How I'd Rank the Current Top Pros

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How I'd Rank the Current Top Pros

Post by The Special Juan on Sat 06 Dec 2014, 8:12 pm

I've been looking at the projected seedings a lot lately and I see players in the rankings who are lower than they should be and conversely those who are probably overachieving.  Therefore, I've decided to sort the top players into tiers where "Tier 1" has the best players, working downwards.  The only two players near the sharp end of the rankings I won't include are John Higgins and Mark Williams because they are still class on their day but are gradually winding down.

I should also add that I'm not ranking players in order of who I think are the best on tour, I'm just dividing them into general categories.

Tier 1:

Ronnie O'Sullivan - I've changed my mind on ROS recently.  I wouldn't have him as the greatest snooker player in history but I do think he's the best ever now.  He can achieve anything if he wants to, even now heading into his 40s (he was 39 yesterday).

Ding Junhui - Ding's won 2/3 of the big titles (Masters & UK) but has only reached a solitary Crucible SF.  However, last year he was in sublime form during the middle of the season and is the one player on tour who could truly dominate if his immense talent "clicks".

Mark Selby - Winning the world title put Selby right up there with Steve Davis and John Higgins as the most complete players of all time in my eyes.  He's one of the few capable of winning with his B game and when he produces top form, I don't think anyone on tour can beat him.

Neil Robertson - I like Robertson immensely, both as a player and a person.  He's sensational to watch and his century record (103 in a season) last year showed he's probably the heaviest scorer since Hendry.  Robertson's won all the big titles and will rightfully be remembered as a superb player.

Judd Trump - Judd just sneaks into my top tier.  When he won the UK Championship in 2011, most fans probably thought he would kick on.  He briefly reached number 1 rankings but had a quiet couple of seasons.  I think we're seeing him re-emerge as a top player and if he can keep his head in the game, he'll win plenty of big titles.

Tier 2:

Mark Allen - Although Mark's cue action isn't the easiest on the eye, he has the game to become one of the top ranked players, rather than languishing in the 8-16 bracket which he does, more often than not.  The fact he's now up to number 6 proves that he's a very good player, but he doesn't win enough tournaments to make my top tier.

Stuart Bingham - Bingham's really stepped up to the plate over the last few seasons.  He's gone from being a journeyman pro to a serious contender for ranking titles.  However, like Mark Allen, they are both capable of beating the top players but can never really string together a couple of big results at the end of a tournament to lift the title.

Shaun Murphy - Murphy has everything to be a top 4 player and serial winner except one fatal weakness.  His scoring.  How many times has Shaun been on a good break and run out of position?  Watch any of his matches and you'll notice he'll often require 2 or 3 chances to win a frame.  With a little more care he could get back to the form he showed when winning the World crown 9 years ago, but time's running out.

Stephen Maguire - I despair over Maguire.  This is a man with phenomenal talent who's won a decent haul of titles, including the 2004 UK Championship where he demolished everyone in his path (poor old David Gray never really recovered from the 10-1 final defeat).  However, he rarely shows it and has even considered premature retirement recently.  Although I hope he doesn't retire, his body language and demeanour have been poor recently.

Marco Fu - Much like Judd sneaking into the top tier, Marco gets into my second tier because he has had (and continues to have) very impressive performances.  Marco's reached the final of both the Masters and the UK Championship, plus has made the SF of the World Championship.  He's also won several ranking titles.  On his day he's brilliant, but is very mercurial and can be very poor too.

Tier 3:

Graeme Dott - Inside the walls of the Crucible Theatre, Dott is an extremely tough man to beat.  He's made 3 finals there, winning 1, but away from Sheffield he rarely gets to the latter stages of events.  Dogged rather than spectacular, Graeme's tough to beat but far from unbeatable.

Ricky Walden - Walden's won 3 ranking titles so is far from a mug.  However, all 3 have come in China and in the UK, he rarely produces his best snooker.  However, despite being one of the few players to beat O'Sullivan in a ranking final, I believe Ricky's biggest "crime" in snooker is that he rarely beats the best players.  If he did that, he's easily a top 8 player.

Barry Hawkins - Barry reminds me of a more consistent Graeme Dott, but with a bit less flair.  Barry goes about his business putting in solid performances week after week, but in my view is grossly over ranked at number 5 in the world.

Joe Perry - Throughout his career, Joe's been a player who's been "thereabouts" rather than "there" with 24 ranking QF appearances but only 6 of these into something better.  His form last season has shown he's obviously a decent player, but "decent" is about as good as Joe will be and he is rightly in and around the top 16, but not higher.

Robert Milkins - Milkins has come from nowhere over the past 18 months to be ranked inside the top 16 and on the brink of another Masters appearance.  However, he's a player more remembered for being quick rather than his achievements in the game.

Other tier 3 players: Mark Davis, Matthew Stevens, Ryan Day (underachiever who should be tier 2)


Last edited by The Special Juan on Mon 08 Dec 2014, 2:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: How I'd Rank the Current Top Pros

Post by VTR on Mon 08 Dec 2014, 11:10 am

That's spot on I would say. The obvious underachievers in there are: Ding - needs to add a world title to be considered a great
Murphy - hasn't really kicked on and won the titles you would have expected
Trump - similar to Ding, hasn't got close in the Worlds since getting to the final and had a shocking season a couple of years ago


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Re: How I'd Rank the Current Top Pros

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Mon 08 Dec 2014, 1:31 pm

Good assessment. Looking at the top tier players, and I would say the thing that stands out is that, Robertson and ROS aside you don't have any great break-builders there. Trump and Ding are great potters but too often lose position, while Selby is a great matchplayer but not a heavy scorers.

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Re: How I'd Rank the Current Top Pros

Post by TheMessi on Wed 14 Jan 2015, 3:25 pm

Strange Juan that you had to wait till ROS 39th birthday to realise he is the best player in the world. It was pretty much obvious to everybody else.

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Re: How I'd Rank the Current Top Pros

Post by CaledonianCraig on Wed 14 Jan 2015, 4:41 pm

TheMessi wrote:Strange Juan that you had to wait till ROS 39th birthday to realise he is the best player in the world. It was pretty much obvious to everybody else.

Don't pee yourself though as Juan points out he thinks he is the best around at the moment but not of all-time. Wink

Welcome to the forum by the way. Hug

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Re: How I'd Rank the Current Top Pros

Post by TheMessi on Wed 14 Jan 2015, 11:14 pm

Thanks CC. Seems like a decent forum.

Ding played so poorly tonight but glad for Perry.

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Re: How I'd Rank the Current Top Pros

Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 15 Jan 2015, 2:55 pm

No problem TheMessi. Ding has flattered to deceive throughout his career without weighing in with any of the really big titles and that continues to be the case.

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