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Luca Brecel

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Title: Luca Brecel  
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Subject: 2011 World Cup (snooker), 2012 World Snooker Championship, 2012 UK Championship (snooker), European Tour 2013/2014 – Event 5, 2014 China Open (snooker)
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Luca Brecel

Luca Brecel (born 8 March 1995 in Dilsen-Stokkem) is a professional Belgian snooker player, widely considered one of the most promising upcoming snooker talents.[1]

Amateur career

In April 2009, he became the youngest European under-19 champion at 14 years of age.[2]

In May 2009, in the Grand Final of the World Series of Snooker in Portugal, he beat Jimmy White 4–3 and former World Champion Ken Doherty 5–3 on his way to the quarter-finals, where he lost 4–5 to Graeme Dott.[3] In August 2009, he beat Joe Perry, the then world number 12, at the Paul Hunter Classic.[4] On 8 January 2010, Brecel defeated former world champion Stephen Hendry 4–1 at an exhibition game in Brugge (Bruges), Belgium.[5]

Luca Brecel became the Belgian senior snooker champion on 24 May 2010, beating Bjorn Haneveer 7–4 in the final. He also had the highest break of the tournament with a 136.[6]

Brecel was one of the eight players in the first ever Power Snooker event, held on 30 October 2010 at the indigO2, next to former reigning world champion Neil Robertson, Ding Junhui, Mark Selby, Ali Carter, Shaun Murphy, Jimmy White and Ronnie O'Sullivan. Brecel was defeated by O'Sullivan in the first round.[7]

On 19 December 2010, Brecel was named the Young Belgian Sportsman of the year.[8]

Brecel received a wild card for the Main Tour of the professional 2011/2012 season on 5 May 2011.[9]

Professional career

2011/2012 season

Luca Brecel in 2011

Brecel became a professional snooker player in June 2011, beating Anthony Hamilton in his first official professional match. By August 2011, he was ranked 87 on the Snooker world rankings, as second Belgian after Bjorn Haneveer, then ranked 65. In January 2012, he made his first 147 break in an amateur tournament.[10]

Brecel played in all 12 of the minor-ranking Players Tour Championship events throughout the season, with his best finishes coming in Event 2, Event 8 and Event 9, where he reached the last 32 each time. He finished 69th on the Order of Merit.[11][12]

Brecel became the youngest ever player to qualify for the World Snooker Championship in 2012, after defeating Ian McCulloch, Barry Pinches, Michael Holt and Mark King. In doing so he broke the record of Stephen Hendry from 1986, as he was almost 2 months older than Brecel. He also became one of five players to qualify for the tournament under 18 years of age and played in his first ranking event main draw,[13] but lost 5–10 in the first round against Stephen Maguire despite making a century break and a 96 break during the match.[14]

Although finishing the season outside the top 64 who automatically retain their places on the snooker tour, Brecel received a two-year wildcard, along with Tony Drago. World Snooker chairman, Barry Hearn said the decision was made as it would be a "loss to the sport" if Brecel did not feature.[15] Brecel was awarded the Rookie of the Year Award at the World Snooker Annual Award Ceremony.[16]

2012/2013 season

In July 2012, Brecel made his second 147 break in an amateur tournament.[17] In qualifying for the first ranking event of the season, the 2012 Wuxi Classic, Brecel reached the third qualifying round but ultimately lost 5–4 to Jamie Burnett. He made three century breaks.[18]

Next up for Brecel was the first PTC event of the year. The teenager had a good run, beating former world champions Graeme Dott and Ken Doherty on his way to the last 16 where he met Judd Trump who beat him 4–1. Brecel made two centuries in the tournament.[19] Brecel was beaten in the first round of the second PTC event of the year, 4–2, by Matthew Selt.[20] He fared a little better in the first European Tour event of the season reaching the last 64 but was beaten 4–3 by Rory McLeod.[21] The Belgian was also knocked out in the last 64 of the third PTC of the season, 4–1, by Chinese player Xiao Guodong. He made one century in the tournament.[22] Brecel lost in the last 64 of both the Gdynia Open (where he made a century) and the Antwerp Open to Mark Joyce and Stuart Bingham respectively.[23] The Belgian was eliminated in the first round of the fourth PTC event of the season, losing 4-3 to Jimmy Robertson.[24] Soon after this defeat Brecel traveled to Sofia to play in the Bulgarian Open. He won his first round match but was beaten 4-0 by Mark Davis in the second round.[25] He finished 51st on the PTC Order of Merit.[26]

