Home Hero Un-Nooh Wins Thriller
Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh is through to the final of his home event, the Six Red World Championship, after beating Hossein Vafaei 7-6 in a pulsating semi-final showdown in Pathum Thani.
World number 45 Un-Nooh is the only Thai ever to have won the tournament, having become Six Red World Champion back in 2015 after beating Liang Wenbo 8-2 in the final. He was also runner-up to Mark Williams in 2017.
The former Shoot Out winner now takes on either Ding Junhui or Tom Ford in tomorrow’s showpiece, where there will be a top prize of over £100,000 on the line, as well as a stunning trophy granted to the event by the King of Thailand.
Iran’s Vafaei will be disappointed to fall just short of the final, but can take confidence from a great run this week, which included beating John Higgins and a thrilling 6-5 quarter-final defeat of Judd Trump.
It was Vafaei who made the early running in this match. He surged into a 5-2 lead, but there was a crucial turning point in the eighth frame.
Vafaei looked to be in a strong position among the balls, but narrowly missed a red to the top left on 20 and left it over the pocket. Un-Nooh cleared with 50 to claw back within two. He then won the next on the pink, after Vafaei squandered a straight blue to the top right, making it 5-4.
The next went the way of 28-year-old Vafaei to leave him just one from the win. However, a gutsy break of 59 from Un-Nooh kept the game alive. Both players missed chances on the colours in a dramatic 12th, before Un-Nooh deposited a tricky black to left middle. He dominated the decider to send his home fans into raptures and emerge a 7-6 victor.
“I am so relieved. When I was 6-4 down I was not feeling good. I just looked at my family to give me some power. He missed in the last frame and I got the first chance. It is a good game to win,” said 37-year-old Un-Nooh.
“I’m very glad to play among them (Thai fans), including my family. This is a very rare chance to get into the final of a big event in Thailand. I will do my best in the final now.
“The fans helped me a lot. They were with me on every shot and that gave me energy to pot the balls. Hopefully tomorrow there will be even more of them.
“It will be a huge moment tomorrow. It has been eight years since I won the trophy in this event. I’ve been waiting for a very long time to win the Six Red again. It would be great if I can lift the trophy.”