Ding Junhui came into his second Crucible semi-final against Alan McManus admitting he was still haunted by a miss against Judd Trump at the same stage in 2011.

The 29-year-old from China has underachieved in his adopted city of Sheffield until this season, with just that one appearance in the last four five years ago.

The match against Trump was one of the best seen in recent times at the iconic venue, and one that Ding eventually lost 17-15.

But as he attempted to reach a first world final, in a semi-final of rare quality against the Scot, Ding acknowledged there were bad memories driving him on.

The doubts have often resurfaced in recent years when put under pressure, though Ding was hoping the wisdom of Terry Griffiths in his corner might help this year.

World No17 Ding said: “I just remember the shot I played against Judd on the red at 15-15. The red knocked another red but the position wasn't on the pink.

“I remember that bad shot but I don't remember anything else, how good a match it was. That shot I could have gone 16-15 because I was on a break – it was a key shot.

“I remember the shot I played and I remember Judd’s potting after that. He potted everything, that's all I remember.

“When I was young all I wanted to do was go and win more titles like Stephen Hendry.

“I don't know the special feeling of winning a world title because I haven't lifted the trophy yet. I'll try to do it, it would be perfect, but I know the semi-final is very tough when you look at what happened to John Higgins.

“Getting in the semi-final I want to get rid of the bad feeling from last time at this stage and other Crucible bad memories.

“I think the qualifiers helped me a lot to bring my form back this year, each match was better than the last.

“There is going to be a qualifier in the final, a lot of people said what Shaun Murphy did in 2005 could not be done any more. But Alan or I will be there.”


Photograph courtesy of Monique Limbos