Battle For Number One: 2014 Shanghai Masters


Following next week’s 6 Reds World Championship in Thailand, the snooker circuit heads to China for the venue stages of the biggest ranking event of the campaign so far, the 2014 Shanghai Masters. The tournament also marks the second seedings revision of the current season, which although relatively insignificant compared to other cut-offs this season, could see the top ranking change for the third time this season.

Click below for a round-up of the various permutations, with Mark Selby and Neil Robertson in contention to end the tournament as world number one…

  • Click here to view the draw for the Shanghai Masters
  • Click here to view the latest projected seedings
  • Click here to view the money tariffs for events this season
  • Click here to view the money being deducted at this revision

On 14th September 2014 following the Shanghai Masters, the current seedings list will be revised for the second time this season and will be used to determine the seedings for the International Championship and Indian Open events.

By the time of the revision, money earned from the 2012 APTC1, 2012 Wuxi Classic, 2012 Australian Goldfields Open, 2012 EPTC1, 2012 EPTC2 , 2012 APTC2, 2012 Shanghai Masters, 2012 UKPTC1, 2012 UKPTC2 and 2012 UKPTC3 events will have been deducted and replaced by those from this season’s events up to that date.

As always, I have already removed the points to be deducted from the appropriate column on my latest projected seedings list, to show the situation as up to date as possible.

Note that for this season, where a player loses their first match at a tournament, irrespective of the round, they will not receive any prize money towards their official world ranking.

Battle for Number 1

So as has been the case throughout the opening months of the season, the battle for the world number one ranking will be contested between Mark Selby and Neil Robertson.

At the moment it is Selby who holds the advantage heading into the next seedings cut-off, having retaken the top ranking following his recent victory at the ET1 event in Riga and further extended his lead at last weekend’s Paul Hunter Classic. His lead currently amounts to some £18,854, however with a top prize of £85,000 on offer for the winner in Shanghai, all is still very much to play for at the event.


The first observation to make is that with defending champion Ding Junhui installed as top seed, both Neil and Mark have been placed in the bottom half of the draw and so are seeded to meet at the semi-final stage in Shanghai.

Therefore if Selby can reach the final of the tournament, he will be assured of retaining the world number one ranking at the end of the tournament, while a semi-final run would be enough provided that Robertson were not to go on and win the event.

If Selby were to fall at either the quarter-final or last 16 stage, a run to the final would be enough for Robertson to overtake him, while an opening round defeat to Ken Doherty or wildcard Huang Jiahao for the reigning world champion would mean that Robertson could take top spot with a semi-final run.

Looking Ahead

While that is the position for the next revision, looking further ahead it is clear that battle will most likely be joined by Ding Junhui by the end of the year, who in the short to medium term at least, has significantly less points to defend than the current top two.


To illustrate, by the time of the December seedings revision which will follow this year’s UK Championship, Mark Selby will have lost a further £143,779 and Neil Robertson £83,410, compared to Ding’s far lower drop of just £19,241.

Of course it is possible that Selby and Robertson will be able to repeat their stronger results than two years ago in comparison to Ding, but with the Chinese number one currently less than £90,000 behind top ranked Selby, he is very much in contention to challenge for top spot and finally become snooker’s 11th different number one at some point during the coming months.