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Ryan Day doubled his tally of ranking titles by beating Cao Yupeng 4-0 in the final of the ManBetX Gibraltar Open.
Welshman Day took just 59 minutes to win the final at the Victoria Stadium, capturing the trophy and £25,000 top prize. Breaks of 58, 72 and 100 put him 3-0 up, and he got the better of a scrappy fourth frame to seal victory.
It’s another boost for 37-year-old Day in what was already the best season of his 19-year career. At the start of the campaign he had never won a ranking title, despite reaching four finals. He broke that duck at the Riga Masters in June, and has now added a second. He also reached the semi-finals of the UK Championship and is up to 17th in the world rankings.
Day won seven matches in Gibraltar, notably beating Joe Perry 4-1 in the quarter-finals and edging out Scott Donaldson 4-3 in the semis having been hauled back from 3-0 up to 3-3.
China’s Cao reached the final of a ranking event for the second time; the first coming at the Scottish Open in December when he squandered an 8-4 lead and lost 9-8 to Neil Robertson. This time he was no match for his opponent in the final, though the 27-year-old suffered the added disappointment of missing out on a place at the lucrative Players Championship later this month.
Victory would have shot Cao into the top 16 of the one-year ranking list and given him a spot in Llandudno, but the £12,000 runner-up prize is not enough, so Graeme Dott clings on to 16th position (click here for the line up). On the official two-year list, Cao is up seven places to 43rd.
Day said: “To win two tournaments in a short space of time is really good and there are a lot of positives to take from this week. I scored well when I got chances in the final.
“My goal now is to get into the top 16 in time for the World Championship so I don’t have to qualify (he currently lies 17th in the race to the Crucible). Everyone in the mix is desperate to do that because it’s a massive advantage. I’m not in the China Open so I’ll need a good run in Llandudno to achieve that.
“At the Welsh Open I played with a new cue, I only got it 15 minutes before my first match and I thought it was the cue I had been looking for since my old one snapped in September. I lost in the first round there, but this week I have cemented the fact that it was the right decision and this is going to be the cue going forward.”