Round One / Round Two
But I put in three hard weeks and it works. It makes it a lot easier if you practice. Englishmen Joe Perry and Ricky Walden head a list of experienced pros who have come close to going all the way in Sheffield, while former top player Robert Milkins is another man to have earned some big wins in Sheffield.
Three-time ranking event winner Walden from Chester was a Crucible semi-finalist in and the year-old world number 27 has been showing signs of returning to form after injury affected his game. Essex potter Perry, 43, is ranked 22 in the world. He made the final four in but has not been beyond the second round in seven attempts since and missed out last season.
It's so tough to qualify in this format. When you come through you feel like you have really achieved something. It's one hell of a tough week. Fatigue doesn't come into it when you are flying high, deep in the World Championship.
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The championship was won by Terry Griffiths. Griffiths had only been a professional for 7 months and played two qualifying matches to reach the Crucible. The championship was extended to 24 players.
Players seeded 9 to 16 met a qualifier in the first round, the winner meeting one of the top 8 seeds in the second round. A number of changes were made to accommodate the extra matches, including reducing the final to 35 frames.
In the final Cliff Thorburn met Alex Higgins. The match was level at 9—9 after the first day and level again at 13—13 after the final afternoon session. During the evening session the scores was tied at 16—16 before Thorburn made a clearance in frame 33 and a break of 51 in frame 34 to win the championship. Despite being the number 13 seed, Steve Davis was the favourite for the championship. Davis won the first six frames of the final but only led 10—8 at the end of the first day.
Davis led 14—12 at the start of the final evening session and won the first four frames to win 18— Doug Mountjoy set a new championship record of during his semi-final match against Ray Reardon.
The championship was extended to 32 players with 16 seeded players and 16 qualifiers. There was a surprise in the first round when Tony Knowles beat defending champion Steve Davis 10—1.
In the semi-finals Jimmy White led 15—14 and 59—0 before missing an easy red with the rest. Higgins then made a 69 clearance and then won the deciding frame to reach the final. The score was 15—15 before Higgins won three frames in a row to win the championship, finishing with a clearance of , thereby denying Reardon the chance to win a seventh world title. Cliff Thorburn made the first maximum break in the world championship in during his second round match against Terry Griffiths.
The importance of this achievement at the time is demonstrated by the fact that play was stopped on the other table.
This was the break that gave the World Championship one of its most iconic words of commentary, "oh, good luck mate" on the final black, courtesy of Jack Karnehm. Thorburn beat Griffiths in a final frame decider, a match that finished at Thorburn then also won his quarter-final and semi-final matches in the deciding frame.
Exhausted and deflated by the news that his wife had suffered a miscarriage  meant that the final against Steve Davis was one-sided with Davis winning 18—6. The final was between Steve Davis and Jimmy White , in his first final. Davis led 12—4 after the first day but White won 7 of the 8 frames on the final afternoon. Davis led 16—12 at the evening interval and, despite a comeback from White, Davis won 18— In the final , Dennis Taylor beat Steve Davis 18—17 on the final ball of the final frame, in one of the most closely contested matches of all time.
It finished at With an audience of Johnson led 13—11 at the start of the evening session and won 5 of the first 6 frames to win 18— Joe Johnson and Steve Davis met again in the final although, on this occasion, Davis was the winner by a score of 18— Steve Davis and Terry Griffiths met in the final. The score was 8—8 after the first day but Davis pulled ahead on the final day and won 18— Davis led 13—3 after the first day and won the first five frames on the final day to win 18—3.
In Steve Davis failed to reach the final for the first time since , losing in the semi-finals 16—14 to Jimmy White. In Hendry, the number 1 seed, lost in the quarter-finals to Steve James. In Jimmy White became the second player to make a maximum break in the world championship, during his 10—4 first round win over Tony Drago.
Stephen Hendry met Jimmy White in the final. White led 14—8 but Hendry won 10 frames in a row frame to win 18— In , James Wattana , from Thailand, became the first Asian player to reach the semi-finals, where he lost to Jimmy White.
