2021 World Snooker Championship

Last updated

2021 Betfred World Snooker Championship
World Snooker Championship 2015 Logo.png
Tournament information
Dates17 April – 3 May 2021
Venue Crucible Theatre
City Sheffield
Country England
Organisation(s) WPBSA
Format Ranking event
Total prize fund£2,395,000
Winner's share£500,000
Highest breakFlag of England.svg  Shaun Murphy  (ENG) (144)
Final
ChampionFlag of England.svg  Mark Selby  (ENG)
Runner-upFlag of England.svg  Shaun Murphy  (ENG)
Score18–15
2020
2022

The 2021 World Snooker Championship (also referred to as the 2021 Betfred World Snooker Championship for the purposes of sponsorship) was a professional snooker tournament, that took place from 17 April to 3 May 2021 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. It was the 45th consecutive year for the World Snooker Championship to be held at the Crucible Theatre, and it was the 15th and final ranking event of the 2020–21 snooker season. The tournament was organised by the World Snooker Tour, a subsidiary of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. The event was sponsored by sports betting company Betfred and broadcast by the BBC, Eurosport and Matchroom Sport. The event featured a total prize fund of £2,395,000, with the winner receiving £500,000.

Contents

Qualifying for the tournament took place between 5 and 14 April 2021 at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield. There were 128 participants in the qualifying rounds, with a mix of professional and invited amateur players, 16 of whom reached the main stage of the tournament where they played the top 16 players from the snooker world rankings. Ronnie O'Sullivan was the defending champion, having won his sixth world title at the previous year's event, defeating Kyren Wilson 18–8 in the final. This year, O'Sullivan lost in the second round to Anthony McGill 12–13. Mark Selby defeated Shaun Murphy 18–15 in the final to win his fourth world title and the 20th ranking title of his career. There were a record 108 century breaks made at the Crucible, with an additional 106 made in qualifying. The tournament's highest break was 144 by Murphy in the second round.

Background

The World Snooker Championship features 32 professional players competing in one-on-one snooker matches in a single-elimination format, each match played over a number of frames . The 32 players for the event are selected through a mix of the snooker world rankings and a pre-tournament qualifying stage. [1] [2] [3] The first World Snooker Championship took place in 1927, with the final held at Camkin's Hall in Birmingham, England, and the title was won by Joe Davis. [4] [5] Since 1977, the event has been held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. [6] Stephen Hendry is the event's most successful participant in the modern era, having won the championship seven times. [7] The 2020 championship was won by England's Ronnie O'Sullivan, who defeated compatriot Kyren Wilson in the final 18–8 to win his sixth world title. [8] [9] [10] The winner of the 2021 championship received £500,000, from a total prize fund of £2,395,000. [11] The event is organised by World Snooker in partnership with the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA). [12]

Format

The main draw of the tournament was played at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. Sheffield Crucible theatre.png
The main draw of the tournament was played at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England.

The 2021 World Snooker Championship took place between 17 April and 3 May 2021 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. [13] The event featured a 32-player main draw contested at the Crucible, preceded by a 128-player qualifying draw held at the English Institute of Sport. Qualifying for the event was played between 5 and 14 April 2021, finishing three days before the start of the main draw. [14] The qualifying stage was played over four rounds, with the highest-ranked players being seeded and given byes to the later rounds. [15] The tournament was the last of 15 ranking events in the 2020–21 season on the World Snooker Tour. [16] [17] It was the 45th consecutive year that the tournament had been held at the Crucible, and the 53rd successive world championship to be contested through the modern knockout format. [6] [18] The tournament was sponsored by sports betting company Betfred, as it has been since 2015. [19]

The top 16 players in the latest 2020–21 snooker world rankings automatically qualified for the main draw as seeded players. Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan was automatically seeded first overall. [7] The remaining 15 seeds were allocated based on the latest world rankings, released after the 2021 Tour Championship which was the penultimate ranking event of the season. [20] Matches in the first round of the main draw were played as the best of 19 frames, second-round matches and quarter-finals played as the best of 25 frames, and the semi-finals were played over a maximum of 33 frames. The final was played over two days as a best-of-35-frames match. [7]

Coverage

The event was sponsored by sports betting company Betfred, who also presented the trophy (trophy presentation pictured). Mark Selby Wins 4th World Title.jpg
The event was sponsored by sports betting company Betfred, who also presented the trophy (trophy presentation pictured).

The tournament was broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Television and BBC Online, as well as Eurosport. [21] [22] [13] Internationally, the event was broadcast in Europe and Australia by Eurosport, who also covered the qualifying rounds. [21] [23] Other international broadcasts were provided by Superstars Online, Zhibo.tv, Youku and CCTV in China; by NowTV in Hong Kong; and by DAZN in Canada, the United States, and Brazil. [22]

On 13 March 2021, World Snooker announced that the event would welcome a limited number of fans, as part of an Events Research Programme run by the government in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It was the first and only event of the season not to be staged behind closed doors. [24] Details were announced on 7 April, beginning with crowds of 33% of capacity for the first round and increasing through the tournament until a full capacity crowd would be admitted for the final. Spectators were tested for COVID-19 before and after attending the event. [25]

Prize fund

The winner of the event received £500,000 from a total prize fund of £2,395,000. The breakdown of prize money is shown below: [11]

  • Winner: £500,000
  • Runner-up: £200,000
  • Semi-finalists: £100,000
  • Quarter-finalists: £50,000
  • Last 16: £30,000
  • Last 32: £20,000
  • Last 48: £15,000
  • Last 80: £10,000
  • Last 112: £5,000
  • Highest break (qualifying stage included): £15,000
  • Maximum break (main stage): £40,000
  • Maximum break (qualifying stage): £10,000

Summary

Qualifying

Mark Joyce progressed through qualifying for the first time. Mark Joyce PHC 2016-3.jpg
Mark Joyce progressed through qualifying for the first time.

