Rankingswatch: Shanghai Update

Following the Roewe Shanghai Masters final last night, World Snooker have issued the latest provisional rankings and it is time to have a quick look at the big movers this week.

Walden’s rise

Where else can we start but with surprise winner Ricky Walden, currently 35th on the official list. Already having gained points from winning his first qualifying match for Northern Ireland, Walden now rockets up the provisional rankings to 17th position with the 5,000 points from Shanghai. Whilst moving into the top 32 for the first time would represent progress in itself, Ricky will now surely be eying a place in the elite top 16 which is certainly realistic if he can maintain his current form.

O’Sullivan extends lead

Despite losing out to Walden in the final, current world number 1 Ronnie O’Sullivan has still extended his lead over second placed Stephen Maguire to a colossal 7,025 points, with the rest of the pack further behind. Already it looks pretty certain that barring a massive turnaround in fortunes, the rocket will be at the head of the rankings once again in 2009/10, though there is still a long way to go of course.

Selby continues progress

Following the second first round exit of the season for Shaun Murphy, he has now slipped back from the chase for number 1 and into the clutches of Mark Selby who moves ahead of him into third place. Indeed from Mark Selby in third place down to Marco Fu in eighth, there are less than 4,000 points separating a competitive group of players who could all go on a good run this season. It will be very interesting to see who, if anyone, can go on such a run and really make a go at challenging the top two. Given the way Selby has started the season then he has to be the favourite for me.

Ding’s danger

If anyone had told me a year or so ago that Ding Junhui would be real danger of losing his top 16 place at the end of this season then I would probably have laughed at them, but he is in genuine trouble at the moment. Another first round defeat in Shanghai, this time to the in-form Stoke potter Dave Harold and he has slipped to 14th position in the provisional rankings. With his own form continuing to be poor, he has already confirmed his withdrawal from the new Bahrain tournament which will only set him back further. Is he too good to drop out of the 16? You would think so, but look at what has happened to the likes of Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens recently…

Mixed fortunes for former world champions

In becoming the oldest man to reach the quarter-finals of a ranking event in 14 years, Steve Davis did his chances of remaining in the top 32 for next season no harm at all as he moves up to 28th on the provisional list.

There was to be no such luck for 2002 champion Peter Ebdon however as his struggles continue. Already under investigation following his whitewash at the hands of Liang Wenbo in August, another first round defeat sees him slip to 18th position. Similarly Ken Doherty’s woes show no sign of ending as having failed to qualify for the TV stages this week he slips down to 35th place, a position that will only get worse following his failure to make the venue for the Grand Prix also.

The man who beat him in the Glasgow qualifiers, John Parrott is also suffering at the moment as he has fallen to 57th provisionally, largely owing to his withdrawal from Shanghai due to a clash of dates. Hopefully he can make up for this over the rest of the season as it would be a shame if this were to cost him his place in the top 48 or even on the tour.


Despite suffering a 5-4 defeat to Mark King early on this week, just by making it so far Jimmy White has once again done his ranking a lot of good as he sits one place above Parrott in 56th place. Although he failed to make the TV stages in Glasgow, the points gained from winning his first two matches should see him move up further…