The final was one-sided, with Stephen Hendry beating White 18—5. In Jimmy White reached his sixth final, meeting Stephen Hendry for the fourth time in the final. Hendry led 5—1 but White won 6 frames in a row to lead 7—5. Thereafter the match was always close and the match went to a final frame.
White missed a black off the spot, after which Hendry made a break of 58 to clinch the title. Fergal O'Brien made a century in his first frame at the Crucible, the only player to do so. In Hendry and White met in the semi-finals, where Hendry won again, making a maximum break during the match.
In the other semi-final Nigel Bond beat unseeded Andy Hicks. The final was initially close until Hendry won 9 frames in a row to take the score from 5—5 to 14—5. Hendry eventually won 18—9.
Hendry made a record 12 century breaks during the tournament. He met Stephen Hendry in the final. Ebdon led 4—2 in the early stages but Hendry eventually won 18—12 to win his fifth successive title. There were 48 century breaks during the final stages, a new record. In the first round of championship Ronnie O'Sullivan made the fastest maximum break in snooker history, taking just 5 minutes and 20 seconds.
Doherty led 15—7 before Hendry won 5 frames in a row. Doherty then won the next three frames to win 18—12, ending Hendry's winning run of 29 consecutive matches. Stephen Hendry lost to Jimmy White in the first round of the championship.
Doherty reached the final again meeting year-old John Higgins. Higgins won 18—12, making 5 centuries in the final. There were 59 centuries during the tournament of which Higgins made 14, both records. The following year, Stephen Hendry won his seventh and final world title, the most in the modern era.
In the final he beat Mark Williams 18— In the semi-final between Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan each player made 4 century breaks, the 8 centuries being a record for a world championship match. The period from to was dominated by three players, all born in and all turning professional in Higgins had also won in , and Williams would go on to win in In his semi-final Mark Williams trailed 11—15 to John Higgins but took 6 frames in a row to win 17— In the final Williams met fellow Welshman Matthew Stevens.
Stevens led 13—7 but Williams made another comeback to win 18—16, becoming the first left-handed champion. Ronnie O'Sullivan won his first world championship in , defeating John Higgins 18—14 in the final. O'Sullivan led 14—7 before Higgins won four frames in a row. O'Sullivan looked likely to win the title in the 31st frame as he led 17—13 and 69—6. However he missed a red in the middle pocket and Higgins won the frame with a break of Higgins made a break of 45 in frame 32 but O'Sullivan made an 80 break to take the title.
Stephen Hendry beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 17—13 in the semi-final of the Championship , Hendry reaching his ninth final. Peter Ebdon beat Matthew Stevens 17—16 in the other semi-final. Stevens led 16—14 but Ebdon won the last 3 frames. The final went to the deciding frame where Ebdon made a break of 59 and clinched the title.
There were a record 68 centuries in the tournament including a record 16 by Stephen Hendry who made 5 in the semi-final and a further 4 in the final.
Mark Williams won his second World title in by defeating Ken Doherty 18—16 in the final. Ronnie O'Sullivan made the fifth maximum break in the World Championship, becoming the first player to score two s in the event. Ronnie O'Sullivan won his second world title in by defeating Graeme Dott 18—8 in the final, despite Dott having led 5—0. Shaun Murphy won the championship by defeating Matthew Stevens 18—16 in the final.
Murphy was only the second qualifier to win the World Championship, after Terry Griffiths in Murphy won 2 qualifying matches and then 5 matches at the Crucible to take the title. Graeme Dott beat Peter Ebdon 18—14 in the final.
The match finished at This was the first Championship sponsored by a betting company after the banning of tobacco sponsorship. In the last round of the qualifying competition Robert Milkins had the first break made during qualifying for the championship. Shaun Murphy came back from 7—12 down to win his quarter-final match against Matthew Stevens ,  but lost in the deciding frame of his semi-final to Mark Selby.