Qualifying for the event was held between 5 and 14 April over four rounds with 16 players qualifying for the main stage. [3] [14] Seven-time champion Stephen Hendry was playing in the World Championship for the first time since announcing his retirement after the 2012 event. [26] He met six-time runner-up Jimmy White in the first round, with the pair having met in four previous finals. [26] [27] Hendry defeated White 6–3, [28] but lost his second-round match 1–6 to Xu Si. [29] The defeat for White meant he was not ranked high enough to remain on the World Snooker Tour, but he was later given an invitational place for the following two seasons. [30]

Three-time World Championship semi-finalist Alan McManus announced his retirement after his second-round loss to Bai Langning. [31] Bai reached the final round of qualifying by defeating Ben Woollaston 6–5. [32] [33] Two amateur players progressed through the first round. Julien Leclercq defeated Soheil Vahedi 6–5 in the first round, but lost 2–6 to Chang Bingyu. Florian Nüßle defeated world number 111 Ben Hancorn in the first round 6–2, [34] but lost to world number 50 Mark King 3–6 in the second round. [14] [35] World number 84 Jamie Clarke was trailing 0–5 in his second-round match against Jamie O'Neill, but won six frames in a row to win the match. He then defeated world number 20 Joe Perry 6–2 to reach the final round of qualifying. [35]

The fourth and final round of qualifying, nicknamed "judgement day", took place on 13 and 14 April, with the winners qualifying for the main stage. [33] Matches in this round were played over the best of 19 frames. [32] Four players were competing having started in the opening round: Bai Langning, Jamie Clarke, Igor Figueiredo, and Steven Hallworth, but all four lost their final qualifying match. Bai led his match 5–4 after the first session, but lost 5–10 to Martin Gould; Clarke led 7–2, but won just one more frame, as he lost 8–10 to Mark Davis; [36] Figueiredo lost 7–10 to Mark Joyce and Hallworth lost to 2019 semi-finalist Gary Wilson 3–10. [37] The lowest-ranked player to make it through to the Crucible was Jamie Jones, ranked 69 before the tournament. [32]

First round

Jamie Jones qualified for the second round for the first time since completing a ban in 2018. Jamie Jones PHC 2015-2.JPG
Jamie Jones qualified for the second round for the first time since completing a ban in 2018.

The draw for the main stage of the tournament was held at 11 a.m. on 15 April. [38] The opening round was played as the best of 19 frames, held over two sessions between 17 and 22 April. [39] Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan played debutant Mark Joyce in the opening match. [39] O'Sullivan led 3–1, before Joyce made two half century breaks to trail by a frame. The final two frames were won by O'Sullivan who led 6–3 into the second session. [40] Joyce won the first frame in the second session before O'Sullivan took the next to lead 7–4 before scoring three century breaks of 124, 137 and 112 to win 10–4. [40] Masters champion Yan Bingtao and Martin Gould only played eight frames in their opening session, with the score tied at 4–4, with Yan making five breaks higher than 50. [41] Yan made two century breaks to lead 8–5, and won the match 10–6. [42] David Gilbert, the 2019 semi-finalist, played Chris Wakelin, and won seven of the first eight frames and won the first session 7–2. Gilbert won the match 10–4. [42] The 2010 champion and third seed Neil Robertson led 6–3 over Liang Wenbo after their first session. [43] [44] Robertson won all four frames in the second session to progress with a 10–3 victory. [45]

Jamie Jones had returned to the tour for the season having lost his professional status in 2019 after serving a year-long ban. [46] Jones trailed Stephen Maguire 0–3, but led 5–4 after the first session, and won all five of the second session frames to win 10–4. [47] He commented that he felt the ban had caused him to "lose everything", whilst Maguire commented that he would be fined for using bad language at the quality of his play. [48] Previous year's semi-finalist Anthony McGill led Ricky Walden 5–4 in the first session, and won five of the next six to win 10–5. [49] [50] Four-time winner John Higgins played qualifier Tian Pengfei. The pair played just seven of their nine allotted frames in their opening session due to slow play, as Tian won four of the first five to lead 4–3. [51] The second session opened with Tian taking three of the first four frames to lead 7–4. [52] Higgins, however won five frames in a row to lead 9–7 before the match was halted to allow a later session to go ahead on time. When the match resumed, Higgins won frame 17 to win the match 10–7. [53] After the match, Higgins commented Tian would be "kicking himself" for not taking advantage of his own "soul destroying" performance. [53]

Jack Lisowski (pictured in 2016) won his first round match 10-9 over two-time finalist Ali Carter. Jack Lisowski PHC 2016.jpg
Jack Lisowski (pictured in 2016) won his first round match 10–9 over two-time finalist Ali Carter.

