Sunny Akani


Sunny Akani (Thai: ซันนี่ อรรคนิธิ์ ส่งเสริมสวัสดิ์ Akani Songsermsawad; born 10 September 1995) is a Thai professional snooker player.

Sunny Akani
Born (1995-09-10) 10 September 1995 (age 25)
Bangkok, Thailand
Sport country Thailand
NicknameSunny , The 1000 basics
Professional2015–
Highest ranking44 (March 2021)
Current ranking 57 (as of 4 May 2021)
Career winnings£165,197
Highest break133:
2018 English Open
Century breaks34
Best ranking finishQuarter-finals
(2016 Indian Open, 2018 Snooker Shoot-Out)

Career


Early career

Akani, a regular in amateur Thai snooker events since 2011,[1] first came to international attention with a 5–2 win over professional Matthew Selt in the Six-red World Championship,[1] in 2008.[2]

2015–2017

In 2015 he won the ACBS Asian Under-21 Snooker Championship, beating Yuan Sijun 6–4 in the final and as a result was given a two-year card on the professional World Snooker Tour for the 2015–16 and 2016–17 seasons.[1][3] His first appearance in a ranking event qualifier came at the 2016 World Championship, where he was edged out 10–9 by compatriot Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in the opening round.[4]

Akani qualified for the 2016 Indian Open by defeating Ben Woollaston 4–3 and then saw off Jamie Burnett 4–1, Mark Davis 4–2 and Gary Wilson 4–2 (opened the match with a 104 break) to reach the quarter-finals of the first ranking he had appeared at.[5] He took a 2–1 lead over Kyren Wilson, but would go on to lose 4–2.[6] He also lost in the quarter-finals of the non-ranking Six-red World Championship 7–4 to Stuart Bingham. At the Northern Ireland Open, Akani eliminated Cao Yupeng 4–1 and Mark Davis 4–3 and was knocked out in the third round 4–2 by Wilson. He qualified for the German Masters by seeing off Graeme Dott and Jack Lisowski, but was thrashed 5–0 by Zhao Xintong in the first round. He stood one win away from playing in the World Championship after defeating Mei Xiwen 10–5 and Joe Perry 10–9, but was heavily beaten 10–3 by David Grace.[7] Akani failed to break into the top 64 in the rankings during his two years on tour, but will stay on it by topping the one-year list.[8]

2017–2018

In 2017, he started the season like the year before. He reached the Last 16 of the 2017 Indian Open after beating Scott Donaldson, Stephen Maguire, and Dominic Dale before losing 4–2 to Liam Highfield. At the 2017 World Open qualifying round, he had a close match against Liang Wenbo losing 5–4 after being 2–0 and 4–2 up and scoring back-to-back century breaks (101 and 119) but losing the "decider". At the 2017 International Championship, he was 2–0, 3–1 and 4–2 behind but he won the last 4 frames to beat Marco Fu by 6–4. In the last frame, he cleared the table with a break of 53 to win the frame by 2 points. After a walkover in the last 64, he lost against Martin O'Donnell 5–6, despite a lead of 5–2.

During the 2017 UK Championship, Akani defeated three higher seeds, defeating Fergal O'Brien 6–5, Michael Holt 6–4, and whitewashing former world championship runner-up Barry Hawkins 6–0. After the match, Hawkins said the match "was up there with one of the worst I have ever played".[9] In the last 16, Akani drew Ronnie O'Sullivan and went ahead at scores of 2–0, 4–2 and 5–4, before losing the match 6–5. After the match O'Sullivan stated he believed Akani "deserved to win" and "felt like (he) robbed him of victory".[10]

The following competition, the 2017 Scottish Open, saw Akani lose in the first round to Jimmy White 4–1.

2018–2019

Akani failed to qualify for the first ranking event of the season, losing 4-3 to Oliver Lines in the qualifying round of the 2018 Riga Masters. He beat Fan Zhengyi 6-5 to qualify for the 2018 World Open, where he was defeated 5-2 in the first round by Barry Hawkins. Akani reached the semi-finals of the non-ranking 2018 Haining Open, where he was defeated 4-2 by Li Hang. He followed this by the knockout stage of the non-ranking Six-red World Championship, coming through the round-robin stage by finishing second in Group E, scoring victories over Jimmy Robertson and Mohamed Khairy, and losing to group winner Ding Junhui. In the knockout stage, he beat Stephen Maguire and Mohammed Shebab 6-5 to reach the semi-finals, where he lost 7-5 to eventual champion Kyren Wilson.

