Scene Setter

There's plenty at stake in the 2021 edition of the World Snooker Championship, which comes just eight months after the 2020 tournament took place thanks to its postponement due to the Covid-19 pandemic. When Ronnie O'Sullivan defeated Kyren Wilson back in the summer, he lifted the world title for the sixth time and drew level with Steve Davis and Ray Reardon in the pecking order. A further triumph would see him equal Stephen Hendry's record tally of seven.
But the Rocket will have plenty of competition at the Crucible in April. Judd Trump is the bookies' favourite to win what would be his second title ahead of the 45-year-old in second. Mark Selby is third, followed by Neil Robertson then Kyren Wilson.
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The World Championship is the second of snooker's Triple Crowns in 2021, with Yan Bingtao sensationally winning the Masters to announce himself to the world back in January.
The return to the Crucible will be hugely welcome after months of almost uninterrupted play in Milton Keynes, but unlike last year, no crowds will be present this time around unless the government selects it as a test event.

What is the format?

There were 128 players vying to qualify at the nearby English Institute of Sport in Sheffield. That group was whittled down to just 16 across a week, where they joined the 16 top players in the snooker rankings in the draw for the first round. As defending champion, O'Sullivan was the only man with his spot guaranteed before a ball was hit in the 2020-21 season.
The first round is best of 19 frames, the second and quarter-final rounds best of 25. The semi-finals are best of 33 and the final best of 35.

What is the draw for the World Championship first round?

  • Shaun Murphy v Mark Davis
  • Mark Allen v Lyu Haotian
  • Judd Trump v Liam Highfield
  • Ding Junhui v Stuart Bingham
  • Anthony McGill v Ricky Walden
  • Mark Williams v Sam Craigie
  • Stephen Maguire v Jamie Jones
  • Mark Selby v Kurt Maflin
  • Kyren Wilson v Gary Wilson
  • John Higgins v Tian Pengfei
  • David Gilbert v Chris Wakelin
  • Jack Lisowski v Ali Carter
  • Ronnie O'Sullivan v Mark Joyce
  • Barry Hawkins v Matthew Selt
  • Neil Robertson v Liang Wenbo
  • Yan Bingtao v Martin Gould
Head here for all the scores from qualifying.

How to watch the event

You can watch every match of the World Championship live and ad-free on the Eurosport App and eurosport.co.uk. Download the Eurosport app now for iOS and Android.

Schedule and dates

First round (best of 19 frames - upcoming session times in brackets)

  • Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-4 Mark Joyce (Sat Apr 17 10am, 7pm)
  • Yan Bingtao 4-4 Martin Gould (Sat Apr 17 10am, Apr 18 10am)
  • Stephen Maguire 4-5 Jamie Jones (Sat Apr 17 2:30pm, Apr 18 7pm)
  • Neil Robertson 6-3 Liang Wenbo (Sat Apr 17 2:30pm, Apr 18 7pm)
  • David Gilbert 3-1 Chris Wakelin (Sat Apr 17 7pm, Apr 18 2:30pm)
  • Anthony McGill v Ricky Walden (Sun Apr 18 10am, Apr 19 7pm)
  • John Higgins v Tian Pengfei (Sun Apr 18 2:30pm, Apr 19 2:30pm)
  • Ding Junhui v Stuart Bingham (Mon Apr 19 10am, Apr 20 2:30pm)
  • Kyren Wilson v Gary Wilson (Mon Apr 19 10am, 7pm)
  • Jack Lisowski v Ali Carter (Mon Apr 19 2:30pm, Apr 20 10am)
  • Mark Allen v Lu Haotian (Tues Apr 20 10am, 7pm)
  • Judd Trump v Liam Highfield (Tues Apr 20 2;30pm, Apr 21 2:30pm)
  • Barry Hawkins v Matthew Selt (Tues Apr 20 7pm, Apr 21 7pm)
  • Mark Williams v Sam Craigie (Wed Apr 21 10am, 7pm)
  • Shaun Murphy v Mark Davis (Wed Apr 21 10am, Apr 22 1pm)
  • Mark Selby v Kurt Maflin (Wed Apr 21 2:30pm, Apr 22 7pm)

Second round (best of 25 frames - upcoming session times in brackets)

  • O'Sullivan/Joyce v McGill/Walden (Thu Apr 22 1pm, Apr 23 10am, 7pm)
  • Robertson/Liang v Lisowski/Carter (Thur Apr 22 7pm, Apr 23 2:30pm, Apr 24 10am)
  • Hawkins/Selt v Wilson/Wilson (Fri Apr 23 10am, 7pm, Apr 24 2:30pm)
  • Higgins/Tian v Williams/Craigie (Fri Apr 23 2:20pm, Apr 24 10am, 7pm)
  • Allen/Lu v Selby/Maflin (Sat Apr 24 2:30pm, Apr 25 2:30pm, Apr 26 7pm)
  • Murphy/Davis v Yan/Gould (Sat Apr 24 7pm, Apr 25 2:30pm, Apr 26 7pm)
  • Ding/Bingham v Maguire/Jones (Sun Apr 25 10am, 7pm, Apr 26 1pm)
  • Gilbert/Wakelin v Trump/Highfield (Sun Apr 25 10am, 7pm, Apr 26 1pm)
April 27-28
  • Quarter-finals
April 29-May 1
  • Semi-finals
May 2-3
  • Final
Matches to be scheduled

Prize Money

TBC.

Previous Winners

The World Championship has been running since 1927 and, prior to its move to the Crucible in 1977, it was dominated by Joe Davis, Walter Donaldson, Fred Davis, John Pulman, John Spencer and Ray Reardon, with Alex Higgins and Horace Lundrum winning it once apiece. Since the move to Sheffield, the winners are:
  • 1977: John Spencer
  • 1978: Ray Reardon
  • 1979: Terry Griffiths
  • 1980: Cliff Thorburn
  • 1981: Steve Davis
  • 1982: Alex Higgins
  • 1983: Steve Davis
  • 1984: Steve Davis
  • 1985: Dennis Taylor
  • 1986: Joe Johnson
  • 1987: Steve Davis
  • 1988: Steve Davis
  • 1989: Steve Davis
  • 1990: Stephen Hendry
  • 1991: John Parrott
  • 1992: Stephen Hendry
  • 1993: Stephen Hendry
  • 1994: Stephen Hendry
  • 1995: Stephen Hendry
  • 1996: Stephen Hendry
  • 1997: Ken Doherty
  • 1998: John Higgins
  • 1999: Stephen Hendry
  • 2000: Mark Williams
  • 2001: Ronnie O'Sullivan
  • 2002: Peter Ebdon
  • 2003: Mark Williams
  • 2004: Ronnie O'Sullivan
  • 2005: Shaun Murphy
  • 2006: Graeme Dott
  • 2007: John Higgins
  • 2008: Ronnie O'Sullivan
  • 2009: John Higgins
  • 2010: Neil Robertson
  • 2011: John Higgins
  • 2012: Ronnie O'Sullivan
  • 2013: Ronnie O'Sullivan
  • 2014: Mark Selby
  • 2015: Stuart Bingham
  • 2016: Mark Selby
  • 2017: Mark Selby
  • 2018: Mark Williams
  • 2019: Judd Trump
  • 2020: Ronnie O'Sullivan
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