From 12 to 20 November this year in the English city of York at the Barbican Center arena, the UK Championship rating tournament will be held. This is one of the three so-called whales – the most prestigious competitions in snooker, along with the Masters and the World Championship.
Background of the tournament
O’Sullivan won the most at the tournament – 7, then three of the current players of the main tour win at once: John Higgins from Scotland, Ding Junhui from China and Australian Neil Robertson. Mark Selby from England and Welshman Mark Williams took the cup twice. Last year, China’s Zhao Xintong defeated Luca Brecel from Belgium – 10:5. Which snooker players will win the event this season? Let’s try to figure it out and give a prediction for the UK Championship. And you can bet on this event at start Parimatch.
Undoubtedly, the main favorite of the competition in England is the first cue of the round, Ronnie O’Sullivan. The local player leads the world classification and has achieved the most wins in York. The last success of the record holder dates back to 2018. Then in the final, the “rocket” outplayed the Northern Irishman Mark Allen. This year Ronnie already has a trophy at the Hong Kong Masters in October.
Robertson also has high chances for the title. He triumphed in the UK for the last time two years ago. Then Neil’s opponent in the final was the local player Judd Trump, who was defeated only in the decisive frame – 10:9. The second in the world in 2022 reached the semi-finals at the Masters in Hong Kong and Northern Ireland.
Trump is also on the list of favorites for the main trophy. Judd has only won the tournament once, beating Mark Allen 10-8 in 2011. But in 2014, he lacked only one game for the title. So far, this season is not going very well for the Ace. I managed to reach the quarterfinals at the European Masters and Hong Kong Masters.
Selby shouldn’t be written off at the Barbican Centre, either. Mark has two victories and one final. The Englishman in 2012 and 2016 became the winner of the event in York. The fourth snooker player in the world reached the ¼ finals of the season at the British Open, Northern Ireland Open and Hong Kong Masters.
Kyren Wilson excelled at the European Masters in Germany, and in 2021 he often reached the high stages of tournaments, in York he reached the ½ final. In general, a 30-year-old athlete is capable of going far.
Higgins won the UK Championship twelve years ago. The Scottish veteran in 2022 reached the semi-finals of the championship of Northern Ireland and the Masters in Hong Kong.
Allen is clearly euphoric at the moment from defending the cup at home. In addition, Mark also has a final at the British Open. Twice he played in the final at the UK Championship. If he manages to catch his game, then the Northern Irishman can move far along the grid.
We can note Zhao Xintong, who will defend the cup. And so he was ranked among the contenders for the trophy. He also won the German Open last year.
The 2021 finalist Luca Brecel also made it to the list of favorites. In addition to the final in York, the Belgian has the Scottish Open title on his record.
Williams has won here for a long time and is not as competitive now against the top players, but if he manages to play out, he could cause problems for any snooker player. The same goes for last season’s semi-finalist Barry Hawkins, who was unlucky in two more finals: the Masters and the Players championship. And this season, the European Masters final was lost to Wilson without a chance.
Chinese representative Zhou Yulun is currently unable to play at the level of the top 10, as shown by the final of the competition in Northern Ireland.
It is unlikely that anyone else will be able to shoot and wedge into the fight for victory in the event.
Obviously, there are three main contenders to win: Ronnie, Neil and Judd. Trump is looking for the best game, Neela is stuck at high stages. The most successful here is the first number of the main tour. Yes, and the current form of the “rocket” is conducive to a successful performance.