Today we are going to take a look at who, at this stage of the season, looks in best shape to lift the UK Championship trophy at the end of the year.
For anyone who likes to gamble on snooker, this is the perfect time of year to place your bets, as there the odds at sites such as betolimp, the most popular betting site in South Africa, are much higher given the amount of time between now and then. Without further ado then, let’s look at the big contenders.
Reigning champion Ronnie O’ Sullivan has ahead a great 2018 so far, raking in almost 1,000,000 in ranking points and sitting 3rd in the World Rankings thanks to 5 titles this year. O’Sullivan loves nothing more than stepping his game up when it comes to the biggest stages of them all, and this year will be no different. If Ronnie wins this year’s title, he will be the first snooker player to have ever lifted the trophy 7 times.
Mark Selby has had a wonderful couple of years at the top of snooker and sits in number 1 position in the rankings for this year. Despite Selby being knocked out of the World Championships in the first round, after winning for 2 years in a row, that has not hampered Selby’s ambition or ability to still perform. Widely considered as one of the best tacticians in the game, Selby will be looking to add to his 2 UK Championship titles this year, and is currently in great form heading into the backend of the year.
Mark Williams has been going through something of a renaissance this year, after many years on the circuit and the Welshman capped his impressive year with a win at the World Championship, at the ripe old age of 43. Williams went one further after winning the World Championships by lifting the World Open after a comeback against Dave Gilbert, and he has also been performing well in ranking tournaments. Williams is currently in second spot on the rankings table and expects to push for a strong end of the year.
Ding’s career may not have taken off in the way that many expected when he launched onto the scene in 2004 as a wildcard pick, but this year he has been slowly pegging away at the rankings, gaining 7th position in the world. Junhui has seen some good success in the UK Championships, having lifted the trophy twice back in 2005 and 2009, so he will know what it takes to win the competition. As far as an outside favorite, Ding must certainly be where the smart money goes, having already laid on an impressive 2017/18 season, having reached the final of the World Grand Prix, where he was outclassed by a certain Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Where does your money go?