Ding’s the king in Yixing
Ding Junhui won the 2014 Yixing Open by beating Michael Holt 4-2 in the final in China.
Home favourite Ding took the £10,000 top prize at the season’s first Asian Tour event to delight his fans in the Jiangsu Province.
He won the first three frames against Holt with a top break of 84. Nottingham’s Holt pulled two back before Ding sealed victory with a run of 88 in frame six.
It’s a return to form for 27-year-old Ding who lost in the first round of the World Chamionship to Michael Wasley and suffered a shock 5-0 defeat against amateur Oliver Brown in the Wuxi Classic qualifiers. In Yixing, he looked more like the player who won five ranking titles last season as he made five centuries and 12 more breaks over 50 during the five-day tournament.
“I played consistently well in the tournament and kept determined through to the end,” said Ding. “I knew I was in good form and it showed in the tournament. I was able to concentrate every time I make a mistake or a clearance.
“In the final, Michael had chances in the first frame. Then I made two good breaks to win the second frame to go 2-0, and an 80 to go 3-0. I had loads of chances in the fourth frame to close the match but didn’t take them, and Michael pulled two frames back. He got the momentum as well which was very dangerous, because it’s easy to perform a big come back in a best of seven match.”
Holt, who has won two Players Tour Championship events in the past and was runner-up in an Asian Tour event last season, said: “It’s the same table and the same venue in the final, so you are just playing the game and trying to win. Ding’s a really great player and a great person as well. It’s nice to play him in the final and good luck to him.
“You always miss a few balls in matches and Ding just beat me on the day. He just played well. I’m quite happy with the way I played all week. I think I’m playing well enough, it’s just about being calm and composed. I can make a break through at any time.”
Earlier in the semi-finals, Holt beat Robert Milkins 4-2 with a top break of 82 while Ding saw off Ryan Day 4-2 with a top run of 128.