Ding wins historic Shanghai Masters final

Ding wins historic Shanghai Masters final

Ding Junhui has won the first ever all-Chinese ranking event final, beating Xiao Guodong 10-6 to capture a maiden Shanghai Masters title, his first major win in the country since 2005.


Xiao Guodong and Ding Junhui Shanghai Masters final 2013

Shanghai Masters runner-up Xiao Guodong and champion Ding Junhui

Photos in this article are courtesty of World Snooker's Tai Chengzhe. Click here for all the results from the Shanghai Masters.

Since players like Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo came to the forefront of snooker after Ding's victory in the 2005 China Open 2005, many of them have emerged and threatened to challenge for ranking titles but only Ding has won any and is currently the only one of them in the top 16.

Yesterday in the Shanghai Masters final, we saw what many thought would be happening a lot sooner, the first all-Chinese ranking event final, contested between Ding and another up and coming Asian talent, Xiao Guodong.

Many were just as surprised to see Ding in the final as they were Xiao, considering that the Chinese no.1 had never even appeared in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters before and hadn't even reached a final in the country since 2010. 

Xiao himself was a breath of fresh air to the tournament, a surprise 5-2 victory over Stephen Maguire in the first round followed by wins over Peter Lines, Mark Davis and Michael Holt propelled the 24-year-old to his very first ranking event final.

In the early stages of the final, no player could pull more than two ahead with frames shared before Ding dominated frames 7 to 9 with top runs of 126 and 58 to go 6-3 ahead.

Last season's PTC Grand Finals quarter-finalist Xiao pulled one back with a 78 before six-times major winner Ding reeled off yet another three frames on the bounce with breaks of 58, 78 and 81 to go one away from victory at 9-4.

Xiao kept himself in contention, winning the next two with top runs of 46 and 45 to pull the match back to 9-6 before Ding won the frame he needed with a break of 71 to seal the 10-6 victory, his first major win in his home country since winning the 2005 China Open as a wildcard.

What will be interesting to see is that now Xiao is ranked firmly inside the top 32 and playing extremely well, can he push on and continue to challenge for tournaments or will he hit a rough patch and struggle for results, similarly Liang Wenbo after reaching the 2009 Shanghai Masters final.

What will be certain though is that now Ding has broken his bad run of form in Chinese events, that he probably won't have to wait another eight years to lift another major trophy in his home country.

He will no doubt be much more favoured now to win what has been dubbed the "fourth major", the International Championship in Chengdu, which this year starts on the 27th October.


 Ding Junhui Shanghai Masters Snooker Champion 2013

Shanghai Masters 2013 Champion - Ding Junhui


Posted Sep 23, 2013
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