China’s Si Jiahui enjoyed a major breakthrough at the 2023 World Championship as he became the first debutant to reach the semi-final stage since Andy Hicks 28 years earlier.
Aged 20, Si defeated Florian Nuessle, Tom Ford and Jordan Brown to qualify for the Crucible for the first time, before defeating Shaun Murphy, Robert Milkins and Anthony McGill to become the youngest semi-finalist since Ronnie O’Sullivan in 1996.
Up against Belgian Luca Brecel in the last four, Si established a seemingly unassailable 14-5 lead midway through the contest, before his opponent staged a miraculous comeback, winning 12 of the last 13 frames to reach the final.
Si’s run was enough to see him finish the season at a career-high ranking of number 36.
Prior to his Crucible run, Si’s best performance came at the 2022 European Masters, where he reached the quarter-finals.
He made a career-high break of 140 at the 2020 Welsh Open.
Si first qualified for the World Snooker Tour in 2019 following his performances at Q School where he won a total of 12 matches, reaching the final round of one event.
During the 2021/22 season, Si enjoyed a hugely successful amateur season as he won the WSF Championship in Sheffield to secure his return to the World Snooker Tour, as well as topping the WPBSA Q Tour rankings, winning one tournament and reaching the final of another.
He also recorded several impressive victories as an amateur top up at professional events, notably a 6-5 victory against former champion Shaun Murphy at the UK Championship.