Tian Pengfei (Chinese: 田鹏飞, born 16 August 1987) is a Chinese professional snooker player. He began his career by playing the Challenge Tour in 2004, at the time the second-level professional tour. Tian played on the Main Tour in 2006 and competed on the World Snooker Tour for two seasons until he dropped off in 2008. He won his first professional title, the Beijing International Challenge, and returned to the Main Tour the following year. He is considered to be something of a journeyman.
|Born||August 16, 1987|
|Highest ranking||45 (April and July 2016)|
|58 (as of 4 May 2021)|
2007 World Championship (qualifying)
2007 UK Championship
2013 Wuxi Classic
|Best ranking finish||Quarter-finals (2017 Northern Ireland Open, 2018 European Masters, 2019 Gibraltar Open, 2019 English Open)|
Tian first competed on the Main Tour in the 2006–07 season, dropping off the tour in the following season. During the season, Tian also received a one-year ban from China's cue sports administration, following an investigation into allegations that he had sexually abused and beaten his fellow team-mate, Zhou Mengmeng, at the Doha Asian Games in 2006, in which she subsequently gave a formal apology regarding this.
As a wild card, Tian defeated Ronnie O'Sullivan 5–3 in the last 32 of the 2010 China Open at the Students University Stadium in Beijing. In an astonishing finish to the match, O'Sullivan missed a simple final black off its spot which would have levelled the score at 4–4. He also recorded some impressive victories in the Wuxi Classic, by beating Mark Selby 5–3 and Joe Perry 5–1, before being whitewashed 6–0 by Ding Junhui. Despite these results, he was not awarded a wild card by World Snooker to compete on the main tour.
The next professional tournament he competed in was the Beijing International Challenge. In the group stages he recorded wins over Stephen Hendry and Stephen Maguire, before beating Liang Wenbo 6–4 and Ryan Day 9–3 to win the title.
Tian qualified for the 2011–12 main tour as a semi-finalist from the second Q School event. As an unranked player, Tian would need to win four matches to qualify for the main draw of the ranking event tournaments. He failed to do this throughout the season, coming closest in his first event, the Australian Goldfields Open. He won his first two matches against Aditya Mehta and Anthony McGill (making three centuries in a 5–1 win) before being given a bye into the final qualifying round due to the withdrawal of Anthony Hamilton. In the final round Tian lost 4–5 to Mark Davis. Tian finished the year ranked world number 78, out of the top 64 who guarantee their places for the 2012–13 season. However, he was awarded the first nomination from the Chinese national governing body for a spot on the tour, guaranteeing him entry into all the ranking event qualifiers in the upcoming season.
Tian could not qualify for the main draw of any of the ranking events during the season. However, he had a very good season in the minor-ranking Players Tour Championship Events. At the second European Tour Event he won four matches which included a last 16 triumph over top 16 player Stuart Bingham to reach the quarter-finals, where he was whitewashed 0–4 by Neil Robertson. Tian went one better at the sixth European Tour Event with wins over the likes of Jamie Burnett, Mark Davis and Martin Gould in the quarter-finals to advance to the semis. There he lost 2–4 to Mark Selby, but finished a lofty 30th on the PTC Order of Merit, just outside the top 26 who qualified for the Finals. Tian's season ended when he was beaten 7–10 by Jimmy White in the second round of World Championship Qualifying, to finish the campaign ranked world number 70.
In his opening match, Tian defeated Luca Brecel 5–3 to qualify for the 2013 Wuxi Classic in China where he was whitewashed 5–0 by Jack Lisowski in the first round. He then lost in the qualifying rounds for three successive events, but reached the first round of the International Championship with a 6–0 thrashing of Alexander Ursenbacher. He faced Mark Allen and was beaten 6–1. Tian edged past Michael Wasley 5–4 to play in the German Masters, where he matched the best performance in a ranking event of his career. He saw off Andrew Higginson 5–3 in the first round and then recorded the finest result of his career so far by beating world number one Neil Robertson 5–1. His last 16 match against Rod Lawler went to the colours in the deciding frame with Lawler potting the brown, blue and pink to win 5–4. Tian was eliminated in the first round of the World Open by Graeme Dott and went a stage further at the China Open, but lost 5–3 against Mike Dunn. He ended the season ranked world number 66, falling just short of the top 64 who remain on tour. Tian entered Q School and won a two-year tour card for the 2014–15 and 2015–16 seasons in the first event, whitewashing Eden Sharav 4–0 in his final match.