The previous year's runner-up Kyren Wilson trailed 1–5 to Gary Wilson, but recovered by winning the next three frames of the opening session to trail 4–5. [54] The second session opened with Kyren winning the opening three frames to lead 7–5. [54] Gary made two half century breaks to tie the match 7–7, before Kyren scored a half century and a break of 119 to lead 9–7. Gary won frame 18, but Kyren won the match with a break of 73. [54] Jack Lisowski trailed Ali Carter 3–1, but led 5–4 after the first sessions play. [55] The pair were later tied at 8–8, before Carter won frame 17 and Lisowski won the next with a break of 82 to force a deciding frame. Lisowski made a break of 60 win the final frame. Post-match, he commented that Carter was the "worst draw", but that "I've never won a tournament so why not make the World Championship the first one?" [56] [57] Mark Allen defeated Lyu Haotian, having led 7–2 after the first session, won three straight frames to win 10–2. [58] Ding Junhui and Stuart Bingham's first session was completed with a fluke on the final black ball , with Ding attempting a pot, for it to end in the opposite corner to lead 5–4. [59] Bingham made breaks of 60, 92 and 104 en route to lead 9–8, before Ding took frame 18 to tie the match and force a deciding frame. [60] The deciding frame was delayed until after the next session ended, with Ding making a break of 45, but misjudging a pot on a red ball , allowing Bingham to make a break of 70 to win the match. [61]

World number one Judd Trump defeated Liam Highfield 10–4, having won the opening session 7–2. [62] [63] Barry Hawkins took a 6–3 lead after the first session over Matthew Selt, and won four of the five frames in the second session to win 10–4. [64] Three-time winner Mark Williams trailed 0–2 behind Sam Craigie, but won five of the next seven to lead 5–4. [65] On the resumption, Williams won five straight frames and won 10–4, commenting that he would "go for everything", indicating he would not turn down any opportunity to pot a ball. [65] The 2005 champion Shaun Murphy trailed 3–5 in his match against Mark Davis, but won the final frame of the session with a break of 114. [66] This century was cited by Murphy as giving him the additional motivation as he won six of the eight frames in the second session to win 10–7. [67] The final first round match was contested between Mark Selby and Kurt Maflin. Selby won the first three frames, before Maflin won frame four with a break of 91. Maflin only scored six points across the next four frames as Selby won the first session 8–1. [68] He then won the next two frames to win the match 10–1. [69] [70]

Second round

Anthony McGill defeated the defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan on a deciding frame 13-12. Anthony McGill PHC 2016-3.jpg
Anthony McGill defeated the defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan on a deciding frame 13–12.

The second round matches was played from 22 to 26 April, as the best of 25 frames over three sessions. [39] O'Sullivan met McGill, who had never defeated him in their six professional matches. O'Sullivan made breaks of 81, 105 and 138 as he led 4–1, but McGill won the final three frames to tie the match 4–4 after the first session. [71] [72] McGill also won the next four frames (seven in total) with breaks of 71, 126 and 89. [73] O'Sullivan won frame 13, before McGill won the next two. The final frame of the second session was won by O'Sullivan to trail 6–10. [73] The third session saw O'Sullivan win the first five frames to lead 11–10. [74] [75] McGill won the next frame, before O'Sullivan won frame 23. McGill forced a deciding frame tying the scores at 12–12 with a break of 136. [76] O'Sullivan had the first chance to score points in the frame, but missed a pot on a red, allowing McGill to win the frame and match. [77]

Mark Williams (pictured in 2015) defeated John Higgins in the second round 13-7, a rematch of the 2018 final. Mark Williams at Snooker German Masters (DerHexer) 2015-02-05 02.jpg
Mark Williams (pictured in 2015) defeated John Higgins in the second round 13–7, a rematch of the 2018 final.

Robertson met Lisowski and led 5–3 and then 9–7 after the second session. [78] [79] He made breaks of 126 and 87 to go 11–7 ahead, before going in-off in the next allowing Lisowski to win the frame. [80] He made a break of 71 in frame 20 and won the match two frames later – a 13–9 victory. This was Robertson's sixth successive victory over Lisowski. [80] Robertson, however, praised Lisowski's play saying "Jack did really well throughout the whole match... I really want to see [him] do well. He's such a nice guy and so talented". [78] Wilson led Hawkins 9–4 before Hawkins won the final three frames of the second session to trail by two. Hawkins made breaks of 107 and 53 to tie the match at 9–9, but Wilson won four more frames to win 13–10. The match contained 22 breaks of 50 or above in the 23 frames played. [81] In a replay of the 2018 World Snooker Championship final, Williams played Higgins. Williams lost three of the first four frames, but won nine successive frames to lead 10–3. [82] Higgins won the final three frames of the second session, but Williams won three of the next four frames, all with breaks over 70 to win 13–7. [83] Williams commented after the win that he felt he was playing as well as he had during the 2002–03 snooker season, where he won all three Triple Crown events. [84]

The two remaining qualifiers left in the competition – Bingham and Jones – met in the second round. The pair were tied after the first session 4–4, with seven breaks over 50. [85] During the second frame, with Bingham leading 109–0 with just two balls remaining, the referee awarded him the frame. Jones, however, revoked the consession to pot the pink ball , as he had not potted a ball to that point, but still lost the frame 106–6. [86] Bingham won the second session, leading 10–6, before winning three frames in the third to win 13–6. [87] Gilbert led Trump 3–1, but missed a black ball , allowing Trump to win the next four frames to lead after the first session. Gilbert won just two of the frames in the second session as Trump led 11–5, who won 13–8. [87] Murphy faced the last Chinese player remaining Yan, and won the opening session 6–2, making the highest break of the tournament, a 144. [88] Murphy also led by four frames after the second session 10–6, [89] and won three of the four frames in the third session to win 13–7. Despite the loss, Yan made more half century breaks than Murphy. [90] Fourth seed Selby faced thirteenth seed Allen, [39] and led 6–2 after the opening session, making six breaks over 50. [91] Selby's lead was cut to 8–6, but won the final frame of the second session to lead by three. [92] He won the match winning four of the next five frames to win 13–7. [90]

Quarter-finals

Kyren Wilson (pictured in 2018) won five straight frames to defeat third seed Neil Robertson. Kyren Wilson PHC 2018-4.jpg
Kyren Wilson (pictured in 2018) won five straight frames to defeat third seed Neil Robertson.

