Ding Junhui arrived in Cardiff out of form, but sporting a new bright red waistcoat. When it came to trying to engineer a change of fortunes, it looked like it was down to a straight choice between this and entering the arena with a lucky cat for the 11-time ranking event winner from China.
The 28-year-old Ding joined the huge Chinese community around the world in celebrating the nation’s New Year earlier in February, with 2016 marking the Year of the Monkey. And one tradition widely observed for the bringing of good luck is the wearing of red clothes. It got him to the quarter-final, but evidently it takes more than a sartorial tweak to stop a rampant Neil Robertson. Ding’s snazzy garment might have been the secret weapon behind a sixth career 147 maximum break in frame six, but it could not halt the Australian’s charge.