x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Williams top of the pots in China

Mark Williams produced a terrific fightback to deny Ding Junhui home glory in the final of the Sanyuan Foods China Open.

Mark Williams produced a terrific fightback to deny Ding Junhui home glory in the final of the Sanyuan Foods China Open. The Welshman, 35, looked to be in trouble at 5-3 behind in the afternoon session but he won seven of the next eight frames to triumph 10-6. For Williams it was the 17th ranking title of his career and the first since he won the same event in 2006. He collects £55,000 (Dh307,000) and will head to the Betfred.com World Championship later this month full of confidence and poised to clinch a place in the top eight for next season. For Chinese sensation Ding, who has won more ranking points than any other player this season, there was clear disappointment that he failed to win in front of a large Beijing crowd. He lost his way after looking in superb form in the early stages of the match and Williams ruthlessly took advantage. Ding, who turned 23 on April 1, made two century breaks in the first session as he aimed for his second ranking title of the season, having won the UK Championship in December. He fired in an early break of 127 to draw level after Williams had taken the opening frame with a run of 110. Two-time world champion Williams edged 2-1 ahead but Ding reeled off three frames in a row, capped with a break of 116, to take a 4-2 lead. Williams pulled a frame back before Ding constructed a break of 82 to lead 5-3 heading into the final frame of the afternoon. It was a key one in the context of the match and both men wasted early chances before Williams strung together a break of 61. Ding was unable to get back into the frame, and Williams, rejuvenated and firmly established back in the top 16 after a season outside the elite pack, ensured the home favourite would carry only a slender advantage into the evening session. Breaks of 81 and 65 carried Williams into a 6-5 lead before Ding responded with a 73 to draw level. With the match in the balance, it was Ding who looked to be feeling the pressure and Williams who stayed composed as he reeled off four frames in a row to secure the title, decisively clearing to the colours in the final frame before exuberantly smashing the yellow off the table. * PA Sport