Thepchaiya Un-Nooh Breaks into Top 16

He becomes the first player from Thailand to break into the elite bracket since national sporting hero James Wattana.

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh will be officially recognised as a member of the top 16 when the world rankings are revised after the English Open.

The 35 year-old didn’t actually win a match at the Marshall Arena last week – reaching the last 64 on the back of Stuart Carrington’s positive COVID-19 test.

But the two-year rolling system in operation means that Un-Nooh moves up two spots and dislodges Joe Perry in the 16th and final position.

Top 16 membership doesn’t bring with it as many advantages as in the past, but it is still a recognition for the improved consistency of Un-Nooh over the last couple of seasons.

Un-Nooh triumphed in the quick-fire Shoot Out in 2019, reached the final of the World Open a few months later, and boasts a number of ranking event quarter-final appearances as well.

Considered one of the most exciting talents in the game, particularly for the speed in which he can accumulate big breaks, it will be interesting to see if he can go any further.

Thai legend James Wattana was the first from Asia to make a name for himself in the sport, paving the way for not only his countrymen but also emerging competitors from the likes of China, India, Iran, and elsewhere across the vast continent.

Wattana reached a career-high of number three in the world rankings on the back of capturing three ranking titles in the 1990s and additionally making a brace of semi-final appearances at the Crucible Theatre.

For Un-Nooh, the biggest incentive these days to fight for a place inside the world’s top 16 is possible qualification for the prestigious Masters invitational in January.

Meanwhile, Judd Trump extended his large lead at the top of the rankings list with his English Open victory on Sunday.

The 9-8 success over Neil Robertson earned Trump £70,000, meaning his advantage over Ronnie O’Sullivan in second place is now more than £600,000.

Robertson stays third after narrowly missing out on a 19th career ranking title, while Mark Selby and Mark Allen complete the current top five.

Top 16 After the English Open

1. Judd Trump
2. Ronnie O’Sullivan
3. Neil Robertson
4. Mark Selby
5. Mark Allen
6. Kyren Wilson
7. Shaun Murphy
8. John Higgins
9. Stephen Maguire
10. Ding Junhui
11. David Gilbert
12. Yan Bingtao
13. Stuart Bingham
14. Mark Williams
15. Jack Lisowski
16. Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

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