The quarter-finals were played on 27 and 28 April as best-of-25 frames held over three sessions. [39] Robertson played Wilson, and took a 5–3 lead after the opening session, [93] but were tied at 8–8 after the second. [94] In the final session, Wilson won five straight frames to win the match 13–8. [95] [96] Selby required just two sessions to defeat Williams as he won the match with a session to spare . [95] With a pot success of 99% in the first four frames, Selby won the opening session 6–2, [97] before winning seven of the next eight to win 13–3. [95] Williams had been playing a break off where he rolled up to the reds, rather than play a safety shot throughout the tournament, which other players such as O'Sullivan had also attempted. [98] Williams defended the break, and commented that he had received backlash from fans and fellow players. [99]

After making his 500th career century in frame five, [100] Bingham led McGill 6–4 before McGill won five of the next six with breaks of 126, 83, 92, 130 and 75 to lead by two. [101] In the final session, McGill won the first frame before Bingham made breaks of 75, 51, 90 and 91 to take a 11–10 lead. [102] McGill had the first chance in frame 22, but went in-off, allowing Bingham to win the frame. However, McGill won the next two frames to force a deciding frame. McGill had the first chance in the final frame, but was unable to get position on a red after going into the pack . Bingham, however, made a break of 125 to win the match, which he called "the best of my career". [102] McGill, however was confident despite the loss, saying "What I am doing is working, I am going in the right direction." [102] [103] Murphy and Trump were tied at 4–4 after the first session, [104] and then at 6–6 before Murphy won the last four frames of the second session to lead 10–6. [105] Trump won five of the next six frames to tie the match at 11–11, with Murphy making a highest break of only 30. [106] Murphy, however, won the next two frames to win the match 13–11. [106]

Semi-finals

After trailing by six frames, Shaun Murphy defeated Kyren Wilson 17-12. Shaun Murphy PHC 2015-3.jpg
After trailing by six frames, Shaun Murphy defeated Kyren Wilson 17–12.

The semi-finals were played between 29 April and 1 May as the best-of-33 frames held over four sessions. [39] All four semi-finalists had previously appeared in at least one World Championship final, with Bingham and Murphy not having reached the semi-final stage since they contested the 2015 final.[ citation needed ] Wilson, who had reached this stage for three of the last four events, played Murphy. After losing the opening frame, Wilson won the second frame and made a century break in frame three. After going 3–1 ahead, Wilson made breaks of 121 and 127; a total of 248 points without reply. [107] Wilson ended the first session 6–2 ahead. After winning frame nine, Wilson was placed into a snooker which he failed to escape from on several occasions awarding 53 foul points; allowing Murphy to win the frame. Wilson won frames 11, 13 and 14 to lead by six frames at 10–4. [107] Murphy won the final two frames of the session, punching the air in celebration, trailing by four. [107] Wilson won the first frame of the third session, but Murphy won six of the next seven frames to tie the match 12–12. [107] In the final session, Murphy won five straight frames to win the match 17–12. [108] In total, Murphy won 13 out of the last 15 frames to win the match, the first player to win a match from six frames behind since 2010. [109] [110] [111] After the match, Wilson commented that some of Murphy's celebrations were "theatrical", but Murphy replied that they were "in a theatre and we are putting on a show." [112]

Bingham took the opening frame against Selby, but trailed 1–3 into the mid-session interval. [113] Bingham, however, made breaks of 92 and 82 in winning three straight frames to lead 4–3, which Selby tied at 4–4 after the first session. [113] Selby made a break of 52 in frame nine, but still lost the frame after Bingham scored 92 to lead again at 6–5. Selby won four of the next five frames to lead 9–7 including making two century breaks. [114] Bingham tied the scores at 9–9 after breaks of 131 and 96, before frame 19 lasted over an hour, was also won by Bingham on the final black ball. [115] During the frame, Selby was asked to play a shot by the referee after not having acted for three minutes. [116] [117] Bingham also won the next two frames, but frame 22 was won by Selby after the frame was halted twice for a re-rack . [116] [115] Selby won the next frame, but Bingham won the last of the session to lead 13–11. [116] In the fourth session, Selby tied the score by winning the opening two frames, before Bingham won the next to lead 14–13. Selby, then won three straight frames to be one frame away from victory. Bingham won the next frame, but due to the length of the session, the remaining frames were delayed until the culmination of the other semi-final with the scores at 16–15. [118] Returning three hours later, Selby won frame 32 after laying a snooker behind the green ball. [119] [110] This match was more than three and a half hours longer than the other semi-final, with extended safety play and two frames having to be restarted twice. [120]

Final

Mark Selby won the championship with an 18-15 victory over Shaun Murphy in the final. This was Selby's fourth world title. Mark Selby PHC 2016.jpg
Mark Selby won the championship with an 18–15 victory over Shaun Murphy in the final. This was Selby's fourth world title.

The final was played on 2 and 3 May as the best of 35 frames held over four sessions, between Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy. [39] Both players had won the World Championship previously, but they had not met at the event since the 2007 semi-final, which Selby won 17–16. [111] Both players have the same coach, Chris Henry. [121] Murphy was playing in his fourth final, having claimed the title in 2005, and been runner-up in 2009 and 2015; Selby was playing in his fifth final, having won the event three times in 2014, 2016, and 2017, and been runner up in 2007. [122] Murphy won the opening two frames, but missed a pot on a break of 65 in frame three allowing Selby to win the frame. Selby tied the match with a break of 89 in frame four. [123] Murphy, however, took three of the next four frames to lead by two frames after the first session. [123]

