Ding Junhui

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Not to be confused with Ding Jinhui.
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Ding.
Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui at Snooker German Masters (Martin Rulsch) 2014-01-30 07.jpg
Ding Junhui at 2014 German Masters
Born (1987-04-01) 1 April 1987 (age 27)
Yixing, Wuxi, Jiangsu, China
Sport country  China
Nickname Star of the East
Enter the Dragon
The Chinese Sensation
Professional 2003–
Highest ranking 1
Current ranking 2 (as of 15 December 2014)
Career winnings £2,141,301[1]
Highest break 147 (5 times)
Century breaks 376[2]
Tournament wins
Ranking 11
Minor-ranking 3
Non-ranking 3
Ding Junhui
Medal record
Competitor for  China
Men's Snooker
World Games
Silver 2005 Duisburg Individual
Asian Games
Gold 2002 Busan Individual
Silver 2002 Busan Team
Gold 2006 Doha Individual
Gold 2006 Doha Doubles
Gold 2006 Doha Team
Silver 2010 Guangzhou Individual
Gold 2010 Guangzhou Team
Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games
Silver 2013 Incheon Individual
Gold 2013 Incheon Team

Ding Junhui (Chinese: 丁俊晖; pinyin: Dīng Jùnhuī; born 1 April 1987 in Yixing, Wuxi, Jiangsu) is a Chinese professional snooker player. Ding Junhui is China's most successful player ever, having become only the second teenager, after John Higgins, to win three ranking titles, including being the first non-British player to win the prestigious UK Championship.[3] As a prolific break-builder, Ding has compiled more than 370 century breaks during his career including five maximums, and is the only Asian player to have held the world number one position.[2]

In December 2006, he enrolled at Shanghai Jiao Tong University to study Business Administration and Management.[4] He is a resident of England during the snooker season. He is good friends with fellow countryman Liang Wenbo and they are training partners in the Sheffield World Snooker Academy.[5]

Career[edit]

Emergence[edit]

Ding started playing snooker at the age of nine, when his father took him to the Chinese national team training centre near Shanghai. His father persuaded his mother to sell their house in order for Ding to continue playing snooker as a career.[6]

Ding shot to international prominence in 2002, when he won the Asian Under-21 Championship[7] and the Asian Championship[7] and became the youngest ever winner of the IBSF World Under-21 Championship at the age of fifteen.[7] He was unable to progress much in 2003, as both the Asian Championship and Asian Under-21 Championship had to be cancelled because of the SARS virus crisis, but he was a semi-finalist in the IBSF World Under-21 Championship,[7] and was awarded a Main Tour concession by the WPBSA, which enabled him to turn professional in September 2003.[7] In 2003, he became the number one ranked player in China.[8]

2004–2006[edit]

In February 2004, Ding was awarded a wildcard entry to the Masters in London, where, in the wildcard round, he beat the world #16-ranked player, Joe Perry,[9] before narrowly losing 5–6 in the first round to experienced top player Stephen Lee after holding a 5–2 lead over him.[10] His performance favourably impressed many commentators, who rated him a likely future World Champion.

In April 2005, he celebrated his 18th birthday by reaching the final of the China Open in Beijing, along the way defeating world top-16 ranked players Peter Ebdon, Marco Fu and Ken Doherty. In that final he played against then world no.-3-ranked Stephen Hendry, whom he beat by 9 frames to 5, to score his first ranking tournament win. 110 million people watched the final against Hendry on China's national sports channel CCTV-5 – by far the biggest TV audience ever recorded for a snooker match.[11]

In December 2005, he beat another crop of world top-16 players, Jimmy White, Paul Hunter and Joe Perry, once more on his way to reaching the final of another major tournament, the UK Championship at the Barbican Centre in York. This time he met the resurgent snooker legend Steve Davis, and defeated him by ten frames to six, in doing so becoming the first player from outside Britain or Ireland to win that particular title. Following this victory, his world ranking was provisionally raised from 60 (62 at the start of the season) to 31. At the end of the season, he was ranked 27th.

