Ding Junhui is the standard bearer of the Chinese snooker revolution but the Wuxi Classic will be an especially special tournament for him.

In the vast land that is China, Ding hails from Wuxi. The invitation tournament was originated because of him.

This by no means guarantees him victory today against Mark Davis, though. Ding has at times seemed to feel the pressure of home expectation, losing to players he would normally be expected to dispatch.

Or is this merely Ding all over? He does seem to be among the more inconsistent of the star names.

Last season he played very well to win the Welsh Open (leaving aside the fact Stephen Lee may have beaten him but for that untimely mobile phone) but had just a semi-final and quarter-final to show from the rest of the ranking events.

Like most players he had other things going on. He bought a house in Sheffield. He was unwell at the World Open.

Nevertheless, few would have predicted his collapse from 9-6 up to Ryan Day at the Crucible.

Afterwards he was livid, hitting out at the crowd and swearing, for which he was fined.

Perhaps it was also a reaction to a campaign more disappointing than some of those he had previously enjoyed.

Well, it's a new season and thus a new start. But Neil Robertson is already out and top 16 players coming in cold can be expected to be a little rusty.

Ding got lucky against Mark Davis at last season's UK Championship, fluking the pink out of a snooker in the decider. The next time they played, at the Welsh, he ran through him in under an hour.

His hometown supporters will be hoping for similar today. But experience will tell them that Ding is a difficult player to predict.


Anonymous said...

Why so many empty seats? Are you sure it's China?

Monique said...

Yes, difficult to predict. And he does feel the pressure in homeland. Anyone remembers how he lost 8-9 to Shaun Murphy in 2010, from 8-2 up in this very event? OK, Shaun played well in the second session, but still. Ding should never have lost that match.

Anonymous said...

Eurosport Player today on Fibre broadband - needed manual intervention five times between 12:30 and 4pm to keep going - sorry to be boring

Anonymous said...

Ding looked poor today - I think apart from the Welsh last year he's been poor ever since Trump beat him at the Worlds in 2011 (to my mind Ding knows 2 or 3 poor shots from him cost him a place in the final).

It will be interesting to see how this season goes for him.