Ronnie O'Sullivan predicts huge impact of Yan Bingtao's Masters victory
18th January 2021

Ronnie O’Sullivan believes Yan Bingtao’s remarkable Masters victory will see a number of other young Chinese players emerging at the top of the game in the near future.

The 20-year-old downed John Higgins 10-8 at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes to lift a Triple Crown title for the first time and pocked a hefty £250,000 top prize.

Already one of the most promising young talents in the game, Yan’s victory propels him into one of the top players in the sport as a whole.

The huge win has not only done incredible things for Yan’s career, but the Rocket thinks plenty of other young Chinese stars will be boosted by it.

There is a string of talented Chinese youngsters in the game, none of which have kicked on into the upper echelons of the sport as yet, but O’Sullivan thinks Yan’s win could change that.

‘There’s three or four of them, I think this is much more significant for Chinese snooker than Ding [Junhui]’s breakthrough on the scene,’ O’Sullivan told Eurosport.

‘Ding came through on his own, it took a generation to follow in his footsteps. This is the generation that looked up to Ding, wanted to play snooker because of Ding.

‘There’s four or five players sitting at home watching Bingtao, because they’re all mates thinking, “I’m just as good as him” so their belief is much higher.

‘I really think there will be some of these Chinese lads coming on much faster.

‘This could be quite a significant result for Chinese snooker.’

O’Sullivan didn’t name any names, but the likes of Zhou Yuelong and Zhao Xintong are expected to be the next to crack the top 16 of the world rankings.

The success is clearly Yan’s for now, though, and O’Sullivan thinks it will launch him into another stratosphere in his home country, with riches following.

‘For Yan, that’s like winning the lottery. He’s now become a superstar in China, he’ll be like Ding is now with endorsements,’ said the Rocket.

‘He doesn’t have to worry about that for the rest of his life, he can just go and play snooker and he’ll keep getting better and better.’

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