Selby won three of the first four frames in the second session to tie the score at 6–6, despite Murphy not missing a pot in the first three. [124] Selby then won four of the next five to end the second session 10–7 ahead, with Murphy spending a whole hour without potting a ball. [123] [124] Murphy won the first frame of the third session with a break of 77, but missed the final black ball in the next, allowing Selby to win frame 19. [125] Murphy won the next frame, but Selby scored the first century break of the final in frame 21. [125] Selby won frame 22 to lead by four frames, before Murphy made a break of 100. [125] Murphy won the next frame, but trailed 14–11 after Selby won the final frame of the third session. [123]

Selby won the opening frame of the fourth and final session, before Murphy cleared the table with a break of 43 to cut Selby's lead to 15-12. [126] The two went into the mid-session interval at 16-13 after Selby played a poor safety shot. [126] After a safety battle, Selby won the next frame with a break of 120, being one frame away from victory at 17-13. Murphy, however, won the next two frames with breaks of 100 and 102. [127] After Murphy missed a pot on a red down the cushion in frame 33, Selby cleared the table to win the match 18–15. [128] [129] [123]

This was Selby's fourth championship, behind only Stephen Hendry (with seven), Steve Davis, Ray Reardon, and Ronnie O'Sullivan (each with six) in the modern era, and equal with John Higgins. [130] Davis commented that Selby was the "best all-rounder we have ever seen", and suggested he may win more world championships than Hendry. [130] The final was broadcast to a peak audience of 4.1 million viewers on domestic television, 27% of all viewers in the United Kingdom and higher than the 2.9 million viewers for the 2020 event. [131] The win raised Selby from fourth in the world rankings up to world number two. [130] Murphy, who had celebrated specific shots throughout the event vowed to use the experience to be more of an entertainer for the coming 2021–22 season. [132] He commented: "In terms of performance, it turned my year around and ended a poor season on a high note." [132] Selby commented: ""To win it once against Ronnie O’Sullivan for the first time was a dream come true – to win it four times is something I could only have dreamed of." [133]

Main draw

The results for the main draw are shown below. Numbers given in brackets are the players' seedings. Match winners are denoted in bold. [134]

First roundSecond roundQuarter-finalsSemi-finals
Best of 19 framesBest of 25 framesBest of 25 framesBest of 33 frames
              
17 April      
 Flag of England.svg  Ronnie O'Sullivan  (ENG) (1) 10
22 & 23 April
 Flag of England.svg  Mark Joyce  (ENG) 4 
  Flag of England.svg Ronnie O'Sullivan (1) 12
18 & 19 April
   Flag of Scotland.svg Anthony McGill (16) 13 
 Flag of Scotland.svg  Anthony McGill  (SCO) (16) 10
27 & 28 April
 Flag of England.svg  Ricky Walden  (ENG) 5 
  Flag of Scotland.svg Anthony McGill (16) 12
19 & 20 April
   Flag of England.svg Stuart Bingham  13 
 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Ding Junhui  (CHN) (9) 9
25 & 26 April
 Flag of England.svg  Stuart Bingham  (ENG) 10 
  Flag of England.svg Stuart Bingham  13
17 & 18 April
   Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Jamie Jones  6 
 Flag of Scotland.svg  Stephen Maguire  (SCO) (8) 4
29, 30 April & 1 May
 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Jamie Jones  (WAL) 10 
  Flag of England.svg Stuart Bingham  15
18 & 19 April
   Flag of England.svg Mark Selby (4) 17
 Flag of Scotland.svg  John Higgins  (SCO) (5) 10
23 & 24 April
 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Tian Pengfei  (CHN) 7 
  Flag of Scotland.svg John Higgins (5) 7
21 April
   Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Mark Williams (12) 13 
 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Mark Williams  (WAL) (12) 10
27 & 28 April
 Flag of England.svg  Sam Craigie  (ENG) 4 
  Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Mark Williams (12) 3
20 April
   Flag of England.svg Mark Selby (4) 13 
 Ulster Banner.svg  Mark Allen  (NIR) (13) 10
24, 25 & 26 April
 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Lyu Haotian  (CHN) 2 
  Ulster Banner.svg Mark Allen (13) 7
21 & 22 April
   Flag of England.svg Mark Selby (4) 13 
 Flag of England.svg  Mark Selby  (ENG) (4) 10
 Flag of Norway.svg  Kurt Maflin  (NOR) 1 
17 & 18 April      
 Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Neil Robertson  (AUS) (3) 10
22, 23 & 24 April
 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Liang Wenbo  (CHN) 3 
  Flag of Australia (converted).svg Neil Robertson (3) 13
19 & 20 April
   Flag of England.svg Jack Lisowski (14) 9 
 Flag of England.svg  Jack Lisowski  (ENG) (14) 10
27 & 28 April
 Flag of England.svg  Ali Carter  (ENG) 9 
  Flag of Australia (converted).svg Neil Robertson (3) 8
20 & 21 April
   Flag of England.svg Kyren Wilson (6) 13 
 Flag of England.svg  Barry Hawkins  (ENG) (11) 10
23 & 24 April
 Flag of England.svg  Matthew Selt  (ENG) 3 
  Flag of England.svg Barry Hawkins (11) 10
19 April
   Flag of England.svg Kyren Wilson (6) 13 
 Flag of England.svg  Kyren Wilson  (ENG) (6) 10
29, 30 April & 1 May
 Flag of England.svg  Gary Wilson  (ENG) 8 
  Flag of England.svg Kyren Wilson (6) 12
21 & 22 April
   Flag of England.svg Shaun Murphy (7) 17
 Flag of England.svg  Shaun Murphy  (ENG) (7) 10
24, 25 & 26 April
 Flag of England.svg  Mark Davis  (ENG) 7 
  Flag of England.svg Shaun Murphy (7) 13
17 & 18 April
   Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Yan Bingtao (10) 7 
 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Yan Bingtao  (CHN) (10) 10
27 & 28 April
 Flag of England.svg  Martin Gould  (ENG) 6 
  Flag of England.svg Shaun Murphy (7) 13
17 & 18 April
   Flag of England.svg Judd Trump (2) 11 
 Flag of England.svg  David Gilbert  (ENG) (15) 10
25 & 26 April
 Flag of England.svg  Chris Wakelin  (ENG) 4 
  Flag of England.svg David Gilbert (15) 8
20 & 21 April
   Flag of England.svg Judd Trump (2) 13 
 Flag of England.svg  Judd Trump  (ENG) (2) 10
 Flag of England.svg  Liam Highfield  (ENG) 4 
Final: (Best of 35 frames) Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, 2 & 3 May 2021
Referee: Paul Collier [135]
Mark Selby (4)
Flag of England.svg  England
18–15 Shaun Murphy (7)
Flag of England.svg  England
PlayersSession 1: 3–5
Frame12345678910
Selby49466889 (89)066854N/AN/A
Murphy576765 (65)775 (75)171 (64)80 (52)N/AN/A
PlayersSession 2: 7–2 (10–7)
Frame12345678910
Selby85 (85)072 (67)107 (86)34109 (57)90 (90)8869N/A
Murphy4998 (98)34097 (64)034426N/A
PlayersSession 3: 4–4 (14–11)
Frame12345678910
Selby469 (62)41134 (107)104 (54,50)10131 (62,69)N/AN/A
Murphy87 (77)5869014100 (100)108 (56)0N/AN/A
PlayersSession 4: 4–4 (18–15)
Frame12345678910
Selby70 (66)48108 (68)11120 (120)7871N/AN/A
Murphy2873079 (58)0100 (100)126 (103)57N/AN/A
120Highest break103
2Century breaks3
1450+ breaks9
Flag of England.svg Mark Selby wins the 2021 Betfred World Snooker Championship.

