Ding beats Selby to win Welsh snooker

China’s Ding Junhui won his fifth career ranking title on Sunday when he defeated England’s Mark Selby 9-6 in the final of the Welsh Open snooker.

The 24-year-old, a world championship semi-finalist last season, trailed 2-1 early on but hit back to seal a confident victory after building a 5-3 interval lead.

Selby, who knocked out Ronnie O’Sullivan in the semi-finals, reduced the deficit to 5-4 but the Chinese player immediately restored his two-frame lead with a break of 83.

Selby took the next with a break of 91 but Ding’s first century of the tournament, a 124, meant it was 7-5 at the mid-session interval.

He knocked in a 130 to go to 8-5 but Selby clung on with a clearance of 145 – the highest break of the tournament – to trail 6-8.

The final frame was tight but Ding prevailed to land his first ranking title of the season.

“Mark missed a chance to go 3-1 up but he’s very good and I’m very happy to win,” said the champion.

Asked if the victory gives him hope ahead of the world championship, Ding added: “I’ll practise very hard. I got to the semi-finals last year and hope to do better this year.”

Selby said: “I missed too many balls. I had my chances but every credit to Ding – he deserves it.”

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