Results - Photos by Tai Chengzhe
Wuxi City Sports Park Stadium, China - 25 June - 1 July
Flintshire's Ricky Walden's first ranking title came in the 2008 Shanghai Masters where as a qualifier he went on to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final. However since then apart from reaching the UK Championship semi-finals he has failed to recapture the same form.
With the Wuxi Classic in China being made in to a full ranking event and with the exclusions of Ronnie O'Sullivan, John Higgins & Matthew Stevens from the tournament many lower ranked professionals took the chance to make an impression in the first ranking event of the season with Walden and Stuart Bingham eventually reaching the final.
However Bingham failed to recapture the form that won him the two previous tournaments and apart from making a 147 break in the sixth frame (only the third in a final) he also looked tired throughout as Walden raced to a 9-1 lead in the best of 19 encounter.
Bingham rallied back to 9-4 with the help of runs of 103 and 100 but in the end it was too late as Walden knocked in a 74 break to win the match 10-4, take home £75,000 and his second major trophy from China.
It's not all bad for Bingham however as he took home a bonus of £7,000 for his maximum and his form looks great going in to the defence of his Australian Open title in two weeks. With the Essex man also playing in tomorrow's Six-red World Championship in Thailand he will definitely be difficult to stop in the upcoming weeks.
Walden however will now think that he has won two ranking events that he is good enough to make the top 8 in the rankings and continiously challenge for tournaments in the years to come and establish himself as one of snooker's big stars.