The first face of the predicted Chinese revolution in Snooker, Ding Junhui has consistently been a threat in tournaments since he burst onto the scene in 2004. Having turned professional in 2003, Ding was invited to participate in the Masters tournament, where he beat Joe Perry and almost upset Stephen Lee.
Despite not going any further in the tournament, Ding was very impressive in his first appearance in the public eye, and this set the tone for his future. A year later, at just 18 years of age, Ding won his native China Open, beating some of the biggest names in Snooker along the way to take his first ranking tournament. He would not have to wait long before winning his second and third, taking home the UK Championship and Northern Ireland Trophy over the next 2 seasons.
On account of this early form, many expected major sparks to fly from Ding and although he recorded plenty of impressive results, he never quite reached the heights that some thought possible. In 2009 he won his second UK Championships, and and followed that up by winning the 2010 Masters. Despite a series of inconsistent performances, Ding would also win the Welsh Open in 2012, proving he still has more than enough ability to compete at the highest level.
It is this lack of consistency that has caused Ding to slide slightly down the rankings. Only twice has he passed the second round of the World Championships, and this failure to perform on the biggest stage in the longest format of the game has lead to some questioning his mental strength. However, we should not forget that Ding remains very young and is some way from even turning 30. With his ability and growing experience we can hope to see Ding answer those questions in the future and fulfilling his potential.
Nickname: Star of the East
Date of Birth: 01.04.1987
Lives: Sheffield, Yorkshire
Professional Since: 2003
Current World Ranking: 10
Highest Tournament Break: 147 – Masters (2007), UK Championship (2008), FBB Snooker Open x2 (2011), PTC Finals (2013)
Ranking Tournament Wins: China Open (2005), UK Championship x2 (2005), (2009), Northern Ireland Trophy (2006), Welsh Open (2012)