Ranking June 27th, 2024

2023 German Masters champion Ali Carter and former European Masters champion Fan Zhengyi are the latest duo to book passage into the latter stages at the BetVictor Championship League Snooker Ranking at the Mattioli Arena, Leicester


Group 5

Ali Carter returned to action on Wednesday as the top seed in Group 5, joining Joshua Thomond, Xing Zihao and Kreishh Gurbaxani. The Captain’s campaign began with a 2-2 draw against Thomond before a strong 3-1 victory over Gurbaxani to set him in good stead heading into the final match.

Xing Zihao delivered the strongest performance of the afternoon in his opening match, a masterclass on Table 1 – live exclusively on in the UK & Ireland – against Thomond with three successive breaks of 127, 95 and 97. He would follow up with a 3-0 win against Indian tour rookie Gurbaxani to set up a final encounter with Carter, with everything on the line for both men.

Carter would produce breaks of 87 and 73, before trapping Zihao in a final snooker battle to see out a 3-1 win and passage into Stage 2.

Group 16

Fan Zhengyi opened his account strongly in Group 16 with a whitewash 3-0 victory over World Seniors finalist Alfie Burden, before breaks of 121 and 65 was enough for a 2-2 draw with women’s number one Mink Natcharut.

Thai sensation Natcharut drew both of her opening matches, adding the point against Zhengyi to an original draw against the group’s top seed Zhou Yuelong. A 3-0 win for Burden against the 2022 Women’s World Champion allowed him to leapfrog to second in the table.

Zhengyi’s fate was determined in the final fixture of the evening against Chinese counterpart Yuelong, where breaks of 113 and 57 helped him take a 3-0 victory to overtake Burden and secure his place at the top of the table.

The Championship League is the first ranking event of the new season and was won last year by Shaun Murphy. The opening tournament of the season runs until July 3rd. In the first phase, 128 players are split into 32 groups of four, with those 32 group winners going through to the next round.

The tournament takes place over three stages, starting on Monday, 10 June. Winners’ Week will run from Friday 28, June concluding with Finals Day on Wednesday, 3 July. The eventual winner will also receive an invite into the 2023 Champion of Champions this November 11 to November 17 alongside the £20,000 first-place prize.

The action in Stage 1 concludes on Thursday (27th June), with defending champion Shaun Murphy and Dave Gilbert amongst the field fighting for the final two spots in Stage 2. For details on how to watch, click here.

(Photo by Zheng Zhai)

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