Ding Junhui secured his first competition win of the season this past week, defeating hometown favourite Anthony McGill 4-2 in the final of the Scottish Open in Glasgow.
By his own high standards, Ding has had a poor season so far and will be a relieved man to get a title under his belt. The Scottish Open holds no great prestige in the world of snooker, however, when a player is out of form like Ding Junhui has been of late, any title can provide the springboard for a turnaround in fortunes.
Ding beat the likes of Mark Williams, veteran Ken Doherty and the rejuvenated Steve Davis en route to the final to show that he is still capable of winning some big matches and, with the locals in full vocal support of McGill during the final, Ding also showed he still has the mental strength to block out any negative energy and concentrate on putting the balls in the pockets when needed.
Ding Junhui, after collecting his trophy, spoke of the ‘confidence’ this particular victory gives him and snooker fans know the ability that a confident and in-form Ding is capable of and would expect China’s number one snooker player to kick on with his form and launch a serious assault at the majors in the new year; starting with the Betfair Masters in January.
The game is a better place when Ding is on top form and with the likes of Mark Selby, Judd Trump
and Shaun Murphy improving all the time the challenge for honours is an exciting prospect for 2013.
With a potential return of Ronnie O’Sullivan, next year could be one of the best in the recent history