Mehta’s world ranking to get a big boost

Ding ‘Enter the Dragon’ Junhui outclassed home challenger Aditya Mehta 5-0 to win the title in the inaugural £300,000 Indian Open snooker tournament here on Friday.

Twenty-six-year-old Ding, the current World No. 4, potted his way to victory in about two hours in the best-of-nine-frame contest and took the winner’s cheque for £50,000.

Second title of the year

For Ding, this was the second ranking event title in 2013 after his victory in the Shanghai Masters. The Indian Open was Ding’s eighth ranking crown.

For 72nd-ranked Mehta, the runner-up finish and a prize money of £25,000, was no mean feat.

For a cueist who had spent nearly five years on the professional circuit without achieving a quarterfinal berth so far, it was a fairytale journey during which he stunned two former World champions Peter Ebdon and Mark Williams and present World No. 5 Stephen Maguire.

It will do a world of good to his confidence besides boosting his world ranking because of the 4,000 ranking points he is set to gain.

Twenty-seven-year-old Mehta’s appearance in the final of a pro ranking event was perhaps the biggest milestone for Indian snooker.

The final was a predictable affair though.

Ding exhibited his class to keep Mehta at bay and pot almost everything that came his way. With clean strikes and fluent potting, he built huge breaks and denied the Indian any chance to display his tight safety game.

A picture of calmness, Ding clinically scored two half-century breaks in the first two frames and followed it up with a century break of 107. He continued with his good work to do a 93-point break in the fourth and made a clearance of 100 to complete the formalities.

The Chinese star won 76-36, 87-0, 107-0, 93-1, 116-1. Mehta, who remained glued to his chair, managed to score altogether 38 points in the five frames.

Thrilling semifinal

An hour-and-a-half before playing the final, Mehta had got past World No. 5 Stephen Maguire 4-3 in a thrilling semifinal contest, while Ding outsmarted World No. 73 Robbie Williams 4-1. Mehta cruised to a 3-0 lead in no time, but faltered to allow the Scot to make a stunning comeback. Mehta, who had lost to Maguire 4-3 after leading 3-2 in the recent Ruhr Open in Germany, built some good breaks to win three consecutive frames without conceding a point.

As Mehta failed to achieve some gettable pots, Maguire, a smooth player with strong tactical acumen, banked on his exquisite precision to win the tactical battles and make it 3-3.

The suspense-filled decider was a top class duel with the two engaging in a fabulous exchange of safety measures. With Mehta leading 61-35 and three balls left on the table, Maguire needed to ‘snook’ the Indian twice.

The current Welsh Open champion bridged the gap by 10 points before Mehta took the pink and end Maguire’s stiff resistance.

Meanwhile, Pankaj Advani took home £9,000 for making it to the quarterfinals.

The results: Final: Ding Junhui bt Aditya Mehta 5-0 [76 (52)-36, 87 (81)-0, 107(107)-0, 93 (93)-1, 116 (100)-1].

Semifinals: Ding Junhui bt Robbie Williams 4-1 [111 (68)-0, 90(59)-11, 146 (142)-0, 0-87 (67), 76 (64)-28]; Aditya Mehta bt Stephen Maguire 4-3 [84 (42)-0, 137 (81, 49)-0, 132 (132)-0, 0-72 (68), 10-53(48), 6-67 (61), 67 (32)-45].

Quarterfinals: Robbie Williams bt Anthony McGill 4-0 [79-0, 70-54, 107 (100)-0, 75-26]; Ding Junhui bt Neil Robertson 4-2 [96 (72)-4, 76 (52)-52, 0-86 (86), 0-104 (104), 85 (85)-10, 91 (91)-0]; Stephen Maguire bt Michael White 4-3 [29-60, 90 (90)-22, 0-133 (133), 0-125 (125), 78 (77)-0, 73 (73)-23, 52-47]; Aditya Mehta bt Pankaj Advani 4-3 [29-70, 70 (45)-0, 68-82, 58-43, 65-24, 45-66, 72 (38)-0].

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