England’s Ricky Walden is a three-time ranking event champion who has been ranked as high as number 6 in the world during his professional career.
A former world under-21 champion and professional since 2001, Walden’s breakthrough season came seven years later when he defeated Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-8 to claim the Shanghai Masters title.
Having entered the tournament on the back of victory at the invitational 6-Red Snooker International, he dispatched leading players including Stephen Hendry, Neil Robertson and Steve Davis to reach the final before ousting top-ranked O’Sullivan to triumph.
He has since enjoyed further success in China, winning the Wuxi Classic (def. Stuart Bingham) and International Championship (def. Mark Allen), as well as claiming the minor-ranking Bluebell Wood Open in 2013.
Walden’s best run at the World Championship came in 2013 when he defeated Michael Holt, Robert Milkins and Michael White to reach the one-table set-up at the Crucible Theatre, before losing 17-14 to Barry Hawkins, having led 12-8.
He is also a two-time UK Championship semi-finalist (2011 & 2013) and has reached a further three ranking event finals, most recently at the 2016 China Open (l. Judd Trump). He made his first career maximum break at the 2011 PTC Event 10.
In 2017 Walden revealed that he had been suffering from a recurring back injury which had affected his ability to practice and perform to the best of his ability. However, the 2021/22 season was to prove his most consistent in several years as he reached four ranking event semi-finals, as well as a further two quarter-finals to move close to a return to the world’s top 16.
WST Ranking Event Titles (3)
- 2014/15: International Championship
- 2012/13: Wuxi Classic
- 2008/09: Shanghai Masters
WST Minor-Ranking Event Titles (1)
- 2013/14: Bluebell Wood Open
Professional Non-Ranking Event Titles (2)
- 2009/10: General Cup
- 2008/09: 6-Red Snooker International