Dagger-14-plain.png = Winner of frame

Qualifying

The qualifying rounds were played at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield. English Institute of Sport Sheffield.png
The qualifying rounds were played at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

Qualifying for the main stages of the tournament took place from 5 to 14 April 2021 at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield. The WPBSA selected 16 amateur players to participate in the qualifying rounds together with the 112 professionals outside the top 16 of the world rankings. The amateur players were selected based on performances in the 2020–21 season, and due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, performances in the 2019–20 season were also included. [14]

Antoni Kowalski and Wu Yize were initially invited, but withdrew and were replaced by Hamim Hussain and Julien Leclercq. Three tour players: Mei Xiwen, Marco Fu and Steve Mifsud withdrew, and were replaced by the top three players on the Q School Order of Merit who were not already participating in qualification: Michael White, Paul Davison and Leo Fernandez. [14] Noppon Saengkham who was scheduled to enter in the third round was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19. [136] Finally, the 16 amateur players selected to participate in the qualifying rounds were: Connor Benzey, Dylan Emery, Reanne Evans, Hamim Hussain, Ivan Kakovskii, Rebecca Kenna, Julien Leclercq, Mark Lloyd, Robbie McGuigan, Ben Mertens, Ross Muir, Florian Nüßle, Brian Ochoiski, Fergal Quinn, Hayden Staniland, and Dean Young. [14]

Qualifying draw

The results from qualifying are shown below. Numbers given before players' names show seedings in the qualifying draw, whilst "a" is for the amateur players in the draw. Bold text denotes match winners: [14] [35] [32]

 Round 1 (Last 144)
Best of 11 frames
Round 2 (Last 112)
Best of 11 frames
Round 3 (Last 80)
Best of 11 frames
Round 4 (Last 48)
Best of 19 frames
                   
