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Haikou World Open

The World Open is a professional ranking snooker tournament established in 1982. The World Open was launched under the name of the Professional Players Tournament, however it was changed to the Grand Prix in 1984 and the name remained until 2001.

The name change in 2001 was due to sponsorship reasons and the tournament emerged as the LG Cup. LG withdrew their sponsorship in 2004 and the competition returned to the Grand Prix. In 2010 it changed once again to the World Open due to the Barry Hearn’s takeover of the WPBSA and the name will remain until at least the 2013 World Open.

The tournament was introduced in order to provide another ranking event to the calendar and takes place between the 27th February to 4th March.

The tournament is currently held in Haikou Stadium, Haikou, China and has been since 2012. The competition has been held at many different venues around the United Kingdom before the switch to China occurred.

The event was held in Birmingham for it’s launch in 1982 but switched the next year to Bristol. It switched once again in 1984 to Hexagon Theatre in Reading, as well as switching names.

After being held in Reading for almost 10 years the event moved to Derby in 1994 and continued to move venues regularly until 2001 having been hosted in Sunderland, Bournemouth, Preston and Telford.

The event settled in Preston in 2001 for five years during a change of sponsorship and names. This was to be the last time the competition would be hosted in England as it moved to Scotland, where it remained for a further 5 years in Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Haikou hosted the World Open for the first time in 2012 and will host it again in 2013.

The event is of a ranking format, meaning the top 16 players in the world rankings are allocated automatic places and are seeded for the main draw.

The remaining 16 places are made up of players entering the tournament through the four rounds of qualifying held at the World Snooker Academy, Sheffield, England or the Wildcard round held in Haikou on 27th February.

The 1985 final between Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor is the longest one-day final in Snooker History after the match lasted for 10 hours 21 minutes.

In the 2005 final, John Higgins set two records when he became the first player to ever record centuries in four consecutive frames in a match during a ranking tournament.

In doing this he also broke the points record without reply, scoring 494, the greatest number in any professional snooker tournament. Higgins record still remains today as the highest for any ranking tournament.

John Higgins and Stephen Hendry are the only players to have won this tournament four times each.

Previous World Open Winners

Professional Players Tournament (ranking)

  • 1982 – Ray Reardon
  • 1983 – Tony Knowles

Grand Prix (ranking)

  • 1984 – Dennis Taylor
  • 1985 – Steve Davis
  • 1986 – Jimmy White
  • 1987 – Stephen Hendry
  • 1988 – Steve Davis
  • 1989 – Steve Davis
  • 1990 – Stephen Hendry
  • 1991 – Stephen Hendry
  • 1992 – Jimmy White
  • 1993 – Peter Ebdon
  • 1994 – John Higgins
  • 1995 – Stephen Hendry
  • 1996 – Mark Williams
  • 1997 – Dominic Dale
  • 1998 – Stephen Lee
  • 1999 – John Higgins
  • 2000 – Mark Williams

LG Cup (ranking)

  • 2001 – Stephen Lee
  • 2002 – Chris Small
  • 2003 – Mark Williams

Grand Prix (ranking)

  • 2004 – Ronnie O’Sullivan
  • 2005 – John Higgins
  • 2006 – Neil Robertson
  • 2007 – Marco Fu
  • 2008 – John Higgins
  • 2009 – Neil Robertson

World Open (ranking)

  • 2010 – Neil Robertson
  • 2012 – Mark Allen
  • 2013 – Mark Allen

Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen is the current World Open Champion after he beat Matthew Stevens to retain the title h first won in 2012.

After dominating Stephen Lee 10-1 in 2012, Allen returned to Haikou in fine form, beating Ryan Day and Robert Milkins by five frames to two, Ricky Walden 5-1 and John Higgins 6-2 to reach the final.

Here, he again showed glimpses of the top player that clearly exists within him, lifting the World Open for the second year in a row with a 10-6 win over Matthew Stevens.

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