Ding Junhui carried the momentum from his stunning UK Championship win in York on Sunday to Glasgow, as he swept past Michael White 4-1 in the opening round of the 19.com Scottish Open.
Chinese number one Ding, who now has 14 ranking titles to his name, dramatically returned to the big time by claiming the title in his adopted home county of Yorkshire. He compiled four centuries while defeating Stephen Maguire in the final 10-6 to become UK Champion.
That win ended a two-year ranking title drought for Ding and was his first Triple Crown silverware since the 2011 Masters.
This afternoon it was White who started fastest, composing a break of 76 to take the opener. However, from there Ding took complete control of the tie. He fired in breaks of 60, 104, 83 and 118 to romp to a comprehensive victory. He will now face compatriot Mei Xiwen in the second round.
Ding said: “It was a good win. Last week I did well and the confidence is still building up. There wasn’t much pressure today. Maybe just travelling up and playing again so quickly. I’m looking forward to the next round.
“The confidence was totally lost and my practice routines were totally wrong. I was just hitting balls and there was no target. That made my game weak. That was why I haven’t done well over the past two seasons.
“Things are looking good now and starting to get better. I need to keep this up and keep going.”
Rocket Downs the Spaceman
Ronnie O’Sullivan recovered from 3-1 down to beat Dominic Dale 4-3 and set up an intriguing second round clash with James Cahill.
It will be the first meeting between O’Sullivan and Cahill since the World Championship back in May. On that occasion Cahill, playing as an amateur, defeated five-time Crucible king O’Sullivan 10-8 in one of snooker’s greatest ever shocks.
Today Welshman Dale pushed O’Sullivan onto the back foot in the early stages, claiming the opening two frames. O’Sullivan then responded with a break of 81 to make it 2-1.
The 36-time ranking event winner had then looked set to restore parity, before trying to power in a final black to the left middle. He missed the pot and caused the white to fly from the table, handing Dale the frame.
From 3-1 down, 44-year-old O’Sullivan burst into life. Runs of 64, 80 and 83 saw him take three on the bounce to win 4-3 and progress.
Maguire Struggling For Fire
Stephen Maguire admitted to struggling for motivation following his run to last week’s UK Championship final, but still managed to secure a 4-0 win over Jimmy White.
The Scot rounded off victory with a break of 92 this evening. That sets up a last 64 clash with Marco Fu.
“I’ve come down from a big high on Sunday,” said Maguire. “It was quite hard to get excited about that match there. Maybe if I can win a couple of games here and get the blood flowing then I can get up for it.
“I’m definitely not getting my hopes up. I get too nervous here with it being my home event. There are good nerves and bad nerves, but these are bad ones.”
World Champion Judd Trump wasted little time in dispatching Morocco’s Amine Amiri 4-0. The world number one required just 49 minutes to complete the whitewash win and will face Yuan Sijun next.
Scotland’s former Masters winner Alan McManus secured a fine 4-1 win over young Chinese star Zhao Xintong to set up a last 64 meeting with Thai legend James Wattana.
Jack Lisowski beat Zhang Anda 4-1 to progress to the second round, while former UK and Masters champion Matthew Stevens ousted 2015 World Champion Stuart Bingham 4-2.
Kyren Wilson came from 3-2 down against Iran’s Hossein Vafaei to emerge a narrow 4-3 victor.