Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Cao for now

It looks like the time has come for Cao Yupeng to seize his opportunity in snooker's senior ranks.

Picture by Monique Limbos
The young Chinese star famously beat Mark Allen 10-6 at the World Championship this year in his first ranking event appearance, and he's made a mark again at his second today with victory over two-time Crucible finalist Ali Carter.

It was unfortunate that Allen took the shine off his win in Sheffield with a distasteful slur against Chinese players in his post-match press conference, but he did also emphasise how Cao has a false world ranking.

Beating Carter reiterates that point and this time no-one can overshadow his win.

The 21-year-old has now beaten two top 16 players fair and square in a matter of months and is building quite a list of scalps.

Cao is one of many talented players currently plying their trade in the qualifying arena, but ability will only get you so far. To be a real success you need to be good under pressure and capable of turning it on in front of the cameras. Cao looks like he's got that cracked and so can credibly be considered as a player with the potential to one day rival the success of far and away his most successful compatriot, Ding Junhui.

His most impressive quality is his touch in and around the balls. He shows great experience beyond his years in that department. Cao has a fine array of different shots, great cue power and plays the table as he sees it.  He's a very attack-minded players who goes for his shots.

His tactical game is likely to improve with age but, for now, he looks like quite the package.

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