In the 2006 China Open he gave his home crowd a good run for their money, but lost 6–2 to eventual winner Mark Williams in the semi-finals.

On 19 August 2006, he beat Stephen Lee 6–1, and reached the final of the Northern Ireland Trophy, meeting Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final the following day. He beat O'Sullivan 9–6 to claim his third ranking tournament win,[12] becoming only the third person ever to do so before his twentieth birthday,[12] after O'Sullivan and John Higgins.[12] This win pushed his provisional world ranking position up to fifth.

In December 2006, he won three gold medals at the Asian Games, winning the Single, Double and Team Snooker competitions. The following week, he reached, as the defending champion, the quarterfinal stage of the 2006 UK Snooker Championship,[13] and subsequently lost to his practice partner and eventual winner, Peter Ebdon, by 9 frames to 5.[13]

2007/2008[edit]

On 1 January 2007, he narrowly defeated Cao Xinlong 5–4 to reach the final of the Chinese National Snooker Championship in East China's Yixing, Jiangsu province, his home town. The following day, he beat Xiao Guodong in the final by 6 frames to 2, in doing so becoming the national champion once again.[14]

On 14 January 2007, Ding made a 147 break in the opening match of the Saga Insurance Masters against Anthony Hamilton.[15] It was the first maximum in the competition since that of Kirk Stevens in 1984, which was also the only one up to then.[15] Additionally, Ding is the youngest player to make a 147 during a televised session (a record previously held by Ronnie O'Sullivan),[15] and became the first Chinese snooker player in the history of BBC's coverage to make a televised maximum.

He went on to make the final of the tournament,[16] becoming the second youngest player to reach a Masters final. In it he made a confident start by winning the first two frames. However, O'Sullivan went on to produce what many regard as one of the finest displays of snooker ever seen on television. His dominance, along with the boisterous and hostile nature of the crowd, left Ding in tears during the twelfth frame, trailing 8–3 in the best of 19 frames contest. Ding appeared resigned to defeat, taking little time to consider his shot selection, and after the frame shook hands with O'Sullivan, after which the two walked arm in arm to the dressing room area, but because it had only been the last frame before the mid-session interval, and so indeed not the very last frame of the match, no-one knew if he had conceded the match, believed the match was over or was just congratulating O'Sullivan on his formidable play. He ultimately lost the match on the next frame, and later said that he had indeed thought the match was a "best of 17".[17]

He was next bumped out of two tournaments in a row in the first rounds, losing 5–2 to Stephen Maguire in the Malta Cup[18] and 5–1 to Jamie Cope in the Welsh Open.[19] By 14 March 2007, however, Ding had qualified for the televised final stages of the World Championships for the first time by beating Mark Davis in the final qualifying round.[20] However, his losing streak in ranking tournaments that season continued with a 5–3 first round loss to Barry Hawkins in the China Open and a 10–2 loss against Ronnie O'Sullivan in the World Snooker Championship, but he still ended the season ranked in ninth place, his highest ever ranking.

The following season was consistent, reaching the last 16 of all but one ranking event, but he failed to reach a single semi-final, causing him to slip down two places, to number 11 in the world rankings. At the Crucible he managed to reach the second round for the first time, beating Marco Fu 10–9 in a high quality match, but he was unable to progress further, going down 13–7 to Stephen Hendry.

However, he started the next season on a high by winning the Jiangsu Classic, beating Mark Selby 6–5 in the final.

