Ding storms into Welsh Open snooker final

China’s Ding Junhui swept past England’s Shaun Murphy 6-2 on Saturday to reach the Welsh Open snooker final.

The 24-year-old, who laid the foundations for victory by taking a 4-1 lead in the best-of-11-frame clash, will tackle Ronnie O’Sullivan or Mark Selby in Sunday’s final.

It will be Ding’s first ranking final since he lost to Mark Williams in the 2010 China Open.

“The past couple of years have been difficult because I have been travelling to and from China so I haven’t been able to practise properly,” said Ding.

“If I stay here for two or three months, then I miss home and I want to go to China for a week.

“In the last few weeks, I have had my best practice for a long time and I feel my game is getting better. I’m really happy to be in the final and I played well today.”

Murphy praised Ding for his contribution to the sport, both on and off the table.

“Ding is very hard to read but he’s a lovely lad and a credit to the game,” he said.

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