Having failed to qualify for the Indian Open and European Masters, Akani's next ranking event was the 2018 China Championship, where he lost 5-3 in the first round to Mark Selby, who would go on to win the tournament. At the 2018 English Open, he defeated 8th seed Kyren Wilson 4-3 before losing 4-0 to Anthony McGill in the second round. Akani beat Soheil Vahedi 6-5 to qualify for the International Championship, where he defeated Mark Williams 6-3 and Zhou Yuelong 6-4 to reach the third round, where he lost 6-4 to Ali Carter. A 4-0 victory over Fan Zhengyi in first round of the 2018 Northern Ireland Open set up a second round tie with Xiao Guodong, which he lost 4-3.

Akani enjoyed another good showing at the 2018 UK Championship, defeating Eden Sharav and James Cahill 6-5, and winning 6-2 against Jak Jones to reach the last 16 for the second year running, where he lost 6-2 to Stuart Bingham. His next win at a ranking event came at the Shoot-Out, where he defeated Lyu Haotian and Billy Joe Castle before losing in the third round to amateur player Ryan Davies. Akani finished the season by failing to qualify for the 2019 World Championship, losing in the second round of qualifying 10-5 to Robert Milkins.[11] He ended the season 52nd in the Snooker world rankings.[12]

Style of play


Akani is known for his very deliberate cue action, where he plants his hand down with the cue before playing the next shot. In the book 147 Snooker Drills and Exercises by Andrew Highfield, he named a challenge after Akani, after challenging him to complete the drill.[13] He is also known for resting his chin on the cue extension when playing with a rest.

Performance and rankings timeline


Tournament 2008/
09
2015/
16
2016/
17
2017/
18
2018/
19
2019/
20
2020/
21
Ranking[14][nb 1] [nb 2] [nb 3] 91 [nb 4] 66 52 52
Ranking tournaments
European Masters Not Held LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R
English Open Not Held 2R 3R 2R 2R 2R
Championship League Non-Ranking Event RR
Northern Ireland Open Not Held 3R 3R 2R 1R 2R
UK Championship A A 1R 4R 4R 2R 2R
Scottish Open Not Held 2R 1R 1R 1R 3R
World Grand Prix NH DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ
German Masters NH A 1R LQ LQ 2R LQ
Shoot-Out NH NR 2R QF 3R 3R 3R
Welsh Open A A 1R 3R 1R 1R 2R
Players Championship[nb 5] NH DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ
Gibraltar Open NH MR A A A A 2R
WST Pro Series Tournament Not Held 2R
Tour Championship Tournament Not Held DNQ DNQ DNQ
World Championship A LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ
Variant format tournaments
Six-red World Championship[nb 6] RR RR QF 1R SF RR NH
Former ranking tournaments
Shanghai Masters A A LQ 2R Non-Rank. NH
Indian Open Not Held QF 3R LQ Not Held
China Open A A LQ LQ LQ Not Held
Riga Masters[nb 7] NH MR LQ A LQ A NH
International Championship NH A 1R 2R 3R 1R NH
China Championship Not Held NR A 1R 1R NH
World Open A NH LQ LQ 1R 3R NH
Former non-ranking tournaments
Haining Open A MR A A SF A 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 Heldmeans an event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Eventmeans an event is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / Ranking Eventmeans an event is/was a ranking event.
MR / Minor-Ranking Eventmeans an event is/was a minor-ranking event.
PA / Pro-am Eventmeans an event is/was a pro-am event.
VF / Variant Format Eventmeans an event is/was a variant format event.
  1. It shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
  2. He was an amateur.
  3. New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
  4. Players qualified One Year Ranking List started the season without ranking points.
  5. The event was called the Players Championship Grand Final (2015/2016)
  6. The event was called the Six-red Snooker International (2008/2009) and the Six-red World Grand Prix (2009/2010)
  7. The event was called the Riga Open (2015/2016)

References


  1. "Akani Songsermsawad". Pro Snooker Blog. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  2. "2008 Sangsom 6-reds International Snooker". Global Snooker Centre. Archived from the original on 24 December 2008.
  3. 泰国小将宋沙瓦夺冠 连克赵心童袁思俊成中国苦主 (in Chinese). my147.com. 13 April 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  4. "Akani Songsermsawad 2015/2016". Snooker.org. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  5. "Lilley Continues Dream Run". World Snooker. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  6. "Murphy/McGill/Wilson/Bond Into Semis". World Snooker. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  7. "Akani Songsermsawad 2016/2017". Snooker.org. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  8. "Provisional Rankings". Snooker.org. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  9. "UK Snooker Championship 2017: Barry Hawkins 'in state of shock' after 6-0 loss". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  10. "Ronnie O'Sullivan: I robbed Sunny Akani of the win in UK Snooker Championship". Daily Express]. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  11. "Akani Songsermsawad 2018/19". snooker.org. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  12. "Rankings 2018/2019 - snooker.org". snooker.org. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  13. Highfield, Andrew (2017-12-15). 147 Snooker Drills and Exercises. Andrew Highfield. ISBN 9781785003561.
  14. "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 6 February 2011.