On 16 December, in his Second Round match against John Higgins at the UK Championship, Ding scored a maximum 147 break in the third frame of the match.[21]

During the Premier League Snooker against Stephen Hendry, Ding Junhui set a record for the most unanswered points (495) in any professional snooker tournament.[22] The record he would eventually lose to Ronnie O'Sullivan's 556 unanswered points at the 2014 Masters.[23]

2009/2010[edit]

Ding started the 2009/10 season well. He reached the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters, and the final of the Grand Prix at Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, where he defeated Matthew Stevens 5–4 in the first round, Stephen Maguire 5–1 in the second round, Peter Ebdon 5–2 in the quarter-finals and Mark Williams 6–1 in the semi-finals. He lost to Neil Robertson 9–4 in the final.[24]

Ding reached the final of the 2009 UK Championship after defeating Mike Dunn (9–5), Shaun Murphy (9–3), Ali Carter (9–8), and Stephen Maguire (9–5).[25] He went on to defeat John Higgins in the final (10–8) to claim his second UK crown.[26]

After losing his next two matches against Mark Selby (1–6) at the Masters and Jamie Cope (3–5) at the Welsh Open, Ding found his form, scoring nine centuries on his way to the China Open final, where he lost against Mark Williams (6–10), despite leading 5–4 at the end of first session.[27] At the World Championship he defeated Stuart Pettman 10–1, but lost 10–13 against Shaun Murphy in the second round.

2010/2011[edit]

Ding started the season at the Wuxi Classic, where he lost 8–9 in the final, despite at one point leading 8–2.[28] Ding reached the second round of the Shanghai Masters and the quarter-finals of the World Open, where he lost 1–5 against Jamie Cope and 2–3 against Mark Williams respectively.[29][30] Ding failed to defend his UK Championship title, when he lost 8–9 against Mark Allen.[31]

Ding reached his second Masters Final in January 2011, after beating Jamie Cope 6–3 in the semi-final. Ding went on to win the Masters for the first time, beating Marco Fu 10–4 in the first ever all-Chinese Masters final.[32][33]

Ding also had a career best run at the 2011 World Snooker Championship. He beat Jamie Burnett 10–2 in the first round, advancing to the last 16 of the World Championship for the 4th straight year.[34] Facing Stuart Bingham in the second round, he was down 9–12 at one point with the opponent needing just one frame for victory, but Ding made a comeback, winning four straight frames to win 13–12 to reach the quarter-finals of the world championship for the first time in his career.[35] In his quarter-final with Mark Selby, Ding led Selby 10–6 after the first two sessions of the match. Selby built strong momentum by winning the first four frames of the last session to level at 10–10, but Ding eventually held on to win 13–10 to set up a semi-final against Judd Trump.[36] In their semi-final, Ding and Trump were level at 12–12 after the third session. In the last session, Trump was the first to build momentum and led 14–12, but Ding pinched the next three frames with a 138 break to tie Mark King for highest tournament break and a 119 break. Ding lost the next three frames to lose the match by a 15–17 scoreline.[37]

2011/2012[edit]

Ding started the season at the Wuxi Classic, where he lost 5–6 against Mark Selby in the semi-finals,[38] and for the first time couldn't reach the final of the tournament.[39] At the World Cup Ding and Liang Wenbo partnered up to represent China. They won the final, 4–2 against Northern Ireland.[40] He then lost in the first round of the Australian Goldfields Open 2–5 against Stuart Bingham.[41] At the second event of the Players Tour Championship Ding reached the final, but lost 0–4 against Judd Trump.[42] Ding was knocked out in the quarter-finals of the 2011 UK Championship by Neil Robertson, 6–2.[43] He was defeated in the Masters by Ronnie O'Sullivan for the third time in his career, losing in the first round 4–6, meaning that he couldn't defend the title he won in 2011.[44] Ding beat Mark Selby in the 2012 Welsh Open to win his fifth ranking tournament and a cheque for £30,000.[45] Ding's form continued in claiming the 2012 Championship League tournament and a place in the 2012 Premier League.[46] Ding reached the semi-finals of the China Open only to be put out by eventual winner Peter Ebdon, 3–6.[47] Ding ended the season by going out in the first round of the World Championship, losing to Ryan Day 10–9 having been in the lead 9–6. After the match Ding criticised the condition of the tables at the event and the attitude of the audience, saying both were "rubbish".[48] He finished the year ranked world number 11, meaning he had dropped 7 places during the season.[49]

2012/2013[edit]

Ding Junhui at 2013 German Masters.

