Snooker: Rocket Ronnie blows Ding away

Updated: 2007-01-22 08:37
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Former world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan put his recent troubles behind him to crush China's teenage sensation Ding Junhui 10-3 to win his third British Masters final.
Snooker: Rocket Ronnie blows Ding away
China's Ding Junhui prepares to hit his shot during the Snooker British Masters Jan 21,2007. [Xinhua]
O'Sullivan knocked in four century breaks on the way to winning the 130,000-pound winners' cheque with 19-year-old Ding, who was bidding for a fourth career title, taking home 62,000 pounds.

The 19-year-old Ding won the opening two frames of the final at Wembley Arena topped by a superb 109 break in the second.

But for the next four frames it was all O'Sullivan who went to the mid-session break with a 5-3 lead.

The evening session kicked off 15 minutes later than the scheduled start but it didn't stop O'Sullivan coming out of the blocks firing.

Ding missed a long red and O'Sullivan coolly slotted home a brilliant 96 break to increase his lead to three frames. And that lead soon became four when Ding overcut a red into the top left pocket and the 1995 and 2005 champion pounced to compile a 66 break.

China's brightest young star looked way off the pace, clearly troubled by a noisy partisan crowd, and O'Sullivan was not going to miss out. He quickly made it 8-3 with yet another superb break.

The onslaught continued in the next frame and, with a stunning 143 break - the second highest of the tournament after Ding's 147 maximum in the wildcard round - O'Sullivan took himself within two frames of victory.

O'Sullivan made a 48 break, only to break down in the next frame. But Ding failed to take advantage and got back in amongst the balls to wrap up the frame with a 49 run to leave just one frame for a famous victory.

Strangley O'Sullivan then put his arm around Ding just before the players walked off for the first interval of the evening session after Ding offered his hand in resignation.

The players did return after a 20-minute break, but a World Snooker spokesman confirmed that Ding had thought the match was the best-of-17 frames instead of the scheduled 19.

It made little difference as O'Sullivan, with a break of 74, won the first frame after the interval to secure this year's coveted title.