Ranking Battles At World Qualifiers

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One day down at the 2015 Betfred World Championship qualifiers and already there have been a few potentially significant results in the race for important ranking places and ultimately main tour places for the 2015/16 season.

As is often the case at this season-ending tournament, as well as the race to make it to the Crucible and play at snooker’s most iconic venue, for those lower down the rankings there are other such matters at stake, with the race to finish inside the top 64 and the knock-on effect that the final standings will have upon the qualifiers from the European and Asian Orders of Merit.

You can view the latest standings here, but what were the key stories from day one?

A 10-8 victory for Cao Yupeng against secured him £6,000 and a rise of five places from 61st to 56th on the latest provisional end of season ranking list (that is the list with points from the 2013 World Championship already removed, as they will be officially after this year’s tournament).

I would expect that this should be enough to secure his position inside the top 64 at the end of the season, the Chinese player no doubt relieved to have resisted a fight-back from Ross Muir who recovered from 9-4 down to 9-8 at one stage.

It was not such a good day for either Rory McLeod or Alfie Burden however, who fell at the hands of Tian Pengfei and Mitchell Mann respectively.

Now 59th and 63rd in the provisional list, they will be hoping that other results go their way this week in order to remain inside the top 64, although Alfie would still remain on tour as it stands through his position on the Asian Order of Merit, if he were to drop out on the main ranking list.

Day two themes to follow: Can Stuart Carrington close the gap on the top 64 with a victory against Joel Walker, leading 5-4 overnight and will Nigel Bond be able to consolidate his top 64 place with a victory against Brazilian Igor Figueiredo?