Ding could not get past the second round in any of the first six ranking events of the 2012/2013 season to find himself ranked world number 11 in December.[50][51] However, he won the minor-ranking Scottish Open by defeating Anthony McGill in the final.[52] This signalled an improvement in form for Ding as at the Welsh Open he beat Mark King, Mark Allen and Robert Milkins to reach the semi-finals, where he was edged out 5–6 by Stuart Bingham.[53] At the World Open he was whitewashed 0–5 by John Higgins in the quarter-finals.[50] His title at the Scottish Open formed part of the Players Tour Championship events with Ding finishing sixth on the Order of Merit to qualify for the Finals.[54] At the Finals he made the fifth 147 of his career in the first frame of his quarter-final against Allen and made two further century breaks in a 4–3 win.[55] He cruised past Kurt Maflin 4–0 in the semi-finals before staging a remarkable comeback from 0–3 down in the final against Neil Robertson to take his sixth ranking title with a 4–3 win.[56] Ding made eight century breaks in the 20 frames he won during the tournament, with no other player compiling more than one.[57] However, his poor form in tournaments played in his homeland continued as he was beaten 3–5 by Barry Hawkins in the first round of the China Open.[58] Ding beat veteran Alan McManus 10–5 in the first round of the World Championship and came back from 2–6 down after the first session against Mark King in the second round to lead 9–7 after the next session and went on to win 13–9.[50][59] Ding came up against Barry Hawkins in the quarter-finals and struggled for consistency throughout the match, losing 7–13.[60] His end of season ranking was world number 10.[61]

2013/2014[edit]

Ding with the German Masters trophy.

Ding lost in the second round of the Wuxi Classic 5–1 to Joe Perry and then at the minor-ranking Bluebell Wood Open he made a rare 146 break in beating Jimmy Robertson in the quarter-finals before losing 4–3 in the semis to Marco Fu.[62] In September, Ding finally produced his best snooker in his homeland by capturing his seventh ranking event title at the Shanghai Masters. The final against Xiao Guodong was the first all-Chinese ranking event final in the history of snooker with Ding making a century and compiling seven further breaks above 50 to win 10–6.[63] Ding then made a minor-ranking event final appearance at the Ruhr Open, losing to Mark Allen 4–1.[64] Following that, Ding played in the first Indian Open, sweeping past Aditya Mehta 5–0 in the final, to become the first player to win back-to-back major-ranking event titles in the same season since Ronnie O'Sullivan in 2003.[65] Ding continued dominating the game in the following major ranking event the International Championship and beat Graeme Dott 9-7 in the semi-finals with an outstanding 63 clearance in the last frame.[66] In an epic final, the second all-Chinese ranking event final in just three ranking events, Ding and Marco Fu compiled 7 century breaks (Ding five and Fu two). Ding rallied from 9–8 down to win the final two frames and became the first player to win three consecutive major ranking events since Stephen Hendry won five in a row in 1990.[67] After the hat-trick, Ding reached world number three in the rankings for the first time in his career, before reaching number two just behind Neil Robertson. Ding went on to win two more ranking titles - the German Masters (by beating Judd Trump 9–5 in the final) and the China Open (by beating Robertson 10–5 in the final) to equal Hendry's season record of five wins.[68][69] He was also the runner-up in the Welsh Open to Ronnie O'Sullivan.[70] However, at the World Championship, Ding suffered one of the biggest shocks in the event's history as world number 75 Michael Wasley defeated him 10–9 in the first round, after Ding had led 6–3 and 9–8.[71] Ding finished the season ranked world number two, and was only prevented from taking the number one spot by Mark Selby winning the World Championship.[72] Ding was fined £5,000 and referred to the WPBSA Disciplinary Committee by the WSL for failing to attend their awards dinner.[73]

2014/15 - World Number One[edit]

Ding suffered disappointment at the start of the season, as he failed to qualify for the televised stages of the Wuxi Classic due to a surprise 5-0 defeat to Oliver Brown in the qualifiers. His first title of the season came at Asian Tour event 1, with a 4-2 win over Michael Holt in the final.at the Shanghai Masters,he lost Stuart Bingham 4-6 in the semifinal. At the UK Championship, Ding lost 6-5 to James Cahill in the last 32, but still guaranteed that he will become the new world number one on 8 December due to Mark Selby and Neil Robertson also suffering early exits. However, Robertson took the top spot the following week.[74]

