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Ding triumphs to win UK Open

December 14, 2009

As last night turned into this morning, Ding Junhui beat John Higgins 10-8 in Telford to claim his fourth ranking title and his second UK Open.

Undoubtedly a better player than his last UK win in 2005, it was his safety play that beat Higgins in a match that was more about tactics and mistakes than big break-building.

Ding Junhui claimed a deserved victory to win his fourth ranking title

World champion Higgins was never at his best but kept in touch with his opponent until he gifted him the opportunity to claim the crucial 15th and 16th frames and go 9-7 ahead, one frame away from victory.

Higgins looked on course to clear up and take the lead 8-7 when he missed a simple brown, leaving Ding the simple task of potting the final four balls. In the next frame he made another error and Ding took a lead that proved unnassailable, once again aided by a Higgins jawed red in what became the final frame.

Higgins described the misses as ‘unforgivable…terrible’, but Ding was a worthy winner as the Scotsman found himself outplayed in the safety department on a surprising number of occasions.

Ding was modest in victory, but he played excellently throughout the tournament and beaten Shaun Murphy, Allister Carter, Stephen Maguire and now Higgins en route to the title. He will surely be one of the favourites for the World Championships in Sheffield.

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