Newport Centre, Newport - February 13-19 2012
Ding Junhui nearly looked down and out of this years Welsh Open when he was 3-2 down to John Higgins buit the defending champion rattled the final pink and Ding came back to win the match and after that the 2010 Masters champion never looked back.
His opponent Mark Selby got the better of Ronnie O'Sullivan in the semi-finals but it was Ding who had the advantage at the end of the afternoon session, leading 5-3 with the help of breaks of 103, 64, 90 and 51.
Selby looked like to make it a more closely fought final as he came back to 5-4 behind with a break of 73 but from that point Ding made further breaks of 83, 124 and 130 to take a commanding 8-5 lead and only needing one more to lift the famous Welsh slate trophy.
The man from Leicester then showed his trademark resillience and hit a fabulous break of 145 to take the tournament high break prize of £1,000 but in the end that would be his only condolence as Ding only needed two trys to make enough points in the last frame to win match and tournament 9-6.
It's great to see Ding back in the winners enclosure again. He looked like after winning the Masters and reaching the world semis last year that he was going to be a strong force in the 11/12 season but failed to perform in the major events. Now though he will be confident going in to the last quarter of the season with his 5th ranking title under his belt.
Next up is the China Open qualifiers (see the draw here) and then it's the televised stages of the Haikou World Open in China, followed shortly after by the PTC Grand Finals in Galway. Plenty more snooker to come before the world championships in April!
Once again, congratulations to Ding Junhui, the 888真人 Welsh Open 2012 champion!
Ding Junhui 888真人 Welsh Open 2012 Champion
Photo - World Snooker