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Luca Brecel

Luca Brecel, born 8 March 1995 in Dilsen-Stokkem, Belgium, is currently the only professional Belgian snooker player on the main tour.

He announced himself by winning the European Under-19 title at the age of 14. In 2009 and 2010, he won several matches against seasoned professionals in the PTC series. His achievements won him a wildcard for the 2011/2012 professional season.

He made an immediate impact by becoming the youngest player to play at the Crucible after qualifying for the 2012 World Championship aged 17, two months younger that Stephen Hendry. He finished the season out of the top 64 but immediately was awarded a 2 years wildcard for the seasons 2012/13 and 2013/14.

Luca, 17 years old, in action at the Crucible in April 2012

UKC 2012 - Entering the Barbican for his last 16 match v Mark King

He started the 2012/13 season strongly and having won four matches to qualify for the UK Championship, he manages to reach the quarter finals at the Barbican in York. He lost to Shaun Murphy.

Surprisingly, after that, Luca suffered a dip of form and his results became a bit inconsistent. Still, he did enough to finish the 2013/14 season inside the top 64 and retain his professional status.

The 2014/15 season was a good one for Luca who went to reach his first professional semi-final at the Welsh Open 2015. He also made the highest break of the tournament, a 140, which is also his professional best. He finished the season ranked n°44.

Facing John Higgins - Welsh Open 2015, Semi Final

Luca’s progression continued in 2015/16, seeing him climb to n°30 in the rankings. His first ranking event final came at the 2016 German Masters which he lost to Martin Gould. That made him the first ever Belgian player to reach a ranking final.

2016/17 was a very disappointing season for Luca: he lost in round 1 in no less than eight events and failed to qualify for the Shanghai Masters, German Masters and China Open. The only highlight of the season was a QF in the UK Championship 2016, where he lost to Shaun Murphy. Luca also managed to qualify for the Crucible, winning three good matches in Ponds Forge, but lost in the last 32 to Marco Fu.

2017/18 was a season of two halves for Luca. It started strongly with a first ranking title: the China Championship 2017. He then reached the semi-finals in the World Open 2017 and the semi-finals of the Champion of Champions, losing to the eventual winner both times. However, after the Shanghai Masters 2017 – where he reached the QF – things went downhill as Luca was plagued by injuries and cue issues.

2018/19 was a largely forgettable season for Luca, with a lot of early exits. He only reached the semi-finals stage twice: at the China Open 2019 and at the non-ranking six-reds World Championship. He lost in the first round at the World Championship 2019. Despite this Luca finished the season ranked n°15.

In 2019/20 Luca paid the price for the poor previous season as his ranking plummetted. The 2019/20 season was a poor one as well, with Luca winning less than half of the matches he played and he never got past the last 16 in any ranking event. He didn’t qualify for the Crucible stage of the World Championship. losing to Fergal O’Brien in the last 80. The only highlight of his season was to win the 64 men Championship League Snooker in June 2020. This was the first sporting event since the COVID-19 lockdown was put into place, and, until the very lasts days before it started, Luca’s participation was in doubt because of travel restrictions. He took his chance well! Despite this success, he finished the season ranked 38th.

2020/21 was another poor season for Luca whose best run was a last 16 round at the 2021 German Masters. He won only 58% of his matches and failed to qualify for the Crucible. He was beaten by Stuart Bingham in the last round of the World Qualifiers.

2021/22 saw Luca return to the winner’s circle as he won the 2022 Scottish Open, beating John Higgins in the final. Luca also made the final at the 2021 UK Championship losing to Zao Xintong in the title match. He also reached the semi-final at the lucrative 2022 Tour Championship. As a result, Luca went to the Crucible as a seed but lost in the first round proper.

2022/23 proved to be a memorable season for Luca. He won the first ranking event of the season, the 2022 ranking Championship League, and he won the last one as well, the biggest of all, the 2023 World Snooker Championship. Having never won a match at the Crucible before Luca beat Ricky Walden (10-9), Mark Williams (13-10), Ronnie O’Sullivan (13-10), Si Jiahui (17-15), and Mark Selby (18-15) to become the first ever Snooker World Champion from mainland Europe and he did it all playing a fantastic brand of attractive, fearless attacking snooker. Luca finished the season ranked number 2 in the World, second only to Ronnie O’Sullivan.

2023/24 was a strange season for Luca. He was the reigning World Champion and was determined to enjoy it. He did… maybe a bit too much? He only reached two finals, both times in invitational events – the 2023 Shanghai Masters and the 2024 Ryadh Season World Masters – losing to Ronnie O’Sullivam both times. Other than that Luca got past the last 16 only once, at the 2024 Welsh Open where he lost to Martin O’Donnell in the QFs. But he did win something… the 2024 World Mixed Doubles with Reanne Evans!

Ranking Titles:
China Championship 2017
Scottish Open 2021
Ranking Championship League 2022
World Snooker Championship 2023
World Mixed Doubles: 2024 (with Reanne Evans)

Invitational Titles

Championship League Snooker 2020 (summer)

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