Ding Storms to Daqing Final
Ding Junhui produced a magnificent performance in the first semi-final of the International Championship to progress to Sunday’s final.
The home favourite is looking to secure back to back titles in China, following his victory at last month’s Shanghai Masters.
His opponent was Judd Trump who has been on a spectacular run this month. He defeated Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final at the European Masters in Bucharest and was runner up to Liang Wenbo at the English Open in Manchester.
However, it was Ding who set an electric pace in this last four encounter. He stormed to a 6-0 lead during the afternoon session. After stealing the second frame on the black to lead 2-0, the Dragon stopped his opponent from scoring a single point in the next four. Ding compiled breaks of 61, 43, 49 and 47, as he moved just three frames from victory with 11 left to play. Breaks of 81 and 90 helped Trump to claim the final two frames and keep his hopes alive going into the final session, although he still trailed 6-2.
The Englishman’s hopes of a comeback were dashed in the opening frame of the evening’s play. A contribution of 61 helped Ding to go a further frame ahead.
World number six Ding then seemed to go off the boil for a couple of frames and Trump sensed an opportunity. He closed the gap to 7-4. However, that was as good as it got for the Juddernaught.
Ding regained his composure and made a magnificent clearance of 134, before taking the final frame with a run of 72 to secure a brilliant 9-4 win.
Afterwards the 2016 world finalist, who will face either Mark Selby or Stuart Bingham in the final, was in jubilant mood.
“I’m very happy with how I played today. Judd is a good player, we always have good matches when we play,” said Ding. “I will just keep trying to play my snooker whoever I play. I will try to take my chances. I’m just happy to be in the final. I love to win any event I can in China.”
“I was too tired today,” said Trump. “I’ve played a lot of games. I tried my hardest but I couldn’t concentrate and made so many mistakes. Ding didn’t play great but he did enough. He scored when I left him in.”