Originally, this was the ‘five’ players who I hoped would do well in this year’s World Championship but unfortunately, two of them didn’t make it through the qualifiers. And thus, we now have the three players who I hope make some distance in the tournament.
A player that I’ve grown quite fond of over the last few years. I like to consider him as ‘Judd Trump without the ego’. Has bundles of talent but just needs more experience at the big events. Debuting at the Crucible in 2013 but more recently, making his second appearance last year at WSC 2018. Unfortunately, having suffered a near white-washing defeat to John Higgins in the second round, I’m hoping Lisowski makes some distance in this year’s championship.
Having reached the final in 2016 and the semi-final in 2017 (only to lose to Mark Selby on both occasions), Ding is considered one of the most deserving players that can win the World Championship. A player with one of the largest fan base of supporters, there will be plenty, including myself, who will be rooting for him to make it to the final. He’s done it before, and he can definitely do it again.
You can’t just not like Barry Hawkins. He’s a player you always want to do well, and you know what: he has. He’s made the semi-finals of the World Championships almost every single year since 2013 (obviously making the final in ’13). Seriously. The man is a season ticket holder of the WSC semi-finals. Hopefully soon enough, maybe even this year, he’ll get to the final and eventually lift that trophy!
Honourable mentions: Neil Robertson, Luca Brecel (slightly outdated but not at the time of writing), David Gilbert, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (now just recently outdated - what a match though)