Following his maiden spell as world number one following December’s Coral UK Championship, Ding Junhui has now returned to snooker’s top ranking for a second time following last week’s Xuzhou Open.
As readers may recall, having become world number one immediately after the Coral UK Championship in York, Ding was to drop back behind Neil Robertson after just one week, following the Lisbon Open staged a week later.
Since then, the rankings have remained static during the following month, with invitational events such as the Masters and Championship League not affecting the standings.
Last week however saw the staging of the third and final Asian Tour event of the season, the Xuzhou Open, which is an event carrying ranking points. Accordingly, the rankings have been revised following Joe Perry’s victory at the event, with the result that Ding Junhui has reclaimed top spot from Neil Robertson.
Given that neither Ding, nor Robertson played in the event in China however, how was this possible?
Crucially, not only was the money from Xuzhou added to the rankings this week, but the money earned two years ago at the 2013 Haikou World Open was removed.
This is because although this year’s World Open was cancelled earlier this season, it had originally been scheduled to take place this week and so the governing body has elected to remove the money earned from the corresponding event two years ago at this point, as was originally planned.
Prior to the rankings being revised, Robertson held a lead of £7,066 over Ding, but has now seen £20,000 removed from his total, in comparison to just £11,000 deducted from Ding’s tally, following their runs to the semi-finals and quarter-finals of the 2013 Haikou World Open respectively.
The result is that Ding now leads Robertson by just £1,934 as we head into the Kreativ Dental Clinic German Masters next week, while Ronnie O’Sullivan, who has no prize money to be removed until following this season’s World Championship, is just a further £2,985 behind, giving us a true three-way fight for the top ranking in Berlin…
For a reminder of how snooker’s world ranking system works, click here to read my previous article on the subject.