Ding Junhui claims Welsh Open title

Updated: 2012-02-20 11:54


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Ding Junhui claims Welsh Open title

Ding Junhui wins his fifth career ranking title, the first of the season, after beating Mark Selby from England 9-6 in the final of the Welsh Open in Newport, Feb 19, 2012. [Photo/titan24.com]

NEWPORT, United Kingdom - Chinese snooker ace Ding Junhui won his fifth career ranking title on Sunday when he defeated world No 1 Mark Selby 9-6 in the final of the Welsh Open.

The 24-year-old landed his first ranking title for more than two years after hitting back to see off the 'Jester from Leicester' and pocket the £30,000 ($47,619) first prize.

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 victory.

"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 practice 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."