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The top five moments in the history of China Open Snooker

Ding Junhui made his big breakthrough by winning the 2005 China Open (credit:)

The China Open is one of the longest running ranking events during the expanded snooker season and has provided many memorable moments since its inception in 1997.

Traditionally played in Beijing prior to the World Championship, the action is generally of the highest quality with the majority of the big names hoping to find their top form and send out a statement of intent before heading to the Crucible.

Here are our top five moments in the history of the tournament…

Ding’s breakthrough – 2005


China has become one of the most popular hotbeds for snooker in recent years, with four of the 19 main ranking events now held in the Far East.

However, the huge interest first boomed in 2005 when a teenage wildcard by the name of Ding Junhui, who turned 18 that week, whitewashed former World champions Peter Ebdon and Ken Doherty on the way to reaching the final.

There, he would face the game’s greatest ever player in Stephen Hendry, with 110 million people watching in his homeland.

Despite a slow start in which he fell 4-1 behind, Ding suddenly burst into life – winning six of the next seven frames – before closing with breaks of 87 and 103 to secure a memorable victory.

The only acute disappointment for the 18-year-old was that, as a wildcard, he was unable to collect the £30,000 top prize or ranking points on offer. However, there would be plenty more opportunities for him in years to come.


The Rocket’s expletive press conference – 2008


All appeared to be going smoothly during Ronnie O'Sullivan's post-match interview after losing to Marco Fu in the opening round of the 2008 China Open.

However, things suddenly took a very colourful turn as he was heard making a series of lewd comments.

The Rocket later claimed he was unaware that the TV cameras were rolling and radio microphones turned on at the time.

He would be docked his appearance money and ranking points gained from the event as a result.

Warning: This video contains strong language and references of a sexual nature.


Magical maximum for Maguire – 2008


Although O’Sullivan made headlines for all the wrong reasons that year, Stephen Maguire would also grab them for all the right ones.

The Scotsman, who was at the peak of his powers and challenging at the top of the world rankings, made history in the second frame of his semi-final showdown with good friend Ryan Day.

Maguire did so by compiling the second 147 of his career and first-ever in the final stages of an Asian-based ranking event.

He went on to win the match 6-5 before overcoming Shaun Murphy 10-9 in the following day’s final to lift the trophy in Beijing.


Trump makes his breakthrough – 2011


Everyone in the game was aware of the talent possessed by 21-year-old Judd Trump, but the rising star was still yet to really make the impact that was widely expected of him.

However, that all changed at the 2011 China Open, where he beat Marco Fu, Mark Davis, Peter Ebdon and Shaun Murphy to reach his first ranking final.

Mark Selby stood in the way of maiden glory for the Bristolian, who controlled proceedings to lead 8-6, and, despite being pegged back to 8-8, consecutive runs of 57 eventually saw him over the line.

That lifted Trump into the world’s top 16 for the first time and, just a month later, he would delight the Crucible crowd with his brand of ‘naughty snooker’ on the way to the World Championship final.


Selby missed black – 2013


Only two maximum breaks have been made in the history of the China Open, with the most recent being produced by Neil Robertson in 2010.

The third almost arrived three years later in the third frame of Mark Selby’s first-round clash with Mark King.

Watched by wife Vikki, Selby was in control with a 2-0 lead and dominated the third frame as he sunk 15 reds followed by blacks along with the colours from yellow to blue.

However, the distance between pink and black saw him leave the cue ball close to the side cushion, thus ensuring slightly awkward cueing in order to complete the 147.

Unfortunately for him and the disappointed crowd, Selby went on to miss the black but, inevitably, the Jester saw the funny side of things before going on to close out a commanding 5-1 win.



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The top five moments in the history of China Open Snooker

The China Open is one of the longest running ranking events during the expanded snooker season and has provided many memorable moments since its inception in 1997. Here are our top five moments in the history of the tournament…

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