Home » Ding Junhui takes home top favorite Judd Trump and takes on Ronnie O’Sullivan in the UK Championship final

Ding Junhui takes home top favorite Judd Trump and takes on Ronnie O’Sullivan in the UK Championship final

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© AP

Ronnie O’Sullivan (WS-1) plays the final of the UK Championship against Ding Junhui (WS-17) today. That 36-year-old Chinese eliminated tournament favorite Judd Trump (WS-2) 6-4 on Saturday evening. He recorded breaks of 60, 110, 88 and 84. Trump kept pace with breaks of 50, 124 and 105 to 4-4.

Source: BELGA

Today at 07:22

After victories in the English Open, the Wuhan Open and the Northern Ireland Open, Trump had gone to York as the top favorite. “The Ace in the Pack” became ill in the run-up to the first Triple Crown of the season, but continued to win smoothly. “Still, I didn’t play that well at all,” Trump said after his exit. “It only seemed that way because my opponents made mistakes too often. Ding, on the other hand, missed nothing today. My B or C game wasn’t nearly good enough against him.”

O’Sullivan qualified in the afternoon by beating the Iranian Hossein Vafaei (WS-18) 6-2. On Sunday, the 47-year-old O’Sullivan will go into his 62nd ranking final, the first since he became world champion for a seventh time in May 2022, for a fortieth title and a 22nd Triple Crown. He already won the UK Championship in 1993, 1997, 2001, 2007, 2014, 2017 and 2018. Ding can add his name to the honors list a fourth time after 2005, 2009 and 2019. It will be his 22nd final of a ranking tournament. “Enter the Dragon” has fourteen ranking titles and five Triple Crowns.

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“It’s still Ronnie”

Ding also played the final in York last year. He then lost 10-7 to the Northern Irishman Mark Allen (WS-4), but after he had eliminated O’Sullivan 6-0 in a quarter-final. “I don’t know if that should give me much confidence for Sunday, it’s still Ronnie,” Ding looked ahead to the final. “In any case, I try not to think too much about my opponent and I play my own game. I’m glad that this is back on track after a bad period. I dropped significantly in the rankings and I suddenly saw some young Chinese above me. The advantage was that it took a lot of pressure off my shoulders.”

In any case, Ding will once again become the highest-placed Chinese on the Order of Merit after the tournament. Tournament win and the accompanying 250,000 pounds (291,500 euros) would take him to sixth place. The 100,000 pounds (116,500 euros) for the runner-up is enough to leapfrog Zhang Anda to twelfth place. O’Sullivan consolidates his leadership position. Trump remains number two in the world, world champion Luca Brecel is number three.

© AP

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