Shaun Murphy staged a remarkable comeback to deny Ding Junhui victory on home soil in the final of the Wuxi Classic today.

Murphy looked set for a heavy defeat when he trailed the local man 8-2 but won the last seven frames to clinch a dramatic 9-8 victory.

Ding, beaten by Murphy in the last 16 of the Betfred.com World Championship a few weeks ago, failed to pot a ball in the last two frames.

"Even at 8-2 down I never stopped believing that I could win," said Murphy, who pocketed a cheque for £20,000.

"When I got to the interval at 8-4 things were looking up and from that point the scoreboard just got better and better for me.

"Ding played well, it wasn't as if he lost it. There was one scrappy frame out of the last seven which I managed to nick, and I won all of the others well."

Murphy's recovery emulates that of Stephen Hendry in the 1991 Wembley Masters final, which he won 9-8 from 8-2 down to Mike Hallett.


Anonymous said...

shame this wasnt a ranking event dave open to all main tour players.its not like snooker is new in china so it couldnt be classed as trying to promote the game out there. this is one thing as a player i hope barry can change . lets not forget barry was touring asia 20 years ago with the matchroom league. its not new out there. its always annoyed players that these events just line a few players pockets .the money and time spent on this should benifit every player so if its not going to be a ranking event then they should look elsewhere.


Oh dear. As much as I like Murphy, and enjoy a good comeback, I fear for Ding and the psychological effect this defeat will have on him.

As one of the games flagbearers and the provisional world number one, he seems to have crossed the divide from being a certain world champion, to joining Stevens and White as the best never to have won it.

I say this because I feel he still hasn't recovered fully from the O'Sullivan maulings a few years ago.

When he first started winning, he seemed oblivious to pressure, and just steeled himself when faced with a big ball and stroked it in.... Robotic almost, like Davis and Hendry many moons before him, he appeared to coolly step up to the job when required.

My own first viewing of Ding, was as a wild card, along with Robertson, in the Masters.

I felt then that Robertson was just a potter, but that Ding, like a young John Higgins, oozed class.

Had somebody offered me evens as to which of the pair would do best, I would have had maximum bet on Ding.

Robertson, however, and Murphy to some extent, have that most precious snooker attribute in abundance. A steely temperament.

Im not writing off the young chinaman.

He may go on to win several world titles yet, but I feel he's lost that unshakable confidence that could, in itself, create the form that plants doubt into his opponents mind, before the match even starts.

Anonymous said...

Why should all tournaments be ranking events. That's exactly the attitude that's held the game back.

All players have the same chance to get in the top 16. The top players are the game's flag bearers and should be in as many tournaments big and small as possible.

The rest have to earn their place, although this still doesn't seem to have occurred to many of them.

Anonymous said...

sorry 11 15 thats the most idiotic thing ive heard for ages on this blog. with only 6 events to enter for ranking points u wonder why players get pissed off seeing invite only events. playing in china is not new to snooker so make it a ranking event or dont bother.there r only 96 pros at any one time so they are quite an elite group of talented people . they cant all get in the top 16 but that doesnt mean they cant play. from a former top 16 player.

Dave H said...

World Snooker have signed a new three year deal starting this year for the Wuxi Classic and said at the Crucible that discussions were underway to make it into a ranking event next season

CHRISK5 said...

Kildare Cueman - Yes,Ding did suffer for 2 1/2 years after his
emotional loss to O'Sullivan at the 2007 Masters.

However,the 2009/2010 season was
a solid rebuilding process &
while this defeat may hurt (for a short while)
I think Ding has definetly turned
the corner & has some momentum
back in his career.

Ding may not go on to dominate like a Hendry or Davis,
But,surely has enough natural talent to stay in the Top 8
for more than a decade to come,
which isn't detrimental to him,
it's a sign of there being so many superb players all at their peak
at the same time.

Another trophy for Shaun Murphy -
similar to Ding the previous season - The 2010/2011 campaign
is crucial for Murphy to
re-establish himself again as
a consistent title contender
in the majors.

Easier said than done though -
One thing that cannot be argued -
The strength of depth in Snooker
right now is an alltime high &
will continue to be so.

Witz78 said...


i agree with you.

I think theres an element of sour grapes from the anonymous former top 16 man to be honest.

You could then say that all the PIOS players are a good standard so they should be in rankers along with the 96 pros, where do you draw the line?

I can understand that the journeymen, youngsters and tour newcomers would be jealous of the elite having more opportuntities to earn cash through other avenues like the Premier League, exhibitions and invitationals like the Wuxi classic, but as 1115 says, they are in this position due to their higher rankings and status within the game. This should be the incentive for the rest to aim for....

This negative attitude is typical of whats rife within the game, hence so many voted against Hearn last week for selfish reasons such as protecting their rankings position, restricting the influx of new talent onto the tour etc.

With regards to the Wuxi classic itself, i do tend to agree that China is no longer an area needing to be tapped into. And its no surprise to see Hearn trying to turn this into a fully fledged ranker. Id like to see more lucrative deals arranged in the Far East events too, since we hear all about the audiences of 100 million and the massive interest in snooker there, yet in comparison, prize money is a paltry 250-300k for the 2 rankers in China.

