2024 Cazoo World Snooker Championship: preview

The World Snooker Championship will be held from April 20 to May 6 in the English city of Sheffield. The competition will take place at the Crucible Theatre. First, four rounds of the qualifying round of the competition will be played. In the first three stages, matches consist of eleven frames. And in the last qualifying stage, the best one will be determined in a game of up to ten wins.

As a result, of the thirty-two snooker players of the tournament: 16 qualifying players and 16 seeded players form the main stage. If you are a gambling person and like to bet on snooker, we recommend switching to bangladesh.

Thirty-two players will compete in the main draw. The matches at the 1/16 final stage will consist of 19 frames. At stage ⅛, athletes will play up to thirteen victories. The same format awaits spectators and participants when determining the best in the quarterfinals of the event. During the semi-final round, snooker players can play a maximum of 33 frames. The final match includes four sessions, the winner will be the first one to reach 18 games.

Background to the World Cup

Joe Davis won the most at the tournament – 15. John Palmen and Fred Davis had eight successes each. After the tournament moved to the Crucible Theatre, Scotsman Stephen Hendry and local Ronnie O’Sullivan had the maximum number of victories in Sheffield – seven triumphs each. The Scottish veteran is remembered for his decent performances in the 90s, but Ronnie has a record of victories in the new era – at world championships in the current 21st century.

In addition, of the players who continue to perform, Englishman Mark Selby, as well as John Higgins from Scotland, have four victories at the World Championship in their baggage. Mark Williams from Wales became the best three times. Of the current snooker players, Luca Brecel (in 23), Sean Murphy, Stuart Bingham and Judd Trump have each won the main trophy once. In addition to them, Ken Doherty from Ireland, Scotsman Graham Dott and Neil Robertson from Australia won. Those who reached the final round of the competition were Jimmy White, Alistair Carter, Nigel Bond, Barry Hawkins and Kyren Wilson, the Chinese Ding Junhui, and the Welshman Matthew Stevens.

Tournament favorites

Multiple world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan is considered the main favorite for this year’s competition. Despite his serious age, “rocket” is still consistently leading in the rankings and is probably ready to win; he will be a candidate for victory in any of the tournaments. The whole question is motivation, and this season it is at its best. This is evidenced by his results at two previous top tournaments: the British Championship and the Masters, where he was able to win titles. 

One step lower among the contenders for the trophy are the “magician’s” compatriot Mark Selby, last year’s finalist, who should not be written off, Mark Allen from Northern Ireland, who has improved well in recent seasons, reaching the semi-finals in 2023, and Neil Robertson from Australia. Among those who can unexpectedly present a sensation are veterans Scotsman John Higgins and Mark Williams from Wales.

Sean Murphy, Kyren Wilson, as well as Chinese representatives Xi Jiahui, Zhao Xingtun and Ding Junhui can be considered as dark horses. Let us note that Scotsman Anthony McGill and Welshman Jack Jones made it to the quarter-final round a year ago. Two opposites, Scott plays more defensively and here he beat Trump and Ronnie, Jack, on the contrary, prefers to play openly, such a risk was justified, since he managed to knock out two players from the top 16 at once – Carter and Robertson.

Who can stop Ronnie from winning the World Cup?

Several snooker players can prevent the first cue on the planet from achieving victory at the World Championship 2024. But for this you need to be in almost ideal condition.

First of all, the same Trump, who, in addition to winning one trophy, has already played in the final twice, but lost to Higgins (whom he later took revenge on at the Crucible) and Ronnie a couple of years ago. Judd is currently the bookmakers’ second favorite, and for good reason. This player is very talented, but there are some psychological problems that clearly hinder him in key situations. “Ace” managed to defeat his opponent at the Masters, but lost previous meetings to a more experienced opponent, including the final confrontation of 2022.

Selby has experience of beating O’Sullivan at major competitions such as the British Championship and the World Championship. This is of course a threat to the more skilled player, who was able to defend his title once in 2013. Mark, by the way, also retained the trophy he won in 2016, achieving success in the World Cup the following season.

Neil Robertson certainly poses a danger to the current world champion, since last season he already defeated the “magician” three times. The Australian can create problems if the game drags on and, as they say, starve out. Therefore, it’s definitely not worth writing off the 2010 champion.

Higgins played in the final in 2019 and clearly has no plans to retire yet. It was O’Sullivan who stopped John at the Crucible two years ago. In the past, John was not enough for the third round, and after the defeat of Kyren Wilson.

As for Mark Williams, this is perhaps the most convenient opponent of the bison. “Rocket” takes 70 percent of victories. But we must also pay tribute to the three-time world championship winner. A player from Wales a year earlier stopped at the semi-final stage, losing to Trump in the decisive game. The Welshman’s style of play is very aggressive and open, so any mistake gives the opponent significant chances. To achieve victory, he needs complete concentration and readiness for a long battle.

It is hard to see that any of the dark horses will be able to impose a fight on the top athletes, and there are no particularly high hopes for the other quarter-finalists in the meetings with the first number of world snooker.

Our forecast

Obviously, local representatives come to the fore here. Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby, and Judd Trump are among the main contenders for the world snooker crown. Also among the favorites are Northern Irish player Mark Allen and the current tournament winner Luca Brecel from Belgium.

There is a very high probability that O’Sullivan will be able to achieve another, eighth world championship cup. It will be difficult to drag Higgins and Williams into the long term. Brecel and Murphy are unlikely to have enough stability, Robertson is struggling at the World Championships, Trump is not yet superior to the champion, Allen has a complex about Ronnie.

Selby is not good enough in defense, but is extremely unconvincing in attack to drag the veteran into a long-term struggle. Therefore, even despite his age, Ronnie does not fade and in comparison with his opponents, he may not be as effective in terms of seriality. However, his game is much more stable and the Englishman is psychologically better than his main competitors in this event. Therefore, judging by the quotes from bookmaker companies, you can take a chance and win the “magician” at the tournament in Sheffield.