Tian Pengfei

Last updated
Tian Pengfei
Tian Pengfei at Snooker German Masters (Martin Rulsch) 2014-01-30 09.jpg
Tian at the 2014 German Masters
Born (1987-08-16) August 16, 1987 (age 34)
Dalian, China
Sport countryFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
Nickname Big Bird
Professional2006–2008, 2011–present
Highest ranking 45 (April and July 2016) [1] [2]
Current ranking 63 (as of 3 May 2022)
Century breaks 132 (as of 14 July 2022)
Best ranking finishQuarter-final (x4)
Tournament wins

Tian Pengfei (Chinese :田鹏飞, born 16 August 1987) is a Chinese professional snooker player. He began his career by playing the Challenge Tour in 2004, at the time the second-level professional tour. [3] Tian played on the Main Tour in 2006 and competed on the World Snooker Tour for two seasons until he dropped off in 2008. He won the Beijing International Challenge, and returned to the Main Tour the following year.



Tian first competed on the Main Tour in the 2006–07 season, dropping off the tour in the following season. During the season, Tian also received a one-year ban from China's cue sports administration, [4] [5] following an investigation into allegations that he had sexually abused and beaten his fellow team-mate, Zhou Mengmeng, at the Doha Asian Games in 2006, in which she subsequently gave a formal apology regarding this. [6]

As a wild card, Tian defeated Ronnie O'Sullivan 5–3 in the last 32 of the 2010 China Open at the Students University Stadium in Beijing. In an astonishing finish to the match, O'Sullivan missed a simple final black off its spot which would have levelled the score at 4–4. He also recorded some impressive victories in the Wuxi Classic, by beating Mark Selby 5–3 and Joe Perry 5–1, before being whitewashed 6–0 by Ding Junhui. Despite these results, he was not awarded a wild card by World Snooker to compete on the main tour.

The next professional tournament he competed in was the Beijing International Challenge. In the group stages he recorded wins over Stephen Hendry and Stephen Maguire, before beating Liang Wenbo 6–4 and Ryan Day 9–3 to win the title. [7]

2011/2012 season

Tian qualified for the 2011–12 main tour as a semi-finalist from the second Q School event. [8] As an unranked player, Tian would need to win four matches to qualify for the main draw of the ranking event tournaments. He failed to do this throughout the season, coming closest in his first event, the Australian Goldfields Open. [9] He won his first two matches against Aditya Mehta and Anthony McGill (making three centuries in a 5–1 win) before being given a bye into the final qualifying round due to the withdrawal of Anthony Hamilton. [10] In the final round Tian lost 4–5 to Mark Davis. [11] Tian finished the year ranked world number 78, out of the top 64 who guarantee their places for the 2012–13 season. [12] However, he was awarded the first nomination from the Chinese national governing body for a spot on the tour, guaranteeing him entry into all the ranking event qualifiers in the upcoming season. [13]

2012/2013 season

Tian could not qualify for the main draw of any of the ranking events during the season. [14] However, he had a very good season in the minor-ranking Players Tour Championship Events. At the second European Tour Event he won four matches which included a last 16 triumph over top 16 player Stuart Bingham to reach the quarter-finals, where he was whitewashed 0–4 by Neil Robertson. [14] Tian went one better at the sixth European Tour Event with wins over the likes of Jamie Burnett, Mark Davis and Martin Gould in the quarter-finals to advance to the semis. There he lost 2–4 to Mark Selby, but finished a lofty 30th on the PTC Order of Merit, just outside the top 26 who qualified for the Finals. [15] [16] Tian's season ended when he was beaten 7–10 by Jimmy White in the second round of World Championship Qualifying, to finish the campaign ranked world number 70. [17] [18]

2013/2014 season

In his opening match, Tian defeated Luca Brecel 5–3 to qualify for the 2013 Wuxi Classic in China where he was whitewashed 5–0 by Jack Lisowski in the first round. [19] He then lost in the qualifying rounds for three successive events, but reached the first round of the International Championship with a 6–0 thrashing of Alexander Ursenbacher. [19] He faced Mark Allen and was beaten 6–1. [20] Tian edged past Michael Wasley 5–4 to play in the German Masters, where he matched the best performance in a ranking event of his career. He saw off Andrew Higginson 5–3 in the first round and then recorded the finest result of his career so far by beating world number one Neil Robertson 5–1. [21] His last 16 match against Rod Lawler went to the colours in the deciding frame with Lawler potting the brown, blue and pink to win 5–4. [22] Tian was eliminated in the first round of the World Open by Graeme Dott and went a stage further at the China Open, but lost 5–3 against Mike Dunn. [19] He ended the season ranked world number 66, falling just short of the top 64 who remain on tour. [23] Tian entered Q School and won a two-year tour card for the 2014–15 and 2015–16 seasons in the first event, whitewashing Eden Sharav 4–0 in his final match. [24]

