The measure of greatness in sport is quite simple: what have you won?
Ding Junhui, at 23, has won two UK Championship titles and now the game’s biggest invitation title, the Ladbrokes Mobile Masters.
It could all have been so different. His 6-2 first session lead over Marco Fu was reduced to 6-4 and looked certain to go 6-5 only for him to lay a brilliant snooker on the pink in the 11th frame.
Fu failed to make contact and Ding potted pink and black for 7-4 before swift breaks of 94, 83 and 85 completed his 10-4 victory.
After all the tears of his 2007 defeat to Ronnie O’Sullivan, it was good to see Ding all smiles as he celebrated his victory.
Questions have been raised in the past as to his temperament but he seems to be maturing all the time, as a player and a person.
He’s been on the circuit seven years now and it’s easy to forget that he’s still a young man, and one who carries the hopes of a nation on his shoulders.
His English is improving but he remains shy, not always a bad way to be with the media.
“I lost my cue action for two frames but the snooker to make it 7-4 changed the match,” Ding said.
So can he now win the World Championship? He certainly has the talent. What remains to be seen is whether he can last the course for the full 17 days at the greatest snooker test there is.
“I need more experience for longer games and how to keep the same way of playing,” said Ding, whose Ladbrokes odds for Crucible success are now 8/1.
Ding is an important star in the game’s firmament. He led the Chinese revolution and if he won the world title it would further catapult him into the spotlight.
This may be an uncomfortable place for him to be but he will have to get used to it because on this week’s evidence, Ding has many years of high profile victories ahead of him.