Zhao Xintong was delighted but surprised after thrashing his good friend Yan Bingtao 9-0 in the final of the German Masters on Sunday.
The 24 year-old, who captured a second ranking crown less than two months after his first at the UK Championship in York, scored heavily in a thoroughly one-sided affair in Berlin.
The scoreline marked only the third time in history that a multi-session ranking event final had been settled with a whitewash.
“It’s a surprise for me, I can’t believe this score,” Zhao, who practices at Victoria’s Snooker Club in Sheffield alongside Yan, told the World Snooker Tour.
“Bingtao is a good player and we know each other well, so I can’t believe I can win 9-0, but yeah I did it.”
“When I was 4-0 up, I had the rest and went out to talk to Bingtao. I could see he was playing with a little bit of pressure and I told him, ‘you don’t have to do this, you can play like it’s a show’.”
“Because we are very friendly I reached out to him. I wanted to put on a show for the fans.”
“Tomorrow is Chinese New Year, and tonight we’ll go back to the UK. It’s very different for us in this tournament because tomorrow is Chinese New Year, so I’m very happy.
“I fly back tonight, so tomorrow I’ll maybe have some drinks. (When I go back) I’ll work hard because there are a lot of tournaments in the future.”
After collecting the £80,000 top prize at the Tempodrom in Berlin, Zhao rises to a career-high of eighth on the official world rankings list.
The former World Amateur Championship runner-up will also be the top seed at next month’s Players Championship, having accumulated the most earnings so far during this campaign.
Featured photo credit: WST