Jack Lisowski: Behind The Shot

Walden Storms Into Final

Ricky Walden thrashed Robert Milkins 9-2 in Chengdu to reach the final of the International Championship.

World number 11 Walden dominated a one-sided match, winning the last six frames in a row as he set up a final meeting with either Mark Allen or Mark Williams. Sunday’s best-of-19 final will end with the winner receiving £125,000.

Chester’s 31-year-old Walden is through to his third ranking final and has won both of his previous two – both in China. He beat Ronnie O’Sullivan to win the 2008 Shanghai Masters and Stuart Bingham at the 2012 Wuxi Classic.

He took the first two frames today before Gloucester’s Milkins, who had hoped to reach his first ranking final, pulled one back with a break of 75. An excellent 65 clearance gave Walden frame four, then Milkins took the next for 3-2. From that point Walden dominated, piling in runs of 107, 54, 87 and 74 as he swept to victory.

“There were a few scrappy frames early on, Rob missed a few chances and let me off the hook a bit,” said former World and UK Championship semi-finalist Walden. “I kept my foot on the gas and played steady. For a semi-final, I felt as if I was hitting the ball nicely.

“Tomorrow I’ll just rest, go for a run and hit a few balls. I’m really looking forward to the final. It’s tough for me to say who I’d prefer to play because Allen and Williams are both brilliant players.”

Walden, who was runner-up at the Six Red World Championship in Thailand last month, has beaten Lyu Chenwei, David Morris, Zhou Yuelong, Joe Swail, Jamie Burnett and Milkins in this tournament.

The second semi-final between Allen and Williams is on Saturday.