In the April issue of Snooker Scene, out tomorrow, we attempt to analyse the decline in fortunes of China's no.1 player by asking 'What's Gone Wrong With Ding?'

It's a pertinent question given his poor display today in losing to Xiao Guodong.

His top 16 place is not yet secure for next season.

Xiao played OK but was so nervous towards the end that he was clearly there for the taking.

Ding's dreadful shot from yellow to green in the last showed he was also feeling the pressure.

Something needs to happen to prevent one of snooker's brightest stars from burning out long before his time.

It's his 22nd birthday tomorrow but I doubt he'll feel like celebrating.


Anonymous said...

the talent is there - I think one big win could turn it all around (if he'd have beaten Maguire in the Welsh he could well have reached the final)

he needs to watch videos of his UK win and more importantly his NI win, when he was at his best, to remind himself of the ability he has

Anonymous said...

It would appear that he's never really recovered his game after that hammering at the hands of O'Sullivan in the Masters final.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

It is amazing to think Ding is now a 'veteran' of the China snooker scene. Before worrying about his performance(s) this season, the question remains: 'can he stay in the top 16?' With compatriot - Wenbo - to come in Sheffield, it will be a fight to the finish to see who stays in...and who goes up...it is now vital he beats Wenbo...regardless of how he plays.

Just a question about Xiao Guodong. Did he drop out the top 96and go on to the PIOS circuit? I only ask as he was given a wildcard this week, and I misconscrued and thought he was already in the top 96. Meaning he would've had two bites at the China Open cherry this week. The WSA wouldn't do that...would they now?

Just a note about David Gray. It is unbelievable to think it was this time 3 years ago, when DG faced Jimmy White at Sheffied in the first round. It was an eliminator as whoever lost would drop out the top 16. In a terrible match, DG won and White dropped out to be followed a year later by DG himself. The funny thing is, that since that match in 2006, the Whirlwind has played better than DG. Does DG have any personal problems going on, Dave? I remember his mother looked after him on the finance front, didn't she? Hope he bounces back.

Thanks, Joe

Matt said...

Xiao has been in the PIOS this season yeah, has done very well too, winning two events and now leading the rankings.

SupremeSnooker.com said...

Having watched Ding play a number of times in recent months, I think he may be suffering from burnout.
I look forward to reading the new edition of Snooker Scene with interest, and I wonder whether he has a fully rounded life with enough healthy interests outside the game to give him some escapism.
My suspicion is that he's trying too hard.

Anyway, it looks like Snooker Scene have missed an exclusive! The new kids on the block have beaten you to this one! Take a look at the latest headline on the front page at: http://www.supremesnooker.com

Anonymous said...

i dont think the match V Ronnie has anything to do with Dings "downturn".

i think his home country put far too much expectation on him now that hes had a few very good wins. that expectation was hope back then.

i think he now gets caught up in the moment now that he is getting a bit more worldy wise and he isnt the carefreee young 18 year old we knew.

his confidence is shattered. he has the weight of millions on his shoulders. when you play bad these things are magnified and i dont think he has learned to cope with it.

hopefully he will as his talent is that of a top 6 player IMO

Monique said...

I agree with the last post and maybe Ding's best chance would be that Liang gets more in the spotlights and takes part of the expectations and the pressure that goes with it.
For me the signs were there already in the 2006 UK when he was the defending champion but was completely shattered because he had just been in the Asian games (and I don't think he was given much choice to go there or not). He was gutted and not enjoying himself a single bit.
The 2007 Masters hammering - coming only a month later - didn't help his confidence of course. Not so much because he was beaten but because he was beaten hard having actually played excellent during the whole tournament, including the first part of that final. And because for the first time he actually had boasted a bit and "warned" his opponent he could play even better... and then he was somehow humiliated and lost "face".
Personally I'm not sure he still really "wants" to be a snooker player just now ... but what other choice does he have?

Anonymous said...

thanks mon (yer not bad for a *** fan)

Devil's Advocate said...

I agree with suggestions that Ding hasn't recovered from his Masters defeat to O'Sullivan.

Without wishing to be disrespectful, this would indicate (in my view) that he does not have the right people around him.

Yes practicising with his compatriots must help him in foreign surroundings, but perhaps it has become too much of a comfort zone and/or whoever manages him hasn't done a good enough job of reducing the burden of expectation.

I think a change of surroundings would do him good, or perhaps to seek the advice of people like Terry Griffiths.

Otherwise he could become the next James Wattana.

Anonymous said...

i think Ding has had many good results or at least played some great matches (not just in WPBSA events) since that one match V O'Sullivan so i dont think that has any more to do with it than some of his other dissapointments

Anonymous said...

It's very simple, Ding is just another big talent who will burn and fade away very soon because he's not strong mentally at all! that's the sad truth!