Ding Junhui passed a major test of character in holding off Liang Wenbo at the Crucible today.

In a match that kept tens of millions of television viewers back in China transfixed, Ding stepped it up when it mattered most to win 10-8 in their Betfred.com World Championship first round clash.

Ding didn’t pot a ball for three frames as Liang powered from 7-4 down to lead 8-7. However, hitting the front for the first time in the match brought its own pressure and he started to falter.

On the other hand, Ding grew strong, winning two frames on the spin with breaks of 111 and 91 before making 63 to clinch victory.

And what an important victory it could be for him. In fact, it could turn his entire career around.

He arrived at the Crucible having won only four matches in ranking events all season and not guaranteed to stay in the top 16.

He may relax a little now as he has proved to everyone – and most importantly himself – that he can handle the pressure.

And that makes him very dangerous for the rest of the tournament.


Anonymous said...

A point about the cubicles where the players sit between shots.

Why do the Chinese players have their family names written smaller than their given 'first' name? All the other players have their first name written in smaller lettering, with bigger lettering for their family names underneath.

Don't the organisers know that the custom in China is to write the family name first, followed by the first name for the person?

How can snooker ever hope to be a world sport when they insult the largest audience they have in China. What a farce!

Sergey said...

Good point Anon 3:07

Of course, it should have read 梁文博

Terry, Dennis, Virgo & Co in the commentary box, could have spent the whole session extrapolating about Chinese calligraphy!!

Anonymous said...

Ding is inspired - 63, 91 and 111 - exactly what I had last night. Beef with green peppers in black bean sauce, stir fried vegetables and egg fried rice.

Anonymous said...

Why does Shaun Murphy have "Evolution" on his waistcoat. Has he abandoned his religious beliefs in favour of a more Darwinian approach to the game?

Anonymous said...

Ever wondered what goes on in the commentary booths? Here's some exclusive behind the scenes footage of the Yorkshire Television commentary team at work.




Dr.Plough-Ying said...


I love Ronnie, he give me free publicity at China open, I run respectable whore house in Beijing near where this interview took place and was booked out that night... Thanks Ronnie, this is the busiest I've ever been. From My Plough-Ying.


jamie brannon said...

anyone know is doherty working for bbc? rumour has it that murphy is living in dubai

Anonymous said...

"Joe couldn't Cope with Jamie" - that's the next blog entry

Dave H said...

Ken's joining the BBC team from the semi-finals

Anonymous said...

So they're axing Clive Everton and rolling in Doherty. Why? What's the point?

jamie brannon said...

There short now with pundits, with Davis playing. I thought Doherty was there big star. I get the feeling we wont be hearing Clive next season. I watched Cope v Perry at the Reardon club today in Stoke, which is Cope's practice base. He was leading 6-5 and the tv broke!He seems a shy guy when there, and out in the arena, no emotion.

Ruthie said...

Loved the way both Liang and Ding saluted the crowd at the end of their match. Whole session was highly entertaining and I'm very sorry either had to leave the championship. Is anyone coaching Liang? If he could make 70s instead of 50s he would win a lot more frames.

Anonymous said...

That's a good point Ruthie.

Talking of coaches, why don't the coaches come out between frames and give advice to the players. I would love to see an animated discussion between player and coach while the ref is setting up the balls. Plus it would stop the players leaving the arena at the end of every frame.

oneball said...

Excellent point Dave and one I thought of myself before coming on here (great minds and all that).

I was there yesterday at the Ding v Liang match and had a thoroughly entertaining morning (and afternoon watching Jamie Cope do what he's be threatening to do for years).

For me Ding visibly stepped it up when asked the question, and much as I was willing Liang to get over the line because he's so great to watch, the fluency of Ding from 8-7 demonstrated his absolute class and answered a few questions.

Hendry may have got the better of him last year, but he looks more the complete player this year. He's more patient, and the battle scars have improved his safety game, and I think Hendry could be lucky to get to the third session in all honesty.

Matt said...

That was a great match to be at yesterday and Ding was so happy when he won. Even afterwards when leaving out of stage door and standing for photos he was smiling away and clearly very relieved.

My pic:


Anonymous said...

Nice pictures Matt. I didn't hear about any trouble though. Hopefully the idiot in the picture was thrown out and barred for good. Snooker doesn't need people invading the playing arena.


Matt said...

Haha :D

Someone asked him to do the "lets get the boys on the baize" thing the other day but he said that he's saving it for the second week.

Anonymous said...

one of these 3 - marco, ding, liang might just clinch the world title this year. My gut feeling says ronnie will make the semis at best only

noumoe said...

I agree with anon 9:45 . To me, Ding looks really relaxed, maybe he is in love, too, he is my big favorite for the title.