Ding Junhui stormed to a 10-3 victory over Kyren Wilson to win the Yushan World Open and claim his 13th ranking title.
The win comes 12 years on from Ding’s maiden tournament victory, which he secured by beating Stephen Hendry as a teenager at the 2005 China Open. He has now won 13 of 18 appearances in ranking finals.
Victory in Yushan carries great significance for China’s top star, seeing him move to number two in the world rankings after claiming the £150,000 top prize. Ding has also now progressed to sixth on the all-time list of ranking titles won. In the process he has overtaken Mark Selby and Neil Robertson, who both have 12 to their name.
Wilson’s third ranking final didn’t go the way he would have hoped. His first and only win to date came at the 2015 Shanghai Masters, where he defeated Judd Trump in a 10-9 thriller. Today’s encounter proved to be a more one sided affair.
It was the opening part of the first session where Ding seized the initiative and did much of the damage. The 30-year-old went on a five frame blitz to move into a 6-1 lead. However, Wilson did respond by compiling runs of 104 and 66 to make it 6-3 and give himself hope going into the evening.
The Warrior failed to carry his momentum into the final session. Ding snatched back control of the game, displaying his break building power with consecutive runs of 67, 69, 71 and 54 to move to the verge of victory. The 12th frame came down to the final pink, which Ding eventually deposited to get over the line and claim the title.
Following the victory Ding, who has now won six ranking events in China, admitted it is extra special to claim victory in front of his fans.
Ding said: “The home crowd always supports me in the same way as it does with Ronnie O’Sullivan in the UK. That makes a big difference. You can see that some players don’t like it, but you have to learn how to deal with it. I found it difficult in the first few years in the UK, but it is about learning.
“I’ve been playing well all week. I’ve really been focused in this event. I’m happy to have played the way I did. I felt good coming into the last session. I won the first three, it got a bit twitchy in the last frame but I came through. The score was a bit misleading, but I didn’t feel too much pressure. I just played my game.”
Wilson praised his opponent for capitalising from his slow start and stamping his authority on the tie.
“Throughout the match, anything I did seemed to backfire and go wrong. I was just playing catch up from the word go. Ding being the class act he is took advantage of that and was very hard to stop,” said the 25-year-old. “At 6-1 down you think it is a hell of a long way back, but to win those two good frames meant I was back in the game at 6-3. I just didn’t get off to a good enough start in the evening and he took full advantage.”