With Ding one coming through in such blistering style against Alan McManus in the semifinals, many had made the Chinese number one a strong favourite against Mark Selby who struggled at times against Marco Fu in their match on Friday.
Unfortunately for Ding, 2014 world champion Selby kept him frozen out in the first session, scoring top breaks of 91, 76, 120 and 70 to race to a commanding 7-1 lead.
Ding fought back strong over the next two sessions, reducing Selby's lead to only 11-10 with some fantastic scoring including two tons of 103 and 6 other 50+ breaks.
Selby once again found his potting boots to take a 14-11 lead at the end of the afternoon, before resuming strong in the final session to take a commanding 16-11 lead to put himself on the cusp of victory.
11-time ranking event winner Ding fought back strongly, making breaks of 73, 70 and 103 (86th at the Crucible this tournament, joint all-time record) to give himself hope at 16-14.
From then on it was all Selby as the Jester from Leicester won a tight 31st frame before sealing the 32nd with a cool break of 74 to lift the World Snooker Championship trophy for an incredible second time in just three years.
"To win the world title was a huge achievement and something I'd always wanted to do, but I never dreamt of winning it twice,” said Selby.
"I don't know what is more of a shock, Leicester winning the Premier League title or me winning the world championship twice!”
Many were expecting Mark Selby to win another world title at some point in his career, but to do it only two years on from his first triumph is incredible. He becomes only the 6th player in the modern era (after Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, John Higgins, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Williams) to win the title twice, and many punters will fancy their chances on Selby winning a third title in 2017.
Ding Junhui probably would of guessed at 7-0 down it was very unlikely that he would go on to win his first Crucible title, but he can be incredibly proud how he responded and how he played over the past three weeks in Sheffield. Surely a first world title will come sooner than later.
In other news, World Snooker have announced that the World Snooker Championship will be remaining at the Crucible Theatre until at least 2027. A huge announcement that will mean a lot for both fans of snooker and the city of Sheffield itself.
For all the frame scores, results and breaks from the World Snooker Championship 2016, head to Snooker.org.
World Snooker Championship 2016 - Final Scores
Mark Selby 18-14 Ding Junhui
125-8 (91), 70-68 (DJ 52), 101-43 (76), 124-0 (120)
100-0 (70), 77-38, 47-68, 14-107
73-22, 30-92 (76), 1-103 (103), 49-93 (89)
71-1, 0-86 (86), 52-82 (55), 86-25, 67-27
7-121 (89), 56-61, 126-11 (126), 0-103 (103)
75-43 (52), 118-9 (68), 1-69 (52), 75-11 (55)
103-0 (57), 67-60 (DJ 60), 0-87 (73), 0-108 (70)
0-103 (103), 59-11, 74-0 (74)