Ding Junhui falls short in bid to make history
Chinese snooker ace's hope of being first since 1990 to win four consecutive ranking titles ended by Englishman Ricky Walden in the last 16 of the UK Championship
Chinese snooker ace Ding Junhui’s bid for a fourth consecutive ranking tournament victory was ended by Englishman Ricky Walden in the last 16 of the UK Championship on Wednesday.
Ding, 26, had won the Shanghai Masters, the Indian Open and the International Championship, and another title would have given him the longest sequence of rankings successes since Stephen Hendry won five in a row in 1990.
However, after a run of 22 successive victories, he went down 6-4 to Walden in a tense, best-of-11-frames match in the northern English city of York.
The encounter looked destined for a deciding frame after Ding was presented with a straightforward pink in the 10th frame, but he missed and Walden seized his chance to claim a berth in the quarter-finals.
On the fateful missed pink, Ding explained: “My cue action didn’t work; the cue turned in my hand.
“The match was not good today. It’s difficult to play Ricky, he gave very few chances. Every frame he scored heavily and he didn’t leave any long ones. It was good safety.
“Anybody can win. Maybe the next games he’s going to play better and better, so you don’t know who’s going to win. I wish best wishes for him.”