2014/2015 season

Tian beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 4–2 to reach the quarter-finals of the Paul Hunter Classic, where he lost 4–3 to Judd Trump from 3–2 up. He was knocked out at the same stage of the Haining City Open 4–2 by Jimmy Robertson. [25] Tian lost 6–3 in the first round of the UK Championship and won his first ranking event match of the season 4–2 against Tom Ford at the Welsh Open. [26] He was beaten 4–1 by Luca Brecel in the second round. [27] A pair of 4–1 victories set up Tian's best run in a ranking event this year at the Indian Open, but he was thrashed 4–0 by Ricky Walden in the last 16. [25]

2015/2016 season

Tian defeated Noppon Saengkham and Yu Delu both 5–1 and Matthew Stevens 5–0 to play in the final qualifying round of the 2015 Shanghai Masters, losing 5–4 to Mark Davis. [28] He eliminated reigning champion Shaun Murphy 4–1 to reach the quarter-finals of the Ruhr Open and then edged past Alan McManus and David Gilbert to progress through to his first professional final. Tian made a 106 break to trail Rory McLeod 3–2, but lost the next frame to finish as the event's runner-up. [29] Wins over Cao Yupeng and Liang Wenbo saw him reach the third round of the International Championship, where he lost 6–1 to Mark Allen. [28] He exited the UK Championship 6–2 to John Higgins in the second round. [30] Tian's final earlier in the season ensured that he made his first appearance in the PTC Finals, but he lost 4–1 to Robert Milkins in the first round. [28] At the China Open he defeated Barry Hawkins 5–4 and Michael Holt 5–2 to play Ricky Walden in the third round. Tian scored breaks of 87 and 64 to send the match into a deciding frame in which he led 41–0, but he would go on to lose. [31] Tian is still looking for his debut at the World Championship after he lost 10–7 to Hossein Vafaei in the opening round of qualifying. [28] However, his ranking rose by 34 places to end the season at a career-high 48th in the world. [32]

2016/2017 season

Tian lost 4–3 to Matthew Stevens in the second round of the Riga Masters after thrashing Allan Taylor 4–0. A string of qualifying defeats and first round exits followed until the Welsh Open in February 2017 where he overcame Chen Zhe 4–2, before losing 4–0 to Barry Hawkins in the second round. [33] Tian's deepest run of the year was at the China Open, where wins over Anthony McGill and Martin Gould took him into the last 16. He was defeated 5–3 by Judd Trump. [34]

In the World Championship Qualifiers, Tian beat compatriot Zhang Yong 10-4 before an epic match against Fergal O'Brien. In the deciding frame Tian successfully obtained three snookers before missing a difficult final pink, allowing O'Brien to win the match 10–9. That last frame took around 90 minutes and the match finished at 2:30am.

2017/2018 season

Tian's best result came in the Northern Ireland Open, where he beat Soheil Vahedi, Mark Allen, Noppon Saengkham and Chris Wakelin to reach his first ranking quarter-final. But he lost narrowly to teenage compatriot Lyu Haotian 5–4. In the World Championship qualifiers, Tian scored a memorable win over Yan Bingtao, but then lost badly to Chris Wakelin in the final qualifying match.

2018/2019 season

Tian reached two more quarter-finals at the European Masters (where he beat Judd Trump) and the Gibraltar Open. In the World Championship qualifiers, Tian beat Soheil Vahedi, Ryan Day and Matthew Stevens to reach the Crucible for the first time. There, he played Stephen Maguire and appeared to have won the match when he led 9–7 with his opponent needing a snooker. However, Maguire got the snooker, fluked the blue, won the frame and eventually the match 10–9.

2019/2020 season

With wins over Gerard Greene, Alan McManus, Dominic Dale and Si Jiahui, Tian reached the quarter-final of the English Open, but lost 5–0 to Tom Ford.

With the COVID-19 outbreak the season was suspended and Tian returned to Shanghai. He returned for the World Championship, but lost in the qualifiers to Sunny Akani.

2020/2021 season

Tian's season was badly affected by a positive test for COVID-19, which forced him to self-isolate for several weeks.

His best performance came in the World Championship. With wins over Billy Joe Castle, Sunny Akani and Graeme Dott, he qualified for the Crucible. There, he faced 4-times world champion John Higgins. Despite leading 7–4, Tian lost the match 10–7, attributing the slump to fatigue.

Tian finished the season ranked 58.


Tian is known as one of the most approachable players on the tour. He speaks excellent English and has occasionally helped with interpretation at press conferences, notably in the 2017 Northern Ireland Open where he assisted several Chinese players, including Lyu Haotian, despite Lyu having beaten him in their quarter-final match.

Tian is a director at the Ding Junhui Snooker Academy in Sheffield, and also runs a restaurant with his wife.

