2013/14 Snooker Season: Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding – SnookerHQ

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The newest chapter in a sequence of articles trying again at every marketing campaign from the Crucible period.

The 2013/14 snooker season boasted a dozen rating occasions, a brand new report for the quantity staged underneath that standing on the time.

One participant who took full benefit of the elevated alternatives was Ding Junhui, who was lastly on the peak of his powers for a sustained interval, temporary although it was.

Regardless of having simply turned 26 by the point his 2013/14 snooker season commenced, Ding’s achievements had been already the supply of a lot dialogue amongst analysts and followers alike.

By now, Ding was already a six-time rating occasion champion – a tally which included a brace of UK Championship crowns – and a Masters winner.

However his failure to construct on his early promise as a devastating teenager, significantly on the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield the place he suffered from a dismal report, had some already querying his fragile temperament.

Ding burst onto the scene by capturing the 2005 China Open on his 18th birthday, and in doing so ignited an unlimited wave of recognition for snooker within the Asian nation.

The previous world under-21 beginner champion was, and continues to be, so adored by his Chinese language followers that the stress on his shoulders has at occasions been too heavy to bear, and this steadily led to subpar performances on residence soil.

When he triumphed then within the 2013 Shanghai Masters courtesy of a 10-6 beating of compatriot Xiao Guodong within the last, quite a lot of that load was instantly lifted.

Ding’s confidence was carried ahead into the very subsequent rating occasion, the inaugural staging of the Indian Open the place he beat residence hero Aditya Mehta within the title-deciding showdown.

Quick ahead one other few weeks and he was at it once more, this time again in China for the profitable Worldwide Championship in Chengdu when he edged Australian Open winner Marco Fu 10-9 in a nail-biting finale.

For the primary time since Stephen Hendry in 1990 a participant had received three rating titles on the trot, and Ding had one other of Hendry’s information inside his sight.

The 2005 and 2009 UK champion wanted two extra rating occasion victories to equal Hendry’s as soon as untouchable report for essentially the most amassed in a single time period.

Ding’s streak concluded after he ran out of gasoline in a UK Championship that was received by Neil Robertson, the Australian beating defending champion Mark Selby so as to add to his success within the season-opening Wuxi Basic.

Nevertheless it wasn’t lengthy till he received going once more, rising to the event in entrance of two,500 snooker-adoring followers on the Tempodrom in Berlin to carry the German Masters trophy on the expense of Judd Trump.

Only a month later, Ding had his first probability to equal Hendry’s report of 5 when he confronted Ronnie O’Sullivan within the last of the Welsh Open – the final version of the occasion to be held on the Newport Centre.

The Rocket didn’t take as lengthy of a hiatus as within the earlier marketing campaign, however he did miss massive chunks in the course of the first half of the 2013/14 snooker season.

When he did play, he appeared to win, significantly within the non-ranking occasions the place he thrived amongst high-quality individuals.

O’Sullivan triumphed within the inaugural Champion of Champions with a 10-8 defeat of Stuart Bingham, after which hammered Selby within the last of the Masters.

Presently, regardless of the actual fact there was the comparatively new two-year rolling system for the world rankings, the standings had been nonetheless decided by a wierd factors method.

It wouldn’t be till the following marketing campaign {that a} listing can be applied devised from earnings alone, so regardless of having received the earlier two World Championship titles, O’Sullivan was ranked exterior the highest 16 on account of his failure to enter most rating occasions.

Ding, in contrast, was quickly rising up the rankings and by the tip of that calendar yr can be on the primary place for the primary time in his profession.

But, within the Welsh Open last, few actually had Ding because the favorite, and so it proved as a dominant O’Sullivan romped to additional success, capping a advantageous show with an excellent 147 break within the last body that sealed the highest prize.

One other month later and Ding was again in Beijing, the place he conjured up a second shot at matching Hendry’s two-decade outdated report of 5 rating titles in a single marketing campaign.

In entrance of joyous residence assist, he coasted to the ultimate the place he duly overcame Robertson by a 10-5 scoreline that may, in the meanwhile no less than, write his identify into the historical past books.

The World Championship was solely a few weeks away and a coveted maiden title on the Crucible Theatre gave the impression to be inside his grasp.

However Ding’s disappointment in Sheffield persevered with an unimaginable 10-9 reverse in opposition to Michael Wasley in what’s thought to be one of many largest ever Crucible upsets.

That coveted maiden world title on the finish of the 2013/14 snooker season would as an alternative be another person’s to savour.

Apart from Ding, a lot of the speak within the build-up to the match centred on whether or not O’Sullivan would be capable of safe a threepeat, and aside from a scare in opposition to Joe Perry within the second around the Englishman answered all of these questions by coasting by to a different last.

With the third in a row and a sixth World Championship in complete on the road, O’Sullivan encountered rival Selby, a participant who he had solely lately labelled as “The Torturer”.

Selby, usually by his performances within the Masters, had constructed up a status as being the grasp of brinkmanship and a protagonist who by no means, ever knew when he was crushed.

Besides, the Jester’s report in rating occasion finals up till this level in his profession was mediocre at greatest, along with his defeat to Shaun Murphy in March’s World Open last representing his eighth disappointment from eleven appearances at that stage.

When O’Sullivan established a 10-5 lead of their World Championship fixture, it appeared as if the sample of distress would proceed.

Selby, nevertheless, crucially received the final two frames on day one to path by simply three frames in a single day, and buoyed by his late-night efforts he was rapidly again on stage phrases on the Financial institution Vacation Monday afternoon.

Key to the turnaround was Selby’s knack of controlling the desk and making it troublesome for his esteemed opponent to make frame-winning clearances.

As soon as Selby went 11-10 in entrance, O’Sullivan needed to dig deep however by now he had taken a psychological battering, and the previous grew in power to in the end draw back and full a compelling 18-14 success.

Devastated by the loss, it will take years for O’Sullivan to be the identical type of animal once more on the Crucible, whereas Selby was set to turn into nearly unstoppable in Sheffield.

In the meantime, it was the start of the tip for an additional well-known participant who was as soon as an unstoppable pressure on the Crucible Theatre.

Steve Davis’ failure to qualify for the venue levels of a the 2014 World Championship meant that the six-time champion positioned exterior the highest 64 on this planet rankings listing to be relegated from the Fundamental Tour.

An invitational tour card extended his profession for some time longer, however the Nugget hardly ever accepted the chance to play, and two years later one of many all-time legends of the sport put away his cue for good.

Click on right here for extra from the Snooker Seasons sequence.

Featured photograph credit score: Monique Limbos



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