Both O'Sullivan and Carter had made maximum breaks earlier in the tournament, the first time there had been two breaks in the same World Championship. It was O'Sullivan's third maximum in the Championship. John Higgins won his third world title in , beating Shaun Murphy 18—9 in the final.
Michaela Tabb refereed the final, becoming the first woman to do so in a World Championship final. Stephen Hendry won his th frame at the Crucible Theatre , the first play to do so. John Higgins won his fourth world title in , beating Judd Trump 18—15 in the final.
Trump had beaten David Gilbert in the qualifying competition and then defeated defending champion Neil Robertson in the first round.
Ronnie O'Sullivan won his fourth world title in , defeating Ali Carter 18—11 in the final. On the opening day Hendry made his third maximum break at the Crucible, equalling Ronnie O'Sullivan 's record. Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan retained the title in despite having played only one competitive match all season.
He broke Hendry's record of career Crucible centuries, finishing the tournament with He also became the first player to make six century breaks in a Crucible final. Arguably this era could be seen as extending into and beyond the Selby years when considering final appearances - 15 of the 21 finals between and have featured at least one class of '92 player.
Mark Selby won the world title in by beating defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan 18—14 in the final, having trailed 5— Stuart Bingham won the title, defeating Ronnie O'Sullivan 13—9 in the quarter-finals, Judd Trump 17—16 in the semi-finals, and Shaun Murphy 18—15 in the final to win the first world title of his year professional career. Defending champion Stuart Bingham lost 9—10 against Ali Carter in the first round of the Championship.
Mark Selby defeated Ding Junhui 18—14 in the final to claim his second world title. Ding was the first Asian player to reach a World Championship final. There were 86 century breaks made during the Championship, equalling the record set in A new record of 10 centuries in a professional match was set in the semi-final between Ding Junhui and Alan McManus , with Ding also setting a new record of seven centuries by one player in a World Championship match.
Mark Selby and Marco Fu set a new record for the longest frame of snooker ever played at the Crucible, 76 minutes 11 seconds. In a high-quality and tightly contested semi-final, defending champion Mark Selby beat Ding Junhui 17—15 in a repeat of the previous year's final. Higgins won the next three frames but Selby took the title 18—15, becoming champion for the third time in four years, joining Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, and Ronnie O'Sullivan as the only men to have successfully defended the title since its move to the Crucible.
Barry Hearn has stated on a number of occasions that he wishes for the tournament to remain at the Crucible forever, providing it continues to draw large numbers of visitors and revenue to the city of Sheffield. It was announced live on television, in front of the audience of the final session, that the Crucible would continue to host the event until The format for the World Championship has been largely unchanged since It has a knock-out format with 32 players, contested over 17 days ending on the first Monday in May, which is a public holiday in the United Kingdom.
The reigning world champion receives a direct entry and is the number 1 seed. The remaining direct entries are based on the latest world rankings , players being seeded based on these world rankings.
Since the defending champion is normally ranked in the top 16, the top 16 ranked players generally receive a direct entry.
The first round is played over 19 frames, played in two sessions. The second round and quarter-finals are the best of 25 frames played over 3 sessions while the semi-finals and final are played over 4 sessions, the semi-finals being over 33 frames and the final 35 frames. For the first 12 days of the tournament two matches are played concurrently. For the last 5 days the semi-finals and final only one table is used. Prior to the semi-finals were played over 31 frames.
Occasionally the dates of the Championship are changed. In the Championship ended on Sunday 16 May while in , and it ended on the last Sunday in April. In each of these years the tournament started on a Friday. A number of changes to the qualifying system came into effect for the championship.
All living world champions would be extended an opportunity to play in the qualifying rounds. The top 16 seeds would still qualify automatically for the first round at the Crucible, but all non-seeded players would have to start in the first of three qualifying rounds. Previously players seeded 17 to 32 only had to win one qualifying match to reach the final stages.