Performance and rankings timeline

Tournament 2004/
Ranking [35] [nb 1] [nb 2] [nb 2] [nb 3] 69 [nb 2] [nb 2] [nb 2] [nb 3] [nb 4] 70 [nb 5] 82 48 50 [nb 6] 67 54 58 63
Ranking tournaments
Championship League Tournament Not HeldNon-Ranking Event 2R A RR
European Masters [nb 7] AALQNRTournament Not HeldLQLQ QF 1R 1R LQLQ
British Open ATournament Not Held 1R
Northern Ireland Open Tournament Not Held 1R QF 2R 3R WD 2R
UK Championship AALQLQAAALQLQ 2R 1R 2R 1R 1R 3R 2R 2R 2R
Scottish Open Tournament Not heldMRTournament Not held 1R 1R 4R 2R 3R LQ
English Open Tournament Not Held 1R 2R 1R QF 1R 1R
World Grand Prix Tournament Not HeldNR 1R DNQDNQDNQDNQDNQDNQ
Shoot Out Tournament Not HeldNon-Ranking Event 2R 3R 4R 2R 1R 2R
German Masters Tournament Not HeldALQLQ 3R LQ 1R LQLQLQ 1R WDLQ
Welsh Open AALQ 2R AAALQLQ 2R 2R 2R 2R 1R 1R 3R 1R LQ
Players Championship [nb 8] Tournament Not HeldDNQDNQDNQDNQDNQ 1R DNQDNQDNQDNQDNQDNQ
Turkish Masters Tournament Not Held 1R
Tour Championship Tournament Not HeldDNQDNQDNQDNQ
Non-ranking tournaments
Haining Open Tournament Not HeldMinor-Ranking 2R 2R AANHA
Former ranking tournaments
Northern Ireland Trophy NHNR 2R LQATournament Not Held
Wuxi Classic [nb 9] Tournament Not HeldNon-Ranking EventLQ 1R ATournament Not Held
Australian Goldfields Open Tournament Not HeldLQLQLQAATournament Not Held
Shanghai Masters Tournament Not HeldWDA 1R WR LQLQLQLQLQLQLQNon-RankingTournament Not Held
Paul Hunter Classic [nb 10] Pro-am EventMinor-Ranking Event 1R AANRTournament Not Held
Indian Open Tournament Not HeldLQ 3R NHLQ 2R LQTournament Not Held
China Open A WR LQLQ 2R 2R 1R LQLQ 2R LQ 3R 3R LQLQTournament Not Held
Riga Masters [nb 11] Tournament Not HeldMinor-Ranking 2R 2R 1R WDTournament Not Held
International Championship Tournament Not HeldLQ 1R LQ 3R WR 1R 1R LQTournament Not Held
China Championship Tournament Not HeldNR 1R LQ 1R Tournament Not Held
World Open [nb 12] AALQ RR AAALQLQ 1R Not HeldLQ 1R LQLQTournament Not Held
WST Pro Series Tournament Not Held RR Not Held
Gibraltar Open Tournament Not HeldMR 2R 4R QF 4R 2R 1R NH
Former non-ranking tournaments
Beijing International Challenge Tournament Not Held RR W Tournament Not Held
Hainan Classic Tournament Not Held RR Tournament Not Held
Wuxi Classic [nb 9] Tournament Not HeldAA SF ARanking EventTournament Not Held
General Cup [nb 13] ATournament Not Held SF NHA RR AAATournament Not Held
Shoot Out Tournament Not HeldAA 1R 1R A 1R Ranking Event
Performance Table Legend
LQlost in the qualifying draw#Rlost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QFlost in the quarter-finals
SFlost in the semi-finalsFlost in the finalWwon the tournament
DNQdid not qualify for the tournamentAdid not participate in the tournamentWDwithdrew from the tournament
NH / Not Heldmeans an event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Eventmeans an event is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / Ranking Eventmeans an event is/was a ranking event.
MR / Minor-Ranking Eventmeans an event is/was a minor-ranking event.
  1. From the 2010/2011 season it shows the ranking at the beginning of the season
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 He was an amateur
  3. 1 2 New players don't have a ranking
  4. Players qualified through Chinese nomination started the season without ranking points
  5. Players qualified through Q School started the season without prize money ranking points
  6. Players qualified One Year Ranking List started the season without ranking points
  7. The event was called the Malta Cup (2004/2005–2007/2008)
  8. The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011–2012/2013)
  9. 1 2 The event was called the Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009–2009/2010)
  10. The event was called the Grand Prix Fürth (2004/2005) and the Fürth German Open (2005/2006–2006/2007)
  11. The event was called the Riga Open (2014/2015–2015/2016)
  12. The event was called the Grand Prix (2004/2005–2009/2010)
  13. The event was called the General Cup International (2004/2005–2011/2012)

Career finals

Minor-ranking finals: 1

OutcomeNoYearTournamentOpponent in the finalScore
Runner-up1.2015 Ruhr Open Flag of England.svg Rory McLeod 2–4

Non-ranking finals: 2 (2 titles)

OutcomeNoYearTournamentOpponent in the finalScore
Winner1.2010The China Classic Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Zhang Anda 5–3
Winner2. 2010 Beijing International Challenge Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Ryan Day 9–3

Amateur finals: 3 (2 titles)

OutcomeNoYearTournamentOpponent in the finalScore
Winner1.2005 PIOS – Event 1 Flag of England.svg Martin Gould 6–3
Runner-up12005 IBSF World Under-21 Championship Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Liang Wenbo 9–11
Winner2.2006 PIOS – Event 7 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Liu Song 6–3

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