Ding Junhui admitted he is determined to return to the winner’s circle after whitewashing Dominic Dale 5-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the BildBet German Masters.
China’s Ding, a winner of 14 career ranking titles, last lifted silverware over a year ago at the 2019 UK Championship. He is keen to add to his title tally this week.
If the Asian number one is to do so, he is going to have to overcome world number one Judd Trump, who he faces in tomorrow’s quarter-finals.
It was a straightforward victory over Dale this afternoon for Ding, who eased to the win in just one hour and four minutes. Ding composed breaks of 104, 101, 57 and 66 on his way to the whitewash.
After the match Ding stated his desire to return to the winning ways and complimented compatriot Yan Bingtao for his recent victory at the Masters.
Ding said: “I haven’t won since the UK Championship last season. I am looking forward to winning another one. I’m watching Judd, Neil, Ronnie and Selby keep winning all of the tournaments. I want to join them. I’m not that bad!
“He (Yan Bingtao) deserved to win. He tried so hard. He played great and gave everything for the Masters. Every time his opponent missed he took chances and won some very important frames.
“It is good for the young players. They are starting to believe in winning tournaments, even the very big ones. Yan Bingtao has also now got a lot of confidence to win more tournaments. He is only very young, just over 20 years old. He has ten or fifteen years to win a lot of tournaments.”
Defending champion Trump booked his place in the last eight with a tense 5-3 win over former Players Champion Joe Perry.
World number one Trump is aiming to hit the ground running in 2021, having missed the first event of the year due to returning a positive Covid-19 test at the Masters.
The Ace in the Pack has already notched up three ranking titles this campaign, after winning the English Open, the Northern Ireland Open and the World Grand Prix.
Trump led 4-3, but the match had looked set to be going to a decider when Perry led 65-8 in the eighth frame. However, Trump produced a crucial clearance of 58 to steal on the black and win 5-3.
Trump said: “It is always tough against him. You never win easily against Joe. He is the sort of player you need to beat to win these big events. In the end I made a good break to finish the match.”
Tom Ford defeated Stuart Carrington 5-2 to set up an all-Leicester quarter-final against Joe O’Connor, who whitewashed Fergal O’Brien 5-0.
World number 14 Jack Lisowski booked his place in the last eight with a 5-2 defeat of Luca Brecel.