Brecel failed to qualify for the 2012 Shanghai Masters, losing 5–1 in the second round to Andy Hicks.[27] He also failed to qualify for the fourth ranking event of the season, the 2012 International Championship, losing 6–3 to Anthony Hamilton in the third round.[28] Brecel led Barry Pinches 3-0 in qualifying for the 2013 German Masters but was eventually beaten 5-4.[29]

Brecel qualified for the 2012 UK Championship after coming through four rounds of qualifying. He beat Scott Donaldson 6–5, Peter Lines 6–4, Liu Chuang 6–3 and former World Champion Peter Ebdon 6–1, making 5 century breaks in the process, to reach the main draw of a ranking event for the second time.[30] The Belgian won his first ever match in a ranking event by beating Ricky Walden 6–5 in the first round. He followed this up with a 6–4 win over Mark King (notably coming from 0-3 behind)[31] to become the first Belgian player to reach the quarter-finals of a ranking event. He was eventually defeated 6–5 in the quarter-final by Shaun Murphy, having missed a pink which would have given him an opportunity to win on the final black in each of the last two frames.[32]

Following this success, surprisingly, Brecel failed to win any other qualifying match for the rest of the season and therefore could not repeat last year's run to The Crucible, as he was beaten 6–10 by amateur Fraser Patrick in the first round of World Championship Qualifying.[33] He ended his second year as a professional ranked world number 72.[34]

2013/2014 season

The 2013/2014 season started badly for Brecel as he lost in the qualifying rounds for the first five ranking events.[35] He received automatic entry into the first round of the UK Championship as all 128 players on the tour began the event at the venue and he beat Mike Dunn 6–4, but then lost 6–5 to Stephen Maguire, despite having held a 5–2 lead.[36] Brecel qualified for the next ranking event, the German Masters, by defeating James Wattana 5–3, but was eliminated by Joe Perry 5–2 in the opening round.[35] Brecel failed to win a match in either of his next two ranking events as Jimmy Robertson defeated him 4–2 in the last 128 of the Welsh Open whilst Ryan Day won a deciding frame in the first round of the World Open to win 5–4.[35] His best result of the year came at the penultimate ranking event of the season, the China Open where he reached the second round thanks to the withdrawal of Mark Allen. Brecel then comfortably beat Dominic Dale 5–1 in the last 16, but missed out on his second career quarter-final as he lost 5–2 against Graeme Dott.[37] In the minor-ranking European Tour events played throughout the season, Brecel advanced to the quarter-finals of the Ruhr Open by seeing off Stuart Bingham 4–1, but was then edged out by Robbie Williams in a deciding frame by 73 points to 72 in a 4–3 defeat.[38] He finished 39th on the European Order of Merit and inside the top 64 in the world ranking for the first time, at number 63.[39][40]

Performance and rankings timeline

Tournament 2010/
Ranking[41][nb 1] UR UR[nb 2] 79[nb 3] 72 63
Ranking tournaments
Wuxi Classic Non Ranking LQ LQ LQ
Australian Goldfields Open NH LQ LQ LQ 1R
Shanghai Masters A LQ LQ LQ LQ
International Championship Not Held LQ LQ LQ
UK Championship A LQ QF 2R 2R
German Masters WR LQ LQ 1R
Welsh Open A LQ LQ 1R
Indian Open Not Held LQ
Players Championship Grand Final[nb 4] DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ
China Open A LQ LQ 3R
World Championship A 1R LQ LQ
Variant format tournaments
Shoot-Out A A A 1R
Former ranking tournaments
World Open LQ LQ LQ LQ NH
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in the qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals
SF lost in the semi-finals F lost in the final W won the tournament
DNQ did not qualify for the tournament A did not participate in the tournament WD withdrew from the tournament
NH / Not Held means an event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Event means an event is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / Ranking Event means an event is/was a ranking event.
MR / Minor-Ranking Event means an event is/was a minor-ranking event.
  1. ^ It shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
  2. ^ New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
  3. ^ Players qualified through European nomination started the season without ranking points.
  4. ^ The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011–2012/2013)

