The final of the 2012 Wuxi Classic will be contested between Stuart Bingham and Ricky Walden, after the former ranking event winners came through their respective semi-finals today. For Stuart however, it was not without a real scare…
Leading 4-0 and having barely put a foot wrong prior to the mid-session interval, viewers could have been forgiven for thinking that Stuart Bingham would run out a comfortable winner against Mark Davis this morning.
As it turned out however, the match would require an eleventh and deciding frame to settle it, after Davis stormed back to take five frames in a row, before Stuart took the next to level the scoreline at 5-5.
Ultimately it was Stuart who would deliver his best break of the match at the most important time, a run of 134 ensuring that his tremendous winning streak at the start of this season would go on and seeing him into the second ranking event final of his career. Almost a year on from his maiden professional title in Australia, he will now be hoping to add another title to his trophy cabinet and up three places to tenth in the latest projected seedings, will be hoping to further consolidate his position inside the top 16, having come close to losing that status towards the end of last season.
A word however for his beaten opponent today, who despite narrowly missing out on a place in his first full-ranking event final, can take plenty of encouragement from what has been a fine week.
Awaiting Stuart in the final will be Ricky Walden, who despite not being able to record a century break against Marcus Campbell, played well enough to come through a comfortable 6-1 winner against an opponent who could not reproduce the standard that he had shown in the earlier rounds.
His first appearance in a full-ranking event final since his breakthrough victory at the 2008 Shanghai Masters, it has been a while coming for Ricky but he has been playing well for some time now and like Stuart will be looking to capture his second major title.
How will the final pan out? Their only previous meeting of note came last year at the PTC8 event where Stuart ran out a 4-1 winner, but over the best of 19 frames this final is a different proposition entirely. On form I would have to slightly favour Bingham to edge it, though having come through four deciders already this week and played a whopping 38 frames already, in addition to his matches at the APTC last week, could he run out of steam?
Sadly for viewers in the UK, the match will not be broadcast on British Eurosport, so be sure to follow the action at liveworldsnooker.tv, or one of the established betting sites such as Bet365.