Tian beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 4–2 to reach the quarter-finals of the Paul Hunter Classic, where he lost 4–3 to Judd Trump from 3–2 up. He was knocked out at the same stage of the Haining City Open 4–2 by Jimmy Robertson. Tian lost 6–3 in the first round of the UK Championship and won his first ranking event match of the season 4–2 against Tom Ford at the Welsh Open. He was beaten 4–1 by Luca Brecel in the second round. A pair of 4–1 victories set up Tian's best run in a ranking event this year at the Indian Open, but he was thrashed 4–0 by Ricky Walden in the last 16.
Tian defeated Noppon Saengkham and Yu Delu both 5–1 and Matthew Stevens 5–0 to play in the final qualifying round of the 2015 Shanghai Masters, losing 5–4 to Mark Davis. He eliminated reigning champion Shaun Murphy 4–1 to reach the quarter-finals of the Ruhr Open and then edged past Alan McManus and David Gilbert to progress through to his first professional final. Tian made a 106 break to trail Rory McLeod 3–2, but lost the next frame to finish as the event's runner-up. Wins over Cao Yupeng and Liang Wenbo saw him reach the third round of the International Championship, where he lost 6–1 to Mark Allen. He exited the UK Championship 6–2 to John Higgins in the second round. Tian's final earlier in the season ensured that he made his first appearance in the PTC Finals, but he lost 4–1 to Robert Milkins in the first round. At the China Open he defeated Barry Hawkins 5–4 and Michael Holt 5–2 to play Ricky Walden in the third round. Tian scored breaks of 87 and 64 to send the match into a deciding frame in which he led 41–0, but he would go on to lose. Tian is still looking for his debut at the World Championship after he lost 10–7 to Hossein Vafaei in the opening round of qualifying. However, his ranking rose by 34 places to end the season at a career-high 48th in the world.
Tian lost 4–3 to Matthew Stevens in the second round of the Riga Masters after thrashing Allan Taylor 4–0. A string of qualifying defeats and first round exits followed until the Welsh Open in February 2017 where he overcame Chen Zhe 4–2, before losing 4–0 to Barry Hawkins in the second round. Tian's deepest run of the year was at the China Open, where wins over Anthony McGill and Martin Gould took him into the last 16. He was defeated 5–3 by Judd Trump.
In the World Championship Qualifiers, Tian beat compatriot Zhang Yong 10-4 before an epic match against Fergal O'Brien. In the deciding frame Tian successfully obtained three snookers before missing a difficult final pink, allowing O'Brien to win the match 10–9. That last frame took around 90 minutes and the match finished at 2:30am.
Tian's best result came in the Northern Ireland Open, where he beat Soheil Vahedi, Mark Allen, Noppon Saengkham and Chris Wakelin to reach his first ranking quarter-final. But he lost narrowly to teenage compatriot Lyu Haotian 5–4. In the World Championship qualifiers, Tian scored a memorable win over Yan Bingtao, but then lost badly to Chris Wakelin in the final qualifying match.
Tian reached two more quarter-finals at the European Masters (where he beat Judd Trump) and the Gibraltar Open. In the World Championship qualifiers, Tian beat Soheil Vahedi, Ryan Day and Matthew Stevens to reach the Crucible for the first time. There, he played Stephen Maguire and appeared to have won the match when he led 9–7 with his opponent needing a snooker. However, Maguire got the snooker, fluked the blue, won the frame and eventually the match 10–9.
Tian is known as one of the most approachable players on the tour. He speaks excellent English and has occasionally helped with interpretation at press conferences, notably in the 2017 Northern Ireland Open where he assisted several Chinese players, including Lyu Haotian, despite Lyu having beaten him in their quarter-final match.