Tournament wins


  • Belgian Under 16 Championship – 2007, 2008, 2009
  • Belgium Ranking Events
    • St.Martinus Gent – 2007
    • Happy Snooker Hasselt – 2009
    • Zele – 2010
    • Peer – 2011
  • Malta Under 16 Open – 2007
  • Flemish Under 16 Championship – 2008
  • Belgian Teams Championship – 2008
  • Belgian Open Under 21 – 2008
  • Belgian Under 21 Championship – 2008, 2009
  • European Under-19 Championship – 2009
  • International Open under 21 – 2009
  • Belgian Senior Championship – 2010, 2013, 2014
  • European Snooker Championship – 2010


  1. ^ "Ten sporting prospects to watch in 2010". Eurosport. 1 January 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "Right on cue: Luca Brecel". Eurosport. 10 April 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2009. 
  3. ^ "World Series: Belgian teen into last eight". Eurosport. 9 May 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2009. 
  4. ^ "Murphy retains Paul Hunter title". Eurosport. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2009. 
  5. ^ Vanhee, Nico (11 January 2010). "14-jarige klopt wereldkampioen" (in Dutch). De Standaard. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "Luca Brecel est devenu champion de Belgique de snooker à 15 ans" (in French). RTL. 24 May 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "Ronnie O'Sullivan praises quick-fire Power Snooker". BBC Sport. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010. 
  8. ^ "Luca Brecel (snooker), Espoir de l'année" (in French). RTBF. 19 December 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "Snooker – Luca Brecel reçoit une invitation pour le Main Tour" (in French). Belga. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "Luca Brecel maakt in Peer eerste officiële 147-break". Gazet van Antwerpen (in Dutch). 23 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "Order of Merit". WWW Snooker. 8 January 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  12. ^ "Luca Brecel heeft eerste grote scalp als profspeler beet". De Morgen. 8 August 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  13. ^ "Brilliant Brecel will be youngest ever at World Championship after qualifying win over King". London:  
  14. ^ "World Snooker Championship 2012: scores and schedule".  
  15. ^ "Snooker: Brecel awarded wild card". ESPN Star. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  16. ^ "Rocket Named Player Of Year".  
  17. ^ "Luca Brecel maakt maximumbreak van 147". Het Belang Van Limburg (in Dutch). 7 July 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  18. ^ "2012 Wuxi Classic qualifying results". 9 June 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "PTC Event 1 Results". 23 July 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "PTC Event 2 Results". 13 August 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  21. ^ "ET Event 1 Results". 3 September 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  22. ^ "PTC Event 3 Results". 10 September 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  23. ^  
  24. ^ "PTC Event 4 Results". 14 November 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  25. ^ "ET Event 4 Results". 19 November 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  26. ^ "Order of Merit 2012/2013". Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  27. ^ "2012 Shanghai Masters Results". 26 September 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  28. ^ "2012 International Championship Results". 6 November 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  29. ^ "2013 German Masters qualifying results". 1 December 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  30. ^ "Veteran Davis and teen Brecel reach UK Championships". 24 November 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  31. ^ "BBC UK Championship Results". Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  32. ^ Skilbeck, John (6 December 2012). "Young Brecel's not so pretty on the pink as Murphy ends Belgian's fairytale run". London:  
  33. ^ "Betfair World Championship Qualifiers". Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  34. ^ "Official World Snooker Ranking List For The 2013/2014 Season".  
  35. ^ a b c "Luca Brecel 2013/2014". Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  36. ^ "UK Championship: Stephen Maguire rallies to deny Luca Brecel; Judd Trump hits form".  
  37. ^ "Ebdon Beats Trump In Beijing".  
  38. ^ "Robbie Williams v Luca Brecel". Love Snooker. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  39. ^ "European Order of Merit 2013/2014". Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  40. ^ "World Snooker Rankings After the 2014 World Championship".  
  41. ^ "Ranking History". Retrieved 6 February 2011. 

External links

  • Official website
  • English Website
  • Luca Brecel at Snooker Results and Statistic Database
  • Global Snooker Player Profile
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