China's Ding wins first match in six years at snooker Masters

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/1/16 9:48:20

China's Ding Junhui won his first match at the snooker Masters since 2011 with a 6-3 victory over world number 16 Kyren Wilson.

Sunday night's win came on the opening day of the competition.

Ding, who won the masters in 2011 and is ranked sixth in the world, had suffered five consecutive first-round defeats after the event was moved to Alexandra Palace from Wembley Arena.

The 29-year-old former world number one got off to a flying start by storming to a 3-0 lead.

He nearly scored a 147 in the second frame but after potting 15 reds with blacks, he ran out of position on the yellow on 120 and missed a tough pot to a center pocket.

Wilson won two frames to make it 3-2, but Ding regained the momentum as runs of 65 and 73 put him at a 5-2 ahead.

Wilson pulled one back with a break of 103, but Ding dominated in the ninth and secured victory after Wilson had gone in-off when potting the yellow.

"I scored quite heavily today," said a jubilant Ding. "I made a few breaks, but obviously missed a 147. It's a tough game, whoever you play in the Masters. I need to take the chances when they come and make good breaks," Ding said. He also mentioned the satisfaction that comes with scoring the win at a new venue. "It's nice, finally to win here at this venue. I always try to win here at the Masters; I tried really hard because I lost five times in a row."

In other action on the opening day, six-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan scored a dramatic 6-5 win after Ding's Chinese compatriot Liang Wenbo missed match-ball black in the penultimate frame.

Liang had a golden chance to score a surprise 6-4 win over the super star, but he missed the final black, leaving it for O'Sullivan to make it 5-5.

O'Sullivan went on to make a brilliant break of 121 in the deciding frame.

"You've got to feel for Liang," observed O'Sullivan. "He should have won that match. He should have put me away."

Posted in: EYE ON THE BALL

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