01 May 2024

Jak Jones joins the ranks of surprise Crucible semi-finalists

01 May 2024

Jak Jones pulled off a major upset against former champion Judd Trump to book his place in the semi-finals of the World Snooker Championship for the first time.

The 30-year-old reached the quarter-finals on his Crucible debut last year but his only previous appearance in the last four of a ranking event was at the 2022 Gibraltar Open.

Here, the PA news agency picks out five more surprise semi-finalists in snooker’s showpiece event.

SI JIAHUI (2023)

In his first season back on the professional tour, the Chinese player won three qualifying matches to book his place at the Crucible for the first time. He then beat Shaun Murphy, Robert Milkins and Anthony McGill to become the first debutant to reach a world semi-final since 1995. Despite leading Luca Brecel 14-5, Si fell 17-15 to the eventual champion.


A former two-time semi-finalist, McManus enjoyed a spectacular career resurgence in 2016 when he reached the last four for the first time in 23 years. The Scot had to win three qualifying matches to reach the tournament proper, where he saw of Stephen Maguire, Ali Carter and John Higgins. McManus was eventually beaten 17-11 by Ding Junhui.


Murphy was ranked 48th in the world and rated a 150-1 outsider when he reached the Crucible in 2005, but he swept through the tournament with wins over Chris Small, John Higgins and Steve Davis. Murphy then got the better of former winner Peter Ebdon in the semi-finals, before defeating Matthew Stevens to become the first qualifier to win the title since Terry Griffiths in 1979.


Hicks spent four low-key years as a professional before making a spectacular breakthrough in 1995. After winning three qualifying matches, Hicks dumped Steve Davis out in the first round proper, then beat Willie Thorne and Ebdon before coming up short in the last four when he was beaten 16-11 by Nigel Bond.


Griffiths was the first qualifier to win the World Championship in the modern era after surging through the tournament in 1979. After winning two qualifying matches, Griffiths overcame the previous year’s runner-up, Perrie Mans, before also seeing off Alex Higgins to reach the semi-finals. Griffiths did not stop there, beating Eddie Charlton and Dennis Taylor to take the title.

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