65Flag of England.svg  Jimmy White  (ENG)3 64Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Xu Si  (CHN)6 1Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Zhou Yuelong  (CHN)6
Flag of Scotland.svg  Stephen Hendry  (SCO)6 Flag of Scotland.svg  Stephen Hendry  (SCO)1 64Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Xu Si  (CHN)5  1 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Zhou Yuelong 7
96Flag of England.svg  Zak Surety  (ENG)4 33Flag of England.svg  Liam Highfield  (ENG)6 32Flag of England.svg  Elliot Slessor  (ENG)5 33 Flag of England.svg Liam Highfield 10
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Fan Zhengyi  (CHN)6 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Fan Zhengyi  (CHN)5 33Flag of England.svg  Liam Highfield  (ENG)6
80Flag of Ireland.svg  Ken Doherty  (IRL)4 49Flag of England.svg  Nigel Bond  (ENG)6 16Flag of England.svg  Matthew Selt  (ENG)6
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Lee Walker  (WAL)6 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Lee Walker  (WAL)4 49Flag of England.svg  Nigel Bond  (ENG)5  16 Flag of England.svg Matthew Selt 10
81Flag of England.svg  Oliver Lines  (ENG)6 48Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Dominic Dale  (WAL)6 17Flag of Scotland.svg  Scott Donaldson  (SCO)6 17 Flag of Scotland.svg Scott Donaldson 3
aFlag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Dylan Emery  (WAL)1 81Flag of England.svg  Oliver Lines  (ENG)4 48Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Dominic Dale  (WAL)5
88Flag of Scotland.svg  Fraser Patrick  (SCO)6 41Flag of England.svg  Joe O'Connor  (ENG)6 24Flag of England.svg  Robert Milkins  (ENG)6
aFlag of Ireland.svg  Leo Fernandez  (IRL)4 88Flag of Scotland.svg  Fraser Patrick  (SCO)2 41Flag of England.svg  Joe O'Connor  (ENG)5  24 Flag of England.svg Robert Milkins 4
73Flag of England.svg  Barry Pinches  (ENG)0 56Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Jak Jones  (WAL)6 9Flag of Norway.svg  Kurt Maflin  (NOR)6 9 Flag of Norway.svg Kurt Maflin 10
Flag of England.svg  Jamie Wilson  (ENG)6 Flag of England.svg  Jamie Wilson  (ENG)4 56Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Jak Jones  (WAL)4
89Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Gao Yang  (CHN)6 40Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Lyu Haotian  (CHN)6 25Flag of Thailand.svg  Noppon Saengkham  (THA)w/d
aFlag of England.svg  Paul Davison  (ENG)3 89Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Gao Yang  (CHN)5 40Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Lyu Haotian  (CHN)w/o  40 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Lyu Haotian 10
72Flag of Iran.svg  Soheil Vahedi  (IRN)5 57Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Chang Bingyu  (CHN)6 8Flag of England.svg  Tom Ford  (ENG)4 57 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Chang Bingyu 6
aFlag of Belgium (civil).svg  Julien Leclercq  (BEL)6 aFlag of Belgium (civil).svg  Julien Leclercq  (BEL)2 57Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Chang Bingyu  (CHN)6
69Flag of England.svg  Andy Hicks  (ENG)6 60Flag of Israel.svg  Eden Sharav  (ISR)6 5Flag of Scotland.svg  Graeme Dott  (SCO)6
aFlag of England.svg  Reanne Evans  (ENG)2 69Flag of England.svg  Andy Hicks  (ENG)1 60Flag of Israel.svg  Eden Sharav  (ISR)3  5 Flag of Scotland.svg Graeme Dott 7
92Flag of England.svg  Billy Joe Castle  (ENG)6 37Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Tian Pengfei  (CHN)6 28Flag of Thailand.svg  Sunny Akani  (THA)4 37 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Tian Pengfei 10
aFlag of England.svg  Connor Benzey  (ENG)3 92Flag of England.svg  Billy Joe Castle  (ENG)3 37Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Tian Pengfei  (CHN)6
76Flag of England.svg  David Lilley  (ENG)w/o 53Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Jamie Jones  (WAL)6 12Flag of England.svg  Michael Holt  (ENG)3
Flag of Morocco.svg  Amine Amiri  (MAR)w/d 76Flag of England.svg  David Lilley  (ENG)4 53Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Jamie Jones  (WAL)6  53 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Jamie Jones 10
85Flag of England.svg  Brandon Sargeant  (ENG)6 44Flag of England.svg  Andrew Higginson  (ENG)6 21Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Li Hang  (CHN)6 21 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Li Hang 5
aFlag of England.svg  Rebecca Kenna  (ENG)4 85Flag of England.svg  Brandon Sargeant  (ENG)3 44Flag of England.svg  Andrew Higginson  (ENG)2
84Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Zhao Jianbo  (CHN)6 45Flag of England.svg  Jimmy Robertson  (ENG)6 20Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Lu Ning  (CHN)6
aFlag of Scotland.svg  Ross Muir  (SCO)3 84Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Zhao Jianbo  (CHN)5 45Flag of England.svg  Jimmy Robertson  (ENG)5  20 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Lu Ning 7
77Flag of England.svg  Rod Lawler  (ENG)6 52Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Yuan Sijun  (CHN)5 13Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Liang Wenbo  (CHN)6 13 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Liang Wenbo 10
Flag of Malta.svg  Alex Borg  (MLT)1 77Flag of England.svg  Rod Lawler  (ENG)6 77Flag of England.svg  Rod Lawler  (ENG)3
93Flag of Ireland.svg  Fergal O'Brien  (IRL)6 36Flag of England.svg  Stuart Carrington  (ENG)6 29Flag of England.svg  Mark Davis  (ENG)6
aUlster Banner.svg  Fergal Quinn  (NIR)3 93Flag of Ireland.svg  Fergal O'Brien  (IRL)2 36Flag of England.svg  Stuart Carrington  (ENG)4  29 Flag of England.svg Mark Davis 10
68Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Jamie Clarke  (WAL)6 61Flag of England.svg  Jamie O'Neill  (ENG)5 4Flag of England.svg  Joe Perry  (ENG)2 68 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Jamie Clarke 8
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Iulian Boiko  (UKR)4 68Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Jamie Clarke  (WAL)6 68Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Jamie Clarke  (WAL)6
67Flag of Brazil.svg  Igor Figueiredo  (BRA)6 62Flag of England.svg  Robbie Williams  (ENG)5 3Flag of Thailand.svg  Thepchaiya Un-Nooh  (THA)5
