It’s unlikely but not impossible that Ronnie O’Sullivan can overhaul John Higgins at the top of the provisional rankings by the end of the season.

Ronnie could do with Graeme Dott beating Higgins tonight but, whatever happens in Newport, he could go into the Betfred.com World Championship within striking distance of the Wishaw Wizard.

O’Sullivan’s 5-0 demolition of a very poor Jamie Cope today means he is now 7,105 points behind Higgins.

The winner of the Totesport.com Welsh Open picks up 5,000 points, the China Open 7,000 and the World Championship 10,000.

O’Sullivan can therefore still collect 19,500 more points this season – if he wins the last three titles.

This is unlikely to happen but he should at least ensure he finishes second in the end of season list.

Third placed Neil Robertson’s defeat to Ali Carter last night means Carter will overtake him if he reaches the final.

More interesting, though, is the battle for the top 16. As ever, this will come down to the Crucible but there are a few players with things to think about right now.

Chief among them are Joe Perry and Peter Ebdon, whose places are under threat without strong finishes to the campaign.

Perry looks low on confidence and is stationed a precarious 21st. Ebdon occupies 18th spot with Dott in with a chance of pushing him down a further space.

Liang Wenbo (14th) and Ricky Walden (16th) have fallen back after failing to qualify last week.

You can follow the latest moves in the ranking list on Global Snooker here.


jamie brannon said...

I felt Ebdon would bow out this season, but you would never write him off.

Cope was poor today, I play at his club The Reardon in Stoke, it will be interesting too see what his camp feel about his chances of getting into the elite top 16? I feel if he can break in to the elite then he will be a tournament winner.

Anonymous said...

Higgins will be No1 at the end of the season. A great sportsman to have at the top of the games list!

Dave H said...

Cope needs to develop a B-game because at the moment it's all or nothing and today it was nothing

Anonymous said...

exactly Dave, you need to learn to at least make opponents win it when you are playing bad, rather than gift wrapping it for them.

Cope has bags of ability, but when hes not on, hes a bombscare.

jamie brannon said...

I actually have not spoken to him as he is seems shy and practices away from the club players. I speak to a person who travels with him to some events and he not surprisingly feels he has a big future. You are right though he needs to develop a B game though. Having said that I don't think much of Maguire's B-game and he has done well. Being in the elite will help though as he has a good temperament for the big stage.

I think you should tell Judd Trump the same advice as he is falling short a little bit, although he is about five years younger than Cope.

Dave H said...

I think Trump is too talented for his own good: because he pots them from everywhere in practice he goes for them in matches and it's costing him.

Stephen Hendry was exactly the same when he first started playing but the game was slightly different then. Also, he hardly missed at all.

jamie brannon said...

See for me I don't feel Trump's breakbuilding is not quite there yet, but I believe he will be a top six player.

They tell me Cope is fearsome in practice, 147's all over the shop. As Hendry has said practice counts for nothing.

I think Hendry set the template for the game today, one reason why he still number 1 in my list of all-time players.

Steve Davis however said at both the Masters and UK that Higgins and O'Sullivan are the two best players ever to pick up a cue. When Steve said that I thought Dave won't be agreeing with that, and to be fair I was bit taken aback myself that he seemed to have them above Hendry.

Dave H said...

Ronnie is the best player to pick up a cue if you're talking about talent

Hendry is the greatest, though

shaun said...

i must admit copes b game is non existent and i cant see it improving to be honest but i dont think much of of a few players b games liang wenbo inparticular but this is because these guys do believe in making any shot.Stephen lee on the other hand seems to be going more and more the other way hes frightened to death of going in the pack

jamie brannon said...

Agree on both counts, but I actually think Hendry's best stuff is better than that of John Higgins and comparable to that of Ronnie. Just look at what he produced in the 1994 UK final. I think Hendry would still have won 4 World titles in the noughties playing like he did in the nineties.

Dave H said...

Indeed. And but for Hendry the attacking era of snooker might not be so attacking.

kimball said...

Who is Steve Davis to be the judge
of Hendry??

Anonymous said...

The rankings need revamping IMO.
The winner of any match at a venue should gain an A point and the winner of a match in Prestatyn (qualifying) should gain a B point.
I suspect this would enable the cream to float to the top while the old codgers would drift away.

Anonymous said...

Dave do you know how Selby is getting on? World nooker scoreboard off all night and Global has been 3-2 for ages. Thanks

Anonymous said...

carter will be 5 points behind robbo if he just reaches the final

He has to win it to go 3rd

come on robbo !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

To 11.42pm - what is Robbo supposed to do? Tie his shoelaces together? He can hardly do anything about this week anymore!

jamie brannon said...

To be fair Steve Davis could be two in the list of the greatest. I thought possibly that you would say Hendry could have dominated the noughties like he did the nineties playing at the level he did in the nineties, as you seem to feel the standard is not quite as high now. I agree at the top end, but the depth is greater now so Hendry would have found it difficult to win seven. Also Ronnie in the noughties was a different animal and he would also have prevented Hendry clinching seven titles. To be honest I think Ronnie actually has underacheived he has had the class and the chances to be at least a five time World Champion by now.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with every point you made at 10-15am