It is an exciting time for snooker fans, as the UK Championship is currently underway at the Barbican Centre in York. The 12-day tournament, which is the first event of the prestigious Triple Crown and fifth ranking tournament of this fantastic 2021-22 season, started on November 23rd and is due to end on December 5th with the grand finale.
While Judd Trump is the favourite in the snooker betting markets to win the UK Championship for the first time since his one and only victory in the tournament back in the 2011-12 season, there is still a long way to go and anything can happen in York, as we saw when amateur Si Jiahui shocked Shaun Murphy in the first round, and there are still some top-class players still in the running!
So, as we approach the business end of the competition and Sunday’s final starts to appear on the horizon, let’s take a look back at the last three winners of the UK Championship. Read on to find out more!
2020 – Neil Robertson
A player often favoured in the snooker betting tips, Aussie Neil Robertson won the UK Championship for the second time in his career last year — beating Trump behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes. The current World No. 4 breezed past amateur Brian Ochoiski, Chris Wakelin and Li Hang in the opening three rounds before edging out Scotland’s Anthony McGill in the last 16.
Mark Selby posed as Robertson’s biggest challenge on paper yet in the quarter-finals, but there were no bumps in the road for the Australian as he won 6-2. He beat Zhou Yuelong by the same scoreline to book his place in the final. Best of 19 in the showpiece match, the afternoon session finished 4-4 and there was still nothing to separate the two finalists as they kept sharing the frames the whole way to 9-9 in the evening session. Robertson won the 19th and final game to secure a 10-9 victory and his 21st ranking title.
2019 – Ding Junhui
Former World No.1 Ding Junhui won the tournament for the third time of his career in 2019. The Chinese professional beat both Duane Jones and Michael Georgiou rather comfortably (6-2) in the opening rounds before getting the better of England’s Ali Carter to book his place in the last 16. Drawn against Ronnie O’Sullivan, many expected this to the end of the road for the three-time UK Championship winner.
However, the 34-year-old flew into a lead with ‘The Rocket’ not even potting a ball in the first three frames. And, despite a comeback from O’Sullivan and the game tied at 4-4, Ding held his nerve to win 6-4. It was a below-par last eight, with just two players from the top 10. The eventual winner beat both his fellow Chinese natives Liang Wenbo and Yan Bingtao 6-2 to reach the final — where he beat Scotland’s Stephen Maguire 10-6.
2018 – Ronnie O’Sullivan
In 2018, O’Sullivan went all the way to the UK Championship final for the fourth time in five years — beating Mark Allen 10-6 in the final to defend his crown and lift the title for a record-extending seventh time. After easily beating amateur Luke Simmonds 6-1 in the first round, O’Sullivan had to come back from 4-1 down to beat 65th-ranked Ken Doherty in the second round. There were no more scares though as Ronnie beat Yuelong (6-0) and Jack Lisowski (6-1) to reach the quarter-finals.
Again, there were real issues for O’Sullivan though as he dispatched of Martin O’Donnell (6-1), before beating Tom Ford by the same scoreline in the semi-final. Allen, on the hunt for his first UK Championship crown having lost the final to Trump in 2011, trailed O’Sullivan 6-2 after the afternoon session and the Northern Irishman was never going to come back from there — ultimately losing 10-6.