In 2020 Zhou Yuelong reached his first ranking finals at the European Masters and Shoot Out tournaments.
A professional since the start of the 2014/15 season, Zhou was already well-regarded in the snooker community having appeared as a wildcard at the televised stages of several ranking events staged in his native China. His most notable victory came at the 2012 Wuxi Classic where he defeated Michael White 5-4 at the age of just 14.
His initial breakthrough came at the 2015 World Cup where alongside fellow teenager Yan Bingtao, the pair representing the ‘China B’ team defeated Scotland in the final to claim glory. He also earned a place at the Champion of Champions, where he stunned reigning world champion Stuart Bingham to reach the quarter-finals before losing to Kyren Wilson.
Over the following years Zhou established himself among the world’s top 32 players, qualifying for the televised stages of the World Championship in 2017 and 2019, as well as reaching his first ranking event semi-final at the 2018 European Masters.
Two years later he would go one better at the same event, ultimately suffering a 9-0 whitewash at the hands of an inspired Neil Robertson, before also losing out to Michael Holt in the final of the Shoot Out a month later in his second final.