Ding stuns Hendry to take title
Monday 04 April 2005
Ding Junhui delighted home spectators at Beijing's Haidian Stadium yesterday and an estimated television audience of 100 million by beating Stephen Hendry to win the China Open.
Only two days after his 18th birthday, Ding became the second-youngest player to capture a world-ranking title - after Ronnie O'Sullivan - and the first wild-card entry ever to lift one of snooker's major trophies with a stunning 9-5 victory.
Ding will not receive a penny for his triumph, however, even though the event carried £30,000 prize-money for the champion. As a wild card he is entitled to nothing. He withdrew from the qualifying competition in January to accept wild-card status.
Even so, Ding was overjoyed to record the one of the most significant results for the sport's global development in its history.
"I didn't feel under any pressure because I looked at it as a practice match, to learn from Stephen," Ding said.
Ding rallied from a poor start to claim eight of the closing nine frames. "Ding's a great talent," Hendry said. "And what he's done in front of his home crowd is a real achievement."
Ding beat Peter Ebdon 5-0 in the last 32 and Ken Doherty 6-0 in the semi-finals, but the 80-1 pre-tournament outsider appeared to have met his match in Hendry, who took a commanding 4-1 lead.
However, Ding began to find his range, Hendry's safety developed holes and the complexion of the match changed when his rival came back to end the opening session at 4-4.
Ding moved 5-4 ahead on the restart with a run of 107, and remained in front at 6-5 after a pair of scrappy frames and took a 7-5 advantage with a cool 53 clearance to pink after another blunder by Hendry.
By now, Hendry was ragged. Leading by 19 in frame 13 and in the kind of scoring territory he usually relishes, he missed a straightforward pink to a middle pocket. Ding pounced with an 87 clearance and shortly afterwards wrapped up a remarkable win with a run of 103.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Chelsea transfer news: 'Eden Hazard will cost Real Madrid £100m - and a Galactico,' says Jose Mourinho
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...