Fear not lower ranked pros now though, Hearn is in power and you have 20 ranking events this season to enter, so if you are seriously dedicated to your profession, the opportunities are there.

Anonymous said...

not sour grapes wiz. as regards your comment on lower ranked pros they are all dedicated and would not be pros if they were as lazy as your comments.as i said they r a talented bunch of lads but 96 cant fit into 16 . in any sport they cant all be winners but doesnt mean they dont try thier best and are not good at what they do. sorry dave get fed up of armchair critics.

SupremeSnooker.com said...

This is an extraordinary comeback on the same scale as Stephen Hendry's against Mike Hallett at the 1991 Masters final.
I was seven years old in 1991 so can't remember it all that well (I've been watching snooker since I was a toddler, though!). However, I DO know that Mike Hallett was never the same player after that. I sincerely hope Ding manages to put this to the back of his mind and move on from it quickly. It'll hurt that little bit more because it happened in his home town.
I'm glad this tournament could become a full ranking event next season.
Many of the circuit's major tournaments started off as relatively small invitational events and I hope the Wuxi Classic expands as well.

Anonymous said...

world snooker should make it a ranking event. the organiser said the venue in wuxi is the world's only venue that is built specifically for snooker.

Betty Logan said...

The problem with ranking events is that they soak up money like Alex Higgins and Jimmy White soak up beer on a pub crawl.

When you factor in prize money for the qualifiers you're talking at least 250k to stage a full ranker, so straightaway you preclude lots of potential sponsorship from companies who are willing to pump 100k into a snooker event. Turning the Irish Masters into a ranker didn't add another event to the calender, it just basically overpriced the event for local sponsors and that was the end of that. I wouldn't be surprised if this Wuxi thing was incorporated into the PTC rather than becoming a full ranker. You have to remember that the Chinese economy is only roughly as rich as the UK one despite a population 20 times the size, so it actually makes more financial sense if you can establish the game in Germany, and while you've got an Australian world champion you may as well have a crack at that country; I've never bought into the argument that snooker won't catch on because of the good weather, after all Australia had a great billiards tradition for many years despite the good weather.

Anyway congrats to Shaun Murphy, that is some comeback. Murphy seems to get a rough ride from some of the fans but this is a guy who always tries his hardest and he's proven it yet again.

Greg P said...

Writing off Ding? He "hasn't got over" the O'Sullivan thrashing? We are talking about the UK Champ of last season.... if he loses another ranking final or two, and he can't get past Rd2. at the Crucible next year, maybe then it's time to commence the psychobabble.. but for now let's wait and see.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the mistake of backing Davison and getting defeated took away from Ding's concentration. Anyway, well played Shaun.

jamie brannon said...

There is an argument that Ding was the player of the 2009/10 season.

I was particulary interested if Dave had done his awards as who he would pick as it was a marginal call between three I felt, Robertson, Higgins and Ding.

I would be intrested to hear what other people thought?

You have to rember Ding is still a few years younger than Robertson and Murphy. I still think he is the best player I have seen since the much trumpeted 'BIG FOUR' of Williams, Hendry, O'Sullivan and Higgins.

Betty Logan said...

Ding was the most consistent player last season as the rankings show, but he had problems raising his game against top players in full flight: most notably Robertson at the Grand Prix, Williams in China and Murphy at the WC. Higgins - it has to be said - wilted at the UK. He seems to lack the top gear that many of the top pros have but it will probably come with maturity - he gets lumped in with Muprhy and Maguire and co because he came through at the same time but in reality he's of the same generation of Allen, Cope and Trump.

Witz78 said...

1241 (ex top 16 man)

As a regular player who understands how easy the pros make such a hard game look, of course im in awe of the talents (though slightly curious to know what level i could reach if practicing all day was an option to me)

Anyway my main gripe was that so many players seem happy to be resigned to a life as a journeyman earning a pittance and hovering around the lower end of the rankings, doing the bare minimum to keep their place on tour season upon season. Thankfully now with Hearns vision about to take place, these guys will have to raise their game or they will soon slide down the rankings as the opportunities for the tour newcomers who are hungrier, are now their with the PTC events and the rolling rankings set up.

As Hearn said, for too long snooker has rewarded mediocrity. This can be taken as a direct dig at lower ranked players. Some no doubt took it this way when chosing their voting options at the EGM but i take it as being entirely truthful. Complacency set in for many players who knew they couldnt reach the elite of the game, but knew they had the tactical nous and experience to grind out a few wins a year at Pontins.

Daves latest blog NEW TOUR MARKS NEW START sums up all of this perfectly for me, and the comments from King and Bond are laughable.

PS- I go to the Worlds every year along with a few other events per season so wouldnt consider myself just an armchair critic.

kimball said...

i might agrre with Betty Logan regarding Ding wilting in finals
after losing a tuff and important
Happened against Robertson and also
against Murphy in Sheffield.
However, a great turrn around against Carter in UK with 2 centuries to go 9-8 and trhe same
against Wenbo in Sheffield 2009.

The Panda will be better than ever
this season:-)