Monday, 18 March 2013

Ding shines in Galway

Ding Junhui - the 2013 PTC Grand Finals champion
Ding Junhui obtained a brilliant 4-3 victory over Neil Robertson in the Dafabet PTC Grand Finals from Galway, Ireland after the Australian player led him by an incredible-close-to-win 3-0 scoreline.

It was a magnificent night here in Galway, the final of the PTC Grand Finals concluding six days of intense cue-crossings that saw a lot of twist and turns. And the "tradition” was honoured one more during the final match, as the lads went all the way until the last frame.

Saint Patrick may be Ireland's guardian/patron, but since no Irish player managed to reach the final, he seemed to be watching over Ding Junhui.

The Chinese player who just a day ago scored a brilliant 147 by playing the recent winner of the Haikou World Open, Mark Allen, started the match with nothing but a break of 41 points, to which the powerful Australian replayed with a decisive 88 clearance, in order to take the first frame.

Neil Robertson - the 2013 PTC Grand Finals runner-up
Another hit, this time under the form of breaks of 58 and 22 brought another frame into Robertson's account, while a missed red with the rest by Ding during the third frame, left the way opened for Neil and his 60 break.

At 3-0 the Aussie's victory seemed inevitable and yet ... Ding wasn't very keen about that.

In his own characteristic way, the little Chinese star hit in runs of 52 and 70 to conquer his first frame, raised the bar with a glorious 130 clearance and forced the most-wanted decider with breaks of 36 and 20.

What followed next was a typical "you stay in your seat and I'll do the talking" for Ding stormed in and took the last frame with a clear 98 break for a well-deserved 4-3 victory.

Aiming for the title
There was no punch in the air, no roar, not even a fist-showing, but the winner smiled and put his hand on his heart, showing how much this victory means to him.

It couldn't have been a more balanced final than this one, so it's only fair to say that although Robertson didn't win, he did one hell of a job. 

Both players recorded smashing victories this week and with the China Open and the grand World Championship up next in the calendar, one can only wonder if we shall see a re-make of the 2010 final (with Robbo as champion) or a brand new and revolutionary win for the Chinese player who masters the game of snooker so well.

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