Snooker has a new star after Yan Bingtao burst onto the limelight with a famous Masters triumph.
The 20-year-old beat four-times world champion John Higgins 10-8 in one of the best Masters finals in recent times to win his first Triple Crown trophy.
It’s a victory that could start a brand new era for snooker in China with the rise of a new star who could go on to win more trophies and potentially become world champion.
Despite Ding Junhui being China’s top snooker player for a generation, Yan Bingtao is now the new kid on the block who could do what Ding has failed to do so far – become the country’s first ever world champion.
Beating John Higgins in a nerve-wracking Masters final will certainly give him the confidence he needs to kick start a wonderful career in the sport. And at times he looked cool as a cucumber.
World number 11 Bingtao rose to prominence as a 15-year-old by winning the 2015 World Cup for China alongside Zhou Yuelong, beating a Scotland team of Higgins and Maguire in the final.
He won his maiden ranking title at the 2019 Riga Masters and has since earned his place in the top 16 to appear at the Masters for the first time.
And what a debut appearance!
Lifting the Paul Hunter Trophy and claiming the £250,000 top prize, Bingtao has secured the biggest payday of his career so far and joins a long list of famous names to have won The Masters.
“I am very excited,” Bingtao said.
“I have imagined how I would celebrate but I am very calm, even though in the last few frames I was not playing very well. But I did not give up.”