Report by Syed Asrarullah
Prior to the Indian Open, there was a lot of Michael White talk going as he was fresh from defeating Xiao Guodong in the Snooker Shoot-Out final in Blackpool.
The Snooker Shoot-Out tournament did wonders for Barry Hawkins' career when he won the title back then in 2012 and by the likes of it, it is starting to do the same for Michael White; the Indian Open victory will be his first ever ranking title win in seven years of being professional.
Reaching the Indian Open final was no easy task for Michael as he had to see off his good friend aka traveling mate and former two-time World Champion Mark Williams with a 4-2 victory.
Michael White, Indian Open 2015 Champion (photo by Monique Limbos)
But on the final day, it was a Michael White show all the way as he comfortably knocked in crucial long pots, built up frame-winning breaks and strengthened his grip on the trophy by winning the first four frames before the interval.
A Ricky Walden comeback was expected after the interval since he had staged one in similar fashion during his semifinal match against Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, winning it 3-4 after being 3-0 down but Michael White had something else on his mind as he celebrated with a couple of fist-pumps after knocking in the frame ball (and match ball).
During the presentation ceremony, Ricky did congratulate and commend Michael for outplaying him in all departments of the game. And Michael White? Well, he was ecstatic (and on cloud nine)!
"Ever since I first played snooker at the age of seven, I have dreamed of winning tournaments. It means everything to me, I can't describe how I'm feeling. Since I was nine, people have been on my back to win titles, although the only pressure I feel is what I put on myself. I just want to keep improving now," said Michael.
The Indian Open 2015 sprang many surprises – defending champion Ding Junhui crashing out, Indian hopes Aditya Mehta and Pankaj Advani losing their knockout matches as well and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh playing some amazing snooker on the way to the semifinal. Also, the 'enthralling' commentary by former Indian snooker player Yasin Merchant had the viewers in smiles (and probably splits).