Preston Guild Hall glory for Ronnie O'Sullivan after win over Ding Junhui

Ronnie O'Sullivan secured his maiden World Grand Prix title with a convincing 10-3 victory over Ding Junhui at Preston's Guild Hall.

Monday, 26th February 2018, 6:48 am
Updated Monday, 26th February 2018, 4:45 pm
Ronnie O'Sullivan after his victory at Preston Guild Hall (photo: eventphotos67)

The five-time world champion has now won four ranking titles in a single season for the first time in his career.

‘Rocket Ronnie’ produced some of his best snooker when it mattered most with an early break of 71 to take the opener but Ding was also in fine form with runs of 53 and 68 to go 2-2 at the mid-session interval.

However, clearances of 124, 105 and 120 helped the world No.2 into a 6-3 lead at the end of the afternoon session.

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And runs of 46 and 44 in the first frame of the evening extended O’Sullivan’s advantage to 7-3.

O’Sullivan ran riot to take the next two frames, needing just one more for his 32nd ranking event crown and the 42-year-old sealed it in style by rattling in an 83 break to complete the rout.

O’Sullivan, who made three centuries and three more breaks in excess of 50 on his way to the £100,000 top prize, said: “It wasn’t the best performance – I dragged Ding down to my level.

“He lost his concentration and I took bits and pieces. I’m always going to score, even when I’m not at my best my cue ball control is still good.”

China’s Ding missed out on the 14th ranking title of his career and second of the season, having won the Yushan World Open in September.

He said: “I had chances in the first session but didn’t take them. It looks like I played rubbish.

“It is a always dream to play Ronnie in a final and I wanted to play well against him – it doesn’t always happen, but I tried. For the last few months I didn’t play well, but I felt good this week.”