Who do you think will be the next player follow the likes of Ali Carter in Wales 2009, Ricky Walden in Shanghai 2008 and Mark Selby in Wales 2008 ? Some of the contenders include (by ranking):
Mark Allen - Age 24.
Next season will be his third in the top 16. He's reached a World semi-final in 2009 and that remains his best result in a ranker to date.
Ryan Day - Age 30.
Three times a ranking finalist but yet to break through with that win. Peaked @ #6 in the rankings last year, has the all-round game but perhaps lacks temparement.
Mark King - Age 36.
Now entering his sixth season in the top 16, two times he's been a win away from winning that elusive first title. Running out of chances at the highest level.
Liang Wenbo - Age 23.
Still in the infancy of his top-level career, managed to reach the 2009 Shanghai final which helped him force his way into the 16 for the first time. Likely a matter of when, not if, he wins one.
Jamie Cope - Age 24.
Like Wenbo, still a relative youngster but seems to have been around forever and still hasn't reached the top 16. Two ranking finals but nothing for nearly three years.
Judd Trump - Age 20.
All the signs at this stage of Trump's career suggest he'll reach the pinnacle of this sport, but is it too soon now ? Best result in the Grand Prix 2 years ago reaching the last four.
Plenty of other worthy candidates around too but perhaps an equally valid question is, will there be a first-timer next season ? There weren't any last season, one could point towards the small number of rankers available but the dominance of the likes of Higgins, O'Sullivan and now Robertson could last a while longer yet.
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