The emergence of China as a force in snooker was one of the most important developments of the decade about to end so it was perhaps apt that Ding Junhui won its last ranking event tonight.
His victory in the Pukka Pies UK Championship was hard fought. He beat four members of the world's top five in Telford, culminating in a dramatic 10-8 victory over John Higgins in the final.
Ding's fourth ranking title makes him the most successful player to come out of Asia.
Higgins missed a simple brown to lead 8-7 but it was through carelessness rather than pressure. Ironicially, he slipped up because he was playing for position on the blue to give him extra insurance. He took his eye off a seemingly unmissable brown and the match turned at this late stage.
Credit, though, to Ding for the way he held himself together at the end.
He is a fine young player who has now won ranking titles by beating then four greatest players in snooker history in finals: Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, Ronnie O'Sullivan and now Higgins.
China remains important to snooker's future growth. It won't all rest on Ding's shoulders but he remains the standard bearer.
His victory capped a superb tournament that was well attended and marked out by some very exciting matches.
But what a shame that, yet again, it was a midnight finish. These used to be a novelty, now they are commonplace.
This is too late for kids, too late for those with work in the morning and too late for casual viewers - the very people snooker needs to attract.
Starting at 7pm would at least mean that, come 10.30pm, a casual viewer may stick with the match because there are only two or three frames to go rather than a more daunting five or six.
Not a word of how the match ended will appear in most editions of the morning newspapers.
And the peak viewing audience figure is almost certain to be around an hour before the end.
Let's hope Barry Hearn forces a rethink in future.