Higgins (8) 13 
  John Higgins (SCO) (8) 10
28, 29 & 30 April
  Ryan Day (WAL) 3 
 ScotlandAlan McManus 11
20 & 21 April
  ChinaDing Junhui 17
  Judd Trump (ENG) (5) 10
24 & 25 April
  Liang Wenbo (CHN) 8 
 EnglandJudd Trump (5) 10
20 April
  ChinaDing Junhui 13 
  Martin Gould (ENG) (12) 8
26 & 27 April
  Ding Junhui (CHN) 10 
 ChinaDing Junhui 13
17 & 18 April
  WalesMark Williams (13) 3 
  Mark Williams (WAL) (13) 10
22 & 23 April
  Graeme Dott (SCO) 4 
 WalesMark Williams (13) 13
19 April
  EnglandMichael Holt 8 
  Neil Robertson (AUS) (4) 6
  Michael Holt (ENG) 10 
16 & 17 April      
  Shaun Murphy (ENG) (3) 8
21 & 22 April
  Anthony McGill (SCO) 10 
 ScotlandAnthony McGill 9
16 April
  Hong KongMarco Fu (14) 13 
  Marco Fu (HKG) (14) 10
26 & 27 April
  Peter Ebdon (ENG) 2 
 Hong KongMarco Fu (14) 13
19 & 20 April
  EnglandBarry Hawkins (11) 11 
  Barry Hawkins (ENG) (11) 10
23, 24 & 25 April
  Zhang Anda (CHN) 5 
 EnglandBarry Hawkins (11) 13
17 & 18 April
  EnglandRonnie O'Sullivan (6) 12 
  Ronnie O'Sullivan (ENG) (6) 10
28, 29 & 30 April
  David Gilbert (ENG) 7 
 Hong KongMarco Fu (14) 15
19 & 20 April
  EnglandMark Selby (2) 17
  Mark Allen (NIR) (7) 10
24 & 25 April
  Mitchell Mann (ENG) 3 
 Northern IrelandMark Allen (7) 9
20 & 21 April
  EnglandKyren Wilson 13 
  Joe Perry (ENG) (10) 9
26 & 27 April
  Kyren Wilson (ENG) 10 
 EnglandKyren Wilson 8
17 & 18 April
  EnglandMark Selby (2) 13 
  Michael White (WAL) (15) 7
22 & 23 April
  Sam Baird (ENG) 10 
 EnglandSam Baird 11
18 & 19 April
  EnglandMark Selby (2) 13 
  Mark Selby (ENG) (2) 10
  Robert Milkins (ENG) 6 
Final (Best of 35 frames) Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, 1 & 2 May. Referee: Paul Collier
Ding Junhui
 China
14–18Mark Selby (2)
 England
8–125 (91), 68–70 (Ding 52), 43–101 (76), 0–124 (120), 0–100 (70), 38–77, 68–47, 107–14First 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, 27–67Second 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)
103Highest break126
3Century breaks2
1350+ breaks10
EnglandMark Selby wins the 2016 Betfred World Snooker Championship

Qualifying

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

The players competing in the qualifying included remaining tour players ranked outside the top 16, players featured as top-ups from the Q School and invited players from the WPBSA. The 16 invited qualifiers were made up of seven players who won or were runner-up in the following events together with 9 players invited based on the EBSA Order of Merit. Players invited by the Order of Merit were limited to one player per country.

The seven winners/runners-up were:

The remaining nine invitees were:

  • Northern IrelandConor McCormack
  • LatviaRodion Judin
  • BulgariaBratislav Krustev

Round 1

Players in bold denote match winners.

Round 2

Players in bold denote match winners.

Round 3

Winning players qualified for the main tournament. Players in bold denote match winners.

Century breaks

Televised stage centuries

There were 86 century breaks made by 24 players in the televised stage of the World Championship, equalling the record set the year before. For every century break made during the 17-day championship in Sheffield, the title sponsor, Betfred, donated £200 to the Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice. The donation was rounded up to £25,000 as the goal of 70 centuries was achieved. Ding Junhui made 15 centuries, one short of the record of 16 set by Stephen Hendry in 2002.

Qualifying stage centuries

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

Uses material from the Wikipedia article "2016 World Snooker Championship", released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.