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Zhang On Top In Xi’an

Zhang Anda beat Zhao Jianbo 5-3 in the final to win his second China Billiards And Snooker Association ranking title in Xi’an.

Chinese professional players Xiao Guodong, Li Hang, Zhou Yuelong, Yuan Sijun, Zhao Xintong and Lu Ning were among the 64 competitors at the five-day main event. Zhao Jianbo, age just 15, showed his potential with a fine run to the final, after becoming Asian Under-21 champion last month.

Zhang Anda knocked out the likes of Zhang Jiankang and Li Hang to reach the final, then beat Zhao with top breaks of 74, 80 and 75.

“I’m happy with my performance today, I made a few decent breaks,” said 27-year-old Zhang. “My young opponent played really well this week. I expected a tough final.

‘I’m not happy with my results on the professional tour so far. There have been a lot of ups and downs. I’m flying to the UK tomorrow and the new season begins next week for me. There are more tournaments and higher prize money nowadays. I believe this title will give me confidence.”

Zhang announced on social media last week that he was recently married, and he dedicated this title to his wife.

He added: “Also thanks to my family. I thought about giving up snooker countless times because I’m still waiting for my breakthrough and I’m not young any more. But the ones close to me have always encouraged me.”

Zhang received a cheque for 50,000 RMB, while Zhao Jianbo won 20,000. Fan Zhengyi made the highest break of 143, earning him a 5,000 bonus.