Achievements[edit]

Ding Junhui has compiled more than 300 competitive century breaks.[75] He has made five 147 maximum breaks in professional competition. The first at the 2007 Masters, which made him the youngest player to have made a televised 147 at the age of 19 years and 7 months. The second came at the 2008 UK Championship. The third came in the first round of the FFB Snooker Open in 2011.[76] His fourth maximum came only two days after his third in a 4–1 victory against James Cahill. The fifth maximum he achieved in his quarter-final of the 2013 PTC Finals against Mark Allen.[77] He won three back to back ranking tournaments in 2013.

Ding is a patron of Sheffield United F.C.[78]

In popular culture[edit]

A 26-episode cartoon series Dragon Ball No.1 by Beijing-based D5 Studio, based on Ding's growth from a shy boy to a snooker star, was broadcast on TV in 2010.[79]

Performance and rankings timeline[edit]

Tournaments 2003/
04
2004/
05
2005/
06
2006/
07
2007/
08
2008/
09
2009/
10
2010/
11
2011/
12
2012/
13
2013/
14
2014/
15
Rankings[80][nb 1] UR[nb 2] 76 62 27 9 11 13 5 4 11 10 2
Ranking tournaments
Wuxi Classic[nb 3] Tournament Not Held Non-ranking 1R 2R LQ
Australian Goldfields Open Tournament Not Held 1R 2R WD A
Shanghai Masters Tournament Not Held 2R 1R QF 2R 1R 1R W SF
International Championship Tournament Not Held 2R W LQ
UK Championship LQ 1R W QF QF 2R W 2R QF 1R 4R 3R
German Masters Tournament Not Held QF 1R 2R W
Welsh Open LQ 1R LQ 1R 3R 2R 1R QF W SF F
Indian Open Tournament Not Held W
Players Championship Grand Final[nb 4] Tournament Not Held DNQ 2R W 1R
China Open NH W SF 1R 2R 1R F SF SF 1R W
World Championship LQ LQ LQ 1R 2R 2R 2R SF 1R QF 1R
Non-ranking tournaments
Champion of Champions Tournament Not Held QF SF
The Masters 1R QF LQ F QF QF 1R W 1R 1R 1R
Championship League Tournament Not Held A RR RR RR W SF A
Variant format tournaments
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held 1R 1R 1R A
Former ranking tournaments
Scottish Open[nb 5] 2R Tournament Not Held MR Not Held
British Open LQ 3R Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters LQ LQ NH NR Tournament Not Held
Malta Cup[nb 6] LQ LQ LQ 1R NR Tournament Not Held
Northern Ireland Trophy Not Held NR W 3R 2R Tournament Not Held
World Open[nb 7] LQ LQ LQ RR RR QF F QF 1R QF 3R NH
Former Non-ranking tournaments
Northern Ireland Trophy Not Held 1R Ranking Event Tournament Not Held
Malta Cup[nb 6] Ranking Event SF Tournament Not Held
Wuxi Classic[nb 3] Tournament Not Held W F F SF Ranking Event
Premier League Snooker A A SF RR SF RR A RR F RR Not Held
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in the qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals
SF lost in the semi-finals F lost in the final W won the tournament
DNQ did not qualify for the tournament A did not participate in the tournament WD withdrew from the tournament
NH / Not Held means an event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Event means an event is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / Ranking Event means an event is/was a ranking event.
MR / Minor-Ranking Event means an event is/was a minor-ranking event.
  1. ^ From the 2010/2011 season it shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
  2. ^ New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
  3. ^ a b The event ran under the name Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009–2009/2010)
  4. ^ The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011–2012/2013)
  5. ^ The event was called the Players Championship (2003/2004)
  6. ^ a b The event was called the European Open (2003/2004)
  7. ^ The event was called the LG Cup (2003/2004) and the Grand Prix (2004/2005–2009/2010)