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Farakh Ajaib  (PAK)0 67Flag of Brazil.svg  Igor Figueiredo  (BRA)6 67Flag of Brazil.svg  Igor Figueiredo  (BRA)6  67 Flag of Brazil.svg Igor Figueiredo 7
94Flag of Jamaica.svg  Rory McLeod  (JAM)6 35Flag of England.svg  Anthony Hamilton  (ENG)6 30Flag of England.svg  Mark Joyce  (ENG)6 30 Flag of England.svg Mark Joyce 10
aFlag of France.svg  Brian Ochoiski  (FRA)5 94Flag of Jamaica.svg  Rory McLeod  (JAM)1 35Flag of England.svg  Anthony Hamilton  (ENG)4
78Flag of England.svg  Ashley Carty  (ENG)6 51Flag of England.svg  Louis Heathcote  (ENG)6 14Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Ryan Day  (WAL)6
aFlag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Michael White  (WAL)4 78Flag of England.svg  Ashley Carty  (ENG)2 51Flag of England.svg  Louis Heathcote  (ENG)5  14 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Ryan Day 5
83Flag of England.svg  Peter Lines  (ENG)6 46Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Luo Honghao  (CHN)3 19Flag of England.svg  Ricky Walden  (ENG)6 19 Flag of England.svg Ricky Walden 10
aFlag of England.svg  Mark Lloyd  (ENG)5 83Flag of England.svg  Peter Lines  (ENG)6 83Flag of England.svg  Peter Lines  (ENG)1
86Flag of England.svg  Allan Taylor  (ENG)3 43Flag of Scotland.svg  Alan McManus  (SCO)3 22Flag of England.svg  Ben Woollaston  (ENG)5
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Bai Langning  (CHN)6 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Bai Langning  (CHN)6 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Bai Langning  (CHN)6   Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Bai Langning 5
75Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Duane Jones  (WAL)6 54Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Daniel Wells  (WAL)4 11Flag of England.svg  Martin Gould  (ENG)6 11 Flag of England.svg Martin Gould 10
aFlag of England.svg  Hayden Staniland  (ENG)5 75Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Duane Jones  (WAL)6 75Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Duane Jones  (WAL)4
91Flag of England.svg  Steven Hallworth  (ENG)6 38Flag of England.svg  David Grace  (ENG)3 27Ulster Banner.svg  Jordan Brown  (NIR)5
aFlag of Scotland.svg  Dean Young  (SCO)2 91Flag of England.svg  Steven Hallworth  (ENG)6 91Flag of England.svg  Steven Hallworth  (ENG)6  91 Flag of England.svg Steven Hallworth 3
70Flag of England.svg  James Cahill  (ENG)6 59Ulster Banner.svg  Gerard Greene  (NIR)6 6Flag of England.svg  Gary Wilson  (ENG)6 6 Flag of England.svg Gary Wilson 10
Flag of England.svg  Sean Maddocks  (ENG)1 70Flag of England.svg  James Cahill  (ENG)5 59Ulster Banner.svg  Gerard Greene  (NIR)4
71Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Si Jiahui  (CHN)6 58Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Pang Junxu  (CHN)6 7Flag of England.svg  Ali Carter  (ENG)6
aFlag of England.svg  Hamim Hussain  (ENG)1 71Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Si Jiahui  (CHN)4 58Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Pang Junxu  (CHN)4  7 Flag of England.svg Ali Carter 10
90Flag of England.svg  Peter Devlin  (ENG)1 39Flag of Switzerland.svg  Alexander Ursenbacher  (SUI)6 26Flag of England.svg  Martin O'Donnell  (ENG)5 39 Flag of Switzerland.svg Alexander Ursenbacher 4
Flag of Germany.svg  Lukas Kleckers  (GER)6 Flag of Germany.svg  Lukas Kleckers  (GER)2 39Flag of Switzerland.svg  Alexander Ursenbacher  (SUI)6
74Flag of Poland.svg  Kacper Filipiak  (POL)6 55Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Jackson Page  (WAL)5 10Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Zhao Xintong  (CHN)6
Flag of England.svg  Riley Parsons  (ENG)4 74Flag of Poland.svg  Kacper Filipiak  (POL)6 74Flag of Poland.svg  Kacper Filipiak  (POL)3  10 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Zhao Xintong 9
87Flag of Ireland.svg  Aaron Hill  (IRL)4 42Flag of England.svg  Sam Craigie  (ENG)6 23Flag of Iran.svg  Hossein Vafaei  (IRN)0 42 Flag of England.svg Sam Craigie 10
Flag of England.svg  Ashley Hugill  (ENG)6 Flag of England.svg  Ashley Hugill  (ENG)3 42Flag of England.svg  Sam Craigie  (ENG)6
82Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Lei Peifan  (CHN)6 47Flag of England.svg  Chris Wakelin  (ENG)6 18Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Matthew Stevens  (WAL)3
aFlag of Belgium (civil).svg  Ben Mertens  (BEL)5 82Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Lei Peifan  (CHN)5 47Flag of England.svg  Chris Wakelin  (ENG)6  47 Flag of England.svg Chris Wakelin 10
79Flag of Germany.svg  Simon Lichtenberg  (GER)6 50Flag of England.svg  Ian Burns  (ENG)6 15Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Xiao Guodong  (CHN)6 15 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Xiao Guodong 7
aFlag of Russia.svg  Ivan Kakovskii  (RUS)3 79Flag of Germany.svg  Simon Lichtenberg  (GER)4 50Flag of England.svg  Ian Burns  (ENG)1
95Flag of England.svg  Ben Hancorn  (ENG)2 34Flag of England.svg  Mark King  (ENG)6 31Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Luca Brecel  (BEL)6
aFlag of Austria.svg  Florian Nüßle  (AUT)6 aFlag of Austria.svg  Florian Nüßle  (AUT)3 34Flag of England.svg  Mark King  (ENG)3  31 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Luca Brecel 5
66Flag of England.svg  Mitchell Mann  (ENG)6 63Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Chen Zifan  (CHN)6 2Flag of England.svg  Stuart Bingham  (ENG)6 2 Flag of England.svg Stuart Bingham 10
aUlster Banner.svg  Robbie McGuigan  (NIR)5 66Flag of England.svg  Mitchell Mann  (ENG)5 63Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  Chen Zifan  (CHN)1

Century breaks

Main stage centuries

A record number of 108 century breaks were made by 22 players during the main event, surpassing the previous best of 100 set in 2019. [137] The highest break was a 144 made by Shaun Murphy in his second round win over Yan Bingtao. [137] Stuart Bingham made 13 century breaks in the main stages, three short of the record held by Stephen Hendry, but made an additional four centuries in qualification. [137]

Qualifying stage centuries

A total of 106 century breaks were made during the qualifying rounds. [138] The highest was a 143 made by Mark Davis in his third round win over Stuart Carrington. [138]

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