Zhao Xintong craving karaoke following UK Championship win

Stars including Jimmy White and Ronnie O’Sullivan have queued up to anoint Zhao Xintong as the next big thing and he lived up to the hype by defeating Luca Brecel in the UK Championship final on Sunday

Last Updated: 06/12/21 7:20am

Zhao Xintong claimed the UK Championship at the York Barbican

Zhao Xintong completed a convincing 10-5 win over Luca Brecel to claim the UK Championship crown in York.

The 24-year-old, who was competing in his first career final, took a 5-3 lead in the first session before converting his advantage in the evening session.

Zhao revealed his more immediate concern was to celebrate his historic triumph with a karaoke party back at his home in Sheffield.

“I will go home and have a good sleep, and maybe tomorrow I will sing karaoke,” said Zhao, who trains at the Victoria Snooker Academy in the city. “I will do the song ‘We Are The Champions’.”

Ronnie knew… ?#CazooUKChampionship @CazooUK https://t.co/wA3FP301H7

— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST)

December 5, 2021

Big congrats to @WwwXintongzhao ??????everyone was just waiting for it to happen. Also to luca played amazing all tournament #talent #winners

— reanne evans MBE (@evans_reanne)

December 5, 2021

Zhao said he had a troubled night’s sleep prior to the final having not wished to tempt fate by booking an additional night in a hotel prior to his thumping semi-final win over Barry Hawkins.

“I found a great hotel (in the end),” said Zhao. “I didn’t want to make myself nervous, so I didn’t book the hotel – because if I had lost, I could have gone to Sheffield and had karaoke yesterday.”

Brecel was magnanimous in defeat and joined the chorus of praise for the 24-year-old, insisting he has now cemented his place at the top of the sport.

“Zhao just didn’t give me a chance really,” said Brecel. “I think he potted three times off my break-off and made 80, 90 breaks.

“You would think at the end he would crumble but he didn’t, he just played the same stuff.

“If you make mistakes in a final it is disappointing but this time there was nothing I could do. He’s only 24, he’s in the top eight now and he’s going to stay there until he dies.”

Well done to @WwwXintongzhao absolutely amazing performance and achievement. Also unlucky to Luca great tournament. Both great lads.#Greatforsnooker

— Mark Selby (@markjesterselby)

December 5, 2021

Zhao’s victory sees him move up to ninth place in the world rankings, making him eligible to compete at the invitational Masters tournament in London.

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