I’ll have the money: China’s Ding makes 147 in Robertson defeat
Ronnie O’Sullivan stunningly rejected chance to take £10,000 prize earlier in tournament
It might not have been enough of a prize to tempt Ronnie O’Sullivan, but Ding Junhui had no qualms about making a maximum 147 break at the Wales Open on Friday.
Unfortunately for the Chinese player, his perfect clearance of 15 reds, 15 blacks and all the colours could not prevent a 5-2 quarter-final defeat by Australia’s Neil Robertson.
In a high-scoring encounter, Ding lost the first frame but levelled at 1-1 thanks to a break of 120 only for former world champion Robertson to respond with a 140-break in the third.
Come the mid-session interval, Robertson was on the brink of victory at 4-1 in front.
But Ding kept him waiting, the 2012 Welsh Open winner thrilling spectators in Cardiff with a dramatic maximum effort where he screwed off the penultimate red into the middle pocket and back onto the black before clearing all the colours.
He needed a cue extension to help him slice the pink into the bottom corner before sinking the final black for his sixth career 147.
Ding also assured himself of a £10,000 (HK$112,000) prize for compiling a maximum break, plus another £2,000 for the tournament high break prize if it is not equalled.
Earlier in the tournament, former world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan was on course for a similar achievement but deliberately stopped short, saying the tournament prize for a maximum was “too cheap”.
Ding’s clearance was not the start of a comeback as Robertson, the 2010 world champion, sealed victory in a seventh frame he won 83-1.
Reflecting on his latest maximum, Ding said he knew from early in his break that a 147 clearance was possible.
“The reds were looking good (so) I go for it and (it’s) the only chance I have for the good one,” Ding told BBC Radio. “It’s just a 147, a new record for me. I like to beat the records every time I play in the tournaments.”
Meanwhile, an admiring Robertson was full of praise for Ding’s attacking approach.
“What a wonderful break,” said the left-hander, who made the most recent maximum in December’s UK Championship final, winning £44,000 including the £4,000 prize for the tournament high break.
“He (Ding) was clearly determined because he went for a risky shot in the 40s.”
Robertson beat Hong Kong’s Marco Fu Ka-chun in the previous round.
O’Sullivan, who beat Mark Selby 5-1 in his quarter-final, jokingly saluted Ding’s achievement by saying: “I just thought he’s let the lads down, hasn’t he? Ding got it and it’s fantastic. At least they’ve had a 147 this week... and a 146.”