Performance and rankings timeline
|European Masters||Tournament Not Held||LQ||LQ||QF||1R||1R|
|English Open||Tournament Not Held||1R||2R||1R||QF||1R|
|Championship League||Not Held||Non-Ranking Event||2R|
|Northern Ireland Open||Tournament Not Held||1R||QF||2R||3R||WD|
|Scottish Open||Tournament Not held||MR||Not held||1R||1R||4R||2R||3R|
|World Grand Prix||Tournament Not Held||NR||1R||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ|
|German Masters||Not Held||A||LQ||LQ||3R||LQ||1R||LQ||LQ||LQ||1R||WD|
|Shoot-Out||Tournament Not Held||Variant Format Event||2R||3R||4R||2R||1R|
|Players Championship||Not Held||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||1R||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ|
|Gibraltar Open||Tournament Not Held||MR||2R||4R||QF||4R||2R|
|WST Pro Series||Tournament Not Held||RR|
|Tour Championship||Tournament Not Held||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ|
|Former ranking tournaments|
|Malta Cup||A||A||LQ||NR||Not Held|
|Northern Ireland Trophy||NH||NR||2R||LQ||A||Not Held|
|Wuxi Classic||Not Held||Non-ranking||LQ||1R||A||Tournament Not Held|
|Australian Goldfields Open||Not Held||LQ||LQ||LQ||A||A||Tournament Not Held|
|Paul Hunter Classic||Pro-am Event||Minor-Ranking Event||1R||A||A||NR|
|Shanghai Masters||Not Held||WD||A||1R||WR||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||Non-Rank.||NH|
|Indian Open||Not Held||LQ||3R||NH||LQ||2R||LQ||Not Held|
|China Open||A||WR||LQ||LQ||2R||2R||1R||LQ||LQ||2R||LQ||3R||3R||LQ||LQ||Not Held|
|Riga Masters||Tournament Not Held||MR||2R||2R||1R||WD||NH|
|International Championship||Not Held||LQ||1R||LQ||3R||WR||1R||1R||LQ||NH|
|China Championship||Tournament Not Held||NR||1R||LQ||1R||NH|
|Former non-ranking tournaments|
|Wuxi Classic||Tournament Not Held||A||A||SF||A||Ranking Event||Tournament Not Held|
|Beijing International Challenge||Tournament Not Held||RR||W||Tournament Not Held|
|Hainan Classic||Tournament Not Held||RR||Tournament Not Held|
|General Cup||A||Not Held||SF||NH||A||RR||A||A||A||Tournament Not Held|
|Shoot-Out||Not Held||A||A||1R||1R||A||1R||Ranking Event|
|Haining Open||Tournament Not Held||MR||2R||2R||A||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 Held||means an event was not held.|
|NR / Non-Ranking Event||means an event is/was no longer a ranking event.|
|R / Ranking Event||means an event is/was a ranking event.|
|MR / Minor-Ranking Event||means an event is/was a minor-ranking event.|
- From the 2010/2011 season it shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
- He was an amateur.
- New players don't have a ranking.
- Players qualified through Chinese nomination started the season without ranking points.
- Players qualified through Q School started the season without prize money ranking points.
- Players qualified One Year Ranking List started the season without ranking points.
- The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011–2012/2013)
- The event was called the Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009–2009/2010)
- The event was called the Grand Prix Fürth (2004/2005) and the Fürth German Open (2005/2006–2006/2007)
- The event was called the Riga Open (2014/2015–2015/2016)
- The event was called the Grand Prix (2004/2005–2009/2010), the World Open (2010/2011) and the Haikou World Open (2011/2012–2013/2014)
- The event was called the General Cup International (2004/2005–2011/2012)
Minor-ranking finals: 1 (1 runner-up)
|Outcome||No||Year||Tournament||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Runner-up||1.||2015||Ruhr Open||Rory McLeod||2–4|
Non-ranking finals: 2 (2 titles)
|Outcome||No||Year||Tournament||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Winner||1.||2010||The China Classic||Zhang Anda||5–3|
|Winner||2.||2010||Beijing International Challenge||Ryan Day||9–3|
Amateur finals: 3 (2 titles, 1 runner-up)
|Outcome||No||Year||Tournament||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Winner||1.||2005||PIOS – Event 1||Martin Gould||6–3|
|Runner-up||1||2005||IBSF World Under-21 Championship||Liang Wenbo||9–11|
|Winner||2.||2006||PIOS – Event 7||Liu Song||6–3|
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- "WORLD RANKINGS After 2016 Indian Open". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 26 July 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- "Tian Pengfei - Season 2004/2005". Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Chinese pool player drops defamation charges against officials". People's Daily. 6 March 2007. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
- China Daily (2 February 2007). "Taking Potshots". China Internet Information Center. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
- Yu Nan (7 March 2007). "Snooker girl Zhou in sex scandal apologies". China Daily. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
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- "Official World Snooker Ranking List For The 2013/2014 Season" (PDF). World Snooker. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
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- "Mark Allen loses to Joe Perry in International Championship last 16". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
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- "World Snooker Rankings After the 2014 World Championship" (PDF). World Snooker. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
- "Melling / Steadman / Tian / Zhang Qualify". World Snooker. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
- "Tian Pengfei 2014/2015". Snooker.org. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- "Whirlwind Sets Up Ding Clash". World Snooker. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- "Welsh Open: Wales' Lee Walker loses after beating Ding Junhui". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- "Tian Pengfei 2015/2016". Snooker.org. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- "Rory Rules In Ruhr". World Snooker. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- "UK Championship: John Higgins through, but two-time champ Mark Williams crashes out at the York Barbican". The Press (York). Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- "Bingham and Walden to Meet in Quarters". World Snooker. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- "Historic Seedings After 2016 World Championship". Snooker.org. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
- "Tian Pengfei 2016/2017". Snooker.org. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
- "Judd Trump secures 147 maximum break en route to China Open quarters". Eurosport. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
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