Five times a ranking event winner last season, Ding Junhui got his hands on another piece of silverware this morning at the AT1 event in Yixing, defeating Michael Holt 4-2 to claim the title.
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Following the qualifying events staged in Gloucester approximately three weeks ago, this week saw the first title of the 2014/15 up for grabs in Yixing and there was to be a familiar winner, as world number two Ding Junhui defeated Michael Holt to win his first Asian Tour event.
It was Ding who made the stronger start to the final, moving into a 3-0 lead with a break of 84, before Holt, appearing in his second Asian Tour final, responded to close to 3-2.
Ding though finished with a break of 88 to seal victory and add £10,000 to his total on the latest ranking list, as he chases Mark Selby down as he looks to become world number one for the first time in his career.
Of course, Ding is likely to lose ground next week at the Wuxi Classic where he will not be present, having surprisingly lost out 5-0 to amateur Oliver Brown in qualifying at the South West Snooker Academy, but Holt will be among the higher seeds present and hoping to go deep in the tournament.
Other stories in Yixing were strong semi-final runs from Ryan Day and Robert Milkins, the latter hoping to bounce back from a tough finish to last season with a repeat of his early season form from a year ago.
One man who has so far replicated his strong form of last summer is Scott Donaldson, who having been so unfortunate to miss out on a top 64 place at the end of last season, has so far wasted little time in moving back up the ranking list this season. A quarter-final run here in Yixing saw him win his ninth straight match at the start of the campaign, before he came unstuck against Milkins in the quarter-finals.
There was also a strong run for the talented Li Hang, while Jamie Burnett, despite his press conference at April’s World Championship where he suggested that he had almost fallen out of love with snooker in recent years, also enjoyed a quarter-final run.
Defending champion Joe Perry made it through the last 16 before running into eventual champion Ding, while Oliver Lines also made this stage before coming unstuck against Donaldson.
Next up then will be the Wuxi Classic which starts on Monday and you can view the draw for that event here.