Career finals[edit]

Ranking event finals: 14 (11 titles, 3 runner-ups)[edit]

Legend
World Championship (0–0)
UK Championship (2–0)
Other (9–3)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2005 China Open Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry 9–5
Winner 2. 2005 UK Championship England Davis, SteveSteve Davis 10–6
Winner 3. 2006 Northern Ireland Trophy England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 9–6
Runner-up 1. 2009 Grand Prix Australia Robertson, NeilNeil Robertson 4–9
Winner 4. 2009 UK Championship (2) Scotland Higgins, JohnJohn Higgins 10–8
Runner-up 2. 2010 China Open Wales Williams, MarkMark Williams 6–10
Winner 5. 2012 Welsh Open England Selby, MarkMark Selby 9–6
Winner 6. 2013 Players Tour Championship Finals Australia Robertson, NeilNeil Robertson 4–3
Winner 7. 2013 Shanghai Masters China Xiao Guodong 10–6
Winner 8. 2013 Indian Open India Mehta, AdityaAditya Mehta 5–0
Winner 9. 2013 International Championship Hong Kong Fu, MarcoMarco Fu 10–9
Winner 10. 2014 German Masters England Trump, JuddJudd Trump 9–5
Runner-up 3. 2014 Welsh Open England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 3–9
Winner 11. 2014 China Open (2) Australia Robertson, NeilNeil Robertson 10–5

Minor-ranking event finals: 6 (3 titles, 3 runner-ups)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2010 Players Tour Championship – Event 5 Wales Jones, JamieJamie Jones 4–1
Runner-up 1. 2011 Players Tour Championship – Event 2 England Trump, JuddJudd Trump 0–4
Runner-up 2. 2012 Asian Players Tour Championship – Event 2 England Lee, StephenStephen Lee 0–4
Winner 2. 2012 Scottish Open Scotland McGill, AnthonyAnthony McGill 4–2
Runner-up 3. 2013 Ruhr Open Northern Ireland Allen, MarkMark Allen 1–4
Winner 3. 2014 Yixing Open England Holt, MichaelMichael Holt 4–2

Non-ranking event finals: 6 (3 titles, 3 runner-ups)[edit]

Legend
Masters (1–1)
Premier League (0–0)
Other (2–2)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 2007 The Masters England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 3–10
Winner 1. 2008 Jiangsu Classic England Selby, MarkMark Selby 6–5
Runner-up 2. 2009 Jiangsu Classic Northern Ireland Allen, MarkMark Allen 0–6
Runner-up 3. 2010 Wuxi Classic (2) England Murphy, ShaunShaun Murphy 8–9
Winner 2. 2011 The Masters Hong Kong Fu, MarcoMarco Fu 10–4
Winner 3. 2012 Championship League England Trump, JuddJudd Trump 3–1

Variant event finals: 2 (2 runner-ups)[edit]

Legend
Premier League (0–1)
Other (0–1)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 2010 Power Snooker England Ronnie O'Sullivan 258–572
(points)
Runner-up 2. 2011 Premier League Snooker England Ronnie O'Sullivan 1–7

Team event finals: 1 (1 title)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1 2011 World Cup (with  Team China)  Northern Ireland 4–2

Pro-am event finals: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Legend
World Series (1–1)
Other (0–0)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2008 World Series – Warsaw event Republic of Ireland Doherty, KenKen Doherty 6–4
Runner-up 1. 2008 World Series – Moscow event Scotland Higgins, JohnJohn Higgins 0–5

Amateur finals: 3 (3 titles)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2002 ACBS Asian Under-21 Championship Thailand Janthad, PramualPramual Janthad 6–2
Winner 2. 2002 IBSF World Under-21 Championship Wales John, DavidDavid John 11–9
Winner 3. 2002 ACBS Asian Championship Singapore E. Boon, KeithKeith E. Boon 8–1

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Sources[edit]

External links[edit]