Mark Selby pockets second biggest prize pot in snooker at China Open and eyes another World Championship
Champ retains his title in Beijing and moves to 14 career ranking titles ahead of the sport’s biggest event in Sheffield later this month
World number one Mark Selby brushed Barry Hawkins aside in Beijing to retain his China Open crown and pocket the second biggest prize in snooker.
The £225,000 for the winner is only bettered by the £425,000 at the World Snooker Championship, which starts in Sheffield later this month.
Selby, the reigning world champion, will fancy his chances of another bumper payday after coming from a frame down to romp past fellow Englishman Hawkins 11-3 at the Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium.
@markjesterselby: "If I can catch Mark Williams, then I've got one over on him"
Never quite satisfied, Mark Selby is keen to further his tally of 14 ranking titles!
Tonight's victory takes him ahead of Robertson & Ding in the all-time ranking title list.#ChinaOpen pic.twitter.com/o4b3WLSZAd
— World Snooker (@WorldSnooker1) 8 April 2018
Both events have total prize pots that tip the £1 million mark, the only two on tour to do so, although the World Championship is nearly double at £1,968,000.
Selby, 34, is the current world champion, building on his Beijing win to triumph at the Crucible last year, and this is his third China Open title in the last four years.
CHAMPION | Congratulations to @markjesterselby who has defeated Barry Hawkins 11-3 to claim his third China Open title this evening in Beijing, his 14th ranking crown in total. Report: https://t.co/zhOCiyooeI pic.twitter.com/JeiCH20XMW
— WPBSA (@WPBSAofficial) 8 April 2018
The tournament also witnessed two maximum breaks with both Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stuart Bingham hitting 147s.
This meant the pair shared the £24,000 highest-break prize.
China’s Ding Junhui is among the favourites for the title in Sheffield, a tournament that he has never won, when it begins on April 21.
Hong Kong’s Marco Fu, who has been away from the table because of an eye injury, has announced that he will compete in the World Championship.