Ronnie O’Sullivan

Who Are the Three Greatest Snooker Players of All Time?

Snooker is a sport whose popularity is growing around the world, particularly in Asia. Players from China, Iran, India, and Pakistan are now breaking into the game at the highest level, making it a truly global sport.

Here is a look at who are the three greatest players in the history of the game and the men who have inspired so many people to take up the sport over the last few decades.

Ronnie O’Sullivan

The Triple Crown events in snooker consist of the World Championship, UK Championship, and the Masters, and no player has won more of them than Ronnie O’Sullivan, as he has been successful 21 times in the big three tournaments.

Ronnie O’Sullivan
Photo: Ronnie O’Sullivan

O’Sullivan leveled the record for the most world title wins when he lifted the trophy at the Crucible in Sheffield back in May, beating Judd Trump in the final. That win moved him back up to the number-one spot in the world rankings.

The Rocket is the +450 co-favorite in the snooker betting to win the UK Championship later this year. The event in Sheffield is the first big event in the 2022/23 season.

As well as being successful on the green baize, O’Sullivan is a great entertainer. He plays at a fast speed around the table and he has produced numerous special moments throughout his career, including a 147 maximum in just five minutes and eight seconds, a record that is unlikely to be broken again.

Stephen Hendry

Scotsman Stephen Hendry dominated the 1990s in snooker. He won all seven of his world titles during the decade. His first victory came in 1990 when he defeated Jimmy White in the final, while in 1999, the last of his seven wins came following an 18-11 victory over Mark Williams.

Hendry won 36 rankings titles during his career. It’s an impressive number as there weren’t anywhere near as many tournaments then as there are now on the World Snooker Tour. He sat at the top of the world rankings between April 1990 and May 1998.

The King of Crucible is the only player in history to win all three Triple Crown events in the same season twice. He captured the three trophies in the 1989-90 and 1995-96 campaigns. 

Steve Davis

The most dominant player of the 1980s was Steve Davis. The Nugget, as he was nicknamed, won six world titles during the decade and he was runner-up in 1985 and 1986, a run which helped him top the world rankings for seven consecutive seasons.

Davis became a professional in 1978 and he did not retire until 2016. He continued to win matches on the tour in his late 50s. The former Sports Personality of the Year is considered by many as the man who helped take snooker to a new level in the 80s and inspired players like O’Sullivan, Williams and John Higgins to take up the game.

With so much talent on the World Snooker Tour today, each player will the thriving to achieve something like what the above three men accomplished in the sport.


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