Ding Junhui has started this season in the same fashion as his performances for much of the last campaign – by winning titles.
The Chinese Sensation may have disappointed many with a first round early exit at the Crucible in April but that couldn’t put too much of a dampener on a year that brought him six trophies, including a record-equaling five main ranking events.
And the 27 year-old is off and running once more as he emerged from a tough field of players at the Yixing Open to emerge with yet more silverware.
The Asian Tour events have been known in recent years to not exactly boast a formidable list of competitors but a lot of the big-hitters entered on this occasion with the upcoming Wuxi Classic and Australian Open in mind.
While some players have won these tournaments with a series of victories over mostly Chinese amateur opposition, Ding’s route to success was much more difficult.
Wins over Jamie Jones, Tony Drago, Joe Perry and Jamie Burnett provided Ding with a semi-final berth and he duly converted his opportunity for triumph with subsequent 4-2 defeats over Ryan Day and Michael Holt today.
‘Hitman’ Holt was bidding for his third PTC satellite title but instead succumbed to his second defeat in a final in a row, failing to complete a comeback from an early 3-0 deficit in the final.
Ding’s determination to succeed this week could in part be due to the frustration he must have felt from not qualifying for the Wuxi Classic – his hometown event.
The German Masters champion was embroiled in a little controversy with the governing body in May when he was fined for failing to turn up to the end of season awards gala.
However, that seems to have been put behind him as he bids to build on his stellar year and finally become the sport’s maiden world number one from Asia.