After a few weeks to let the 2017/18 Snooker Season find its feet, it’s time to take a look at the Evergrande China Championship (August 16 – 22).
Last season it was an invitation played in November, won by John Higgins, however this season it has been changed to a ranking tournament and relocated to August in the calendar. That change also brings with it other changes, including it now being a 128-strong field rather than just 16 players. Meanwhile, it’s the perfect opportunity for players to boost their rankings with a good early showing in what is just the second-ranking event of the year, and ranking points earned here will help determine the draw for this season’s International Championship.
2017 China Championship Betting
Selby 4/1, O’Sullivan 15/2, Judd Trump 8/1, Ding Junhui 10/1, Higgins 12/1, Robertson 14/1, Hawkins 16/1, Murphy 25/1, Fu 33/1
The tournament starts with best-of-9-frames matches, before increasing to best-of-11-frames for the semi-finals, and a best-of-19-frames final.
Mark Selby may top the world rankings, and the betting, but this is unlikely to be an easy quarter for him as he battles a toe injury. He’s also not had much match-practice of late, and Stuart Bingham looks better value to progress to the semi-finals.
Stuart Bingham To Win The First Quarter @7/1 WilliamHill or Ladbrokes
Ding Junhui has an excellent record in his native country, and this looks a good opportunity for him to build on his World Cup success in July alongside Liang. As this is the first time the event has been played as a ranking tournament, he’s also likely to be highly-motivated to want to add this title to his CV in front of his fans.
Ding Junhui To Win The Second Quarter @ 2/1 Ladbrokes or Black Type
Ronnie O’Sullivan has slipped to number-14 in the world rankings, which raises two important points. Firstly, will “The Rocket” be motivated to make sure he doesn’t slip out of that all-important top-16, and will he be good enough to defeat Judd Trump if, as looks likely, they clash here. For me, the answer is yes, especially as O’Sullivan beat Trump earlier in the season, and a good showing here would alleviate some of the pressure on him to retain his top-16 status.
O’Sullivan To Win The Third Quarter @ 9/4 Paddy Power or Black Type
Defending Champion John Higgins has already made his mark on this tournament, but 2 players in this quarter with more to prove are Neil Robertson and Mark WiIliams. Williams has played himself back into the world’s top-16, but will need to keep playing well if he is to fend off challenges from the likes of Martin Gould and Anthony McGill. However, after a below standard season last year, Robertson looks ready for business this season, having already beaten the likes of Selby, Fu and O’Sullivan on his way to winning The Hong Kong Masters.
Neil Robertson To Win The Fourth Quarter @ 3/1 Black Type
Stuart Bingham @ 28/1 Betway or Bet365
Ding Junhui @ 10/1 Betway or BetVictor
Ronnie O’Sullivan @ 15/2 Betway (7/1 most other bookies)
Neil Robertson @ 14/1 Black Type