DING JUNHUI, who failed to qualify for this week’s Wuxi Classic, beat Michael Holt 4-2 to win the first Asian Tour event of the season, the Yixing Open, today.

Ding compiled five century breaks during the tournament and quickly built a 3-0 lead in the final, making 84 in the third frame.

Holt, who also reached an Asian Tour final last season, got back to within a single frame but Ding’s 88 in the sixth gave him the title and the £10,000 first prize.

Ding, the world no.2, won five world ranking titles last season, equalling the record set by Stephen Hendry during the 1990/91 campaign. However, he was fined £5,000 by World Snooker after failing to attend the annual awards in London. Just a few days after the fine was announced he lost 5-0 to amateur player Oliver Brown in Gloucester in the preliminary round of the Wuxi Classic, a tournament established in Ding’s own home city off the back of his success during the last decade.

To reach the final Ding beat a series of his fellow professionals: Jamie Jones, Tony Drago, Joe Perry, Jamie Burnett and Ryan Day. Holt defeated Robert Milkins 4-2 in the semi-finals.

There are four Asian Tour events this season plus six on the European Tour, with players competing for 32 spots in the Players Championship finals next March.


Photographs by Monique Limbos.