2018 China Open snooker Odds
Who wins the 2018 China Open (snooker)?
The China Open is the longest running of the current world ranking events staged in China, dating back to 2005. In that year it was won by Ding Junhui, aged just 18 at the time, who beat Stephen Hendry in the final. That victory for the young Chinese ace proved the catalyst for a vast explosion of interest in snooker, which has made it one one of the country’s most popular sports today. The tournament is staged in Beijing and brings 64 players to the Chinese capital to compete for the iconic golden trophy.
In 2017, world number one Mark Selby beat Mark Williams 10-8 in a tight China Open final. ” "Winning (in China) gives me a lot of confidence, although there are a lot of great players playing well at the moment. I'm going to keep on working hard to try to win more tournaments and stay at No.1." Selby started well with two centuries to lead 3-1 but Williams produced 106 to be 5-4 down at the interval. Neither man held a two-frame lead after the restart until Selby closed out after a fine 124 break to move 9-8 up. Victory in Beijing - where he walked away with an £85,000 first prize - was his fourth ranking tournament success of the season, his previous best campaign coming in 2014-15 with two wins.
The name of the event was changed to China Open and was held in December, so there were two events in 1999. After the 2001 tournament the event was abandoned. The event was revived for the 2004/05 season. Local wild-card players were invited to play against the qualifiers. The three Chinese players on the tour were invited to play as wild-cards, rather than qualify the usual way. Ding Junhui was one of them, and he won the tournament, but as he entered as a wild-card, he didn't get the prize money nor ranking points.
The tournament currently takes place at the Beijing University Students' Gymnasium, Haidian District, Beijing in late March and early April, and it is the last ranking event before the World Championship.
As always, so much depends on which Ronnie O'Sullivan turns up. Despite the fact that he usually dominates his two main rivals in this section - Ding and Stuart Bingham - it is hard to make a case for the Rocket. Not least because he hasn't reached this final since 2000. Even if he is more tuned in than on recent visits, his form is uninspiring and perhaps a signal of decline. Ronnie's only title this term came at the Masters (his favourite event) and required only one peak-standard performance (against Fu). The only other such performance in 2017 was against Wenbo in the first round at Llandudno, before Trump got his measure.
David Gilbert has reached a ranking final in China before, at the 2015 International Championship. He's registered several good wins lately - over Ding, Fu and Carter - without making the latter stages.