Regardless of what happens in Lisbon this weekend as we see the return of the 2014/15 Kreativ Dental European Tour with its penultimate event in Portugal, we already know that Australia’s Neil Robertson will return to the top of the rankings when they are revised next Monday.
Having only seen China’s Ding Junhui rise to number one for the first time in his career earlier this week following the publication of the updated world ranking list after the Coral UK Championship, how is it that Robertson will now rise above him after just one week, despite not even being in Portugal this week?
For those not familiar with the ins and outs of snooker’s ranking system, the rankings are determined by calculating prize money earned by all of the main tour professionals during the past two years. Accordingly, as new events take place and money is added, the money won at previous events dating back more than two years is simultaneously removed from a player’s ranking.
So how does this apply to this weekend?
After the Coral UK Championship, Ding Junhui held top spot in the rankings with total prize money of £700,336, some £2,318 ahead of nearest challenger Neil Robertson.
Following this weekend’s Lisbon Open however, the prize money earned from that event will effectively replace that earned at the 2012 Ravenscraig Open, which will be removed from the ranking list.
This is bad news for Ding, who earned £9,384 when he won that event in Scotland, while Robertson did not play at that tournament, meaning that he has no prize money to be deducted from his overall total this weekend.
With neither player having entered this week’s Lisbon Open, this means that Neil’s total will remain at £698,018, whilst Ding’s will drop to £690,952, therefore promoting Robertson to top spot.
This represents the first time that snooker will have seen different players ranked at number one for three consecutive weeks, with Robertson taking over from Ding, who himself usurped previous number one Mark Selby only a matter of days ago.
With no more ranking events to be completed until next year’s Asian Tour 3 event in January, Neil will therefore be snooker’s Christmas number one for 2014 and will remain there during the upcoming Dafabet Masters event.