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Ding Battles Past Ford

Ding Junhui is through to the Six Red World Championship final for a third time, after defeating Tom Ford 7-4 in Pathum Thani.

This evening’s victory for Chinese superstar Ding sets up a blockbuster all-Asian final against Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh. They will do battle over the best of 15 frames, with a top prize of just over £100,000 and a trophy given to the event by the King of Thailand up for grabs.

Ding’s first Six Red world final came back in 2016, when he prevailed in an epic contest with Stuart Bingham 8-7 to become champion. He also faced Kyren Wilson in the 2018 title match, but lost out 8-4.

Ford held off a steely fightback from John Higgins yesterday evening, to prevail 6-5 and make the semis. He had led 5-0, but was pegged back to a deciding frame before emerging a 6-5 victor.

This time Ford assumed the role of pursuer, when Ding charged out to a 4-1 lead, crafting a run of 63 along the way. Ford took the sixth on the black and then won the seventh to pull within a frame at 4-3. The Leicester cueman fired in a superb break of 74 in the eighth to restore parity at 4-4.

However, from there it was Ding who recovered his composure and surged for the line. The 14-time ranking event winner racked up three frames on the bounce, including breaks of 70 and 64, to seal his place in the final.

Ding said: “It is all Asia, between China and Thailand. It is going to be very fun. It is a home game for him. I know he has won the event before so it is very exciting for tomorrow.

“I played alright, but made some bad decisions at 4-1 up and he came back to 4-4. Six reds is a very quick game and you only need five reds and colours to win. That makes it difficult and makes the safety shots important.

“Winning always gives you very good memories to keep going for the next tournaments. Winning matches is about consistency, so this event should help.”