Grand Prix 2009: Ding v Robertson Final Updates

So we are down to just two players in what is a very tough final to call. I’m going to back Ding but it really is a 50/50 match-up as far as I can see.

Click below for my live updates throughout the afternoon session…

Neil Robertson 4-3 Ding Junhui

124(124tc)-0, 97(46)-24, 42(37)-72(28,26), 35-84(80), 0-118(112), 108(108)-13, 66(43)-5

Frame One:

A couple of misses from distance have given Ding the first opportunity in the match but he was only able to score the one point and the safety duel goes on…

Third time lucky for Neil with the long pots as he hammers in his first red of the match and lands perfectly on the black. With 4/5 loose reds in play he could open up a useful lead in this opening frame now…

Into the reds from a nice plant and following a very well taken blue into the yellow pocket, he looks very well placed to go into a 1-0 lead and could even make the 99th century of his professional career…and he does, a majestic break of 124 and it looks like he has picked up from where he left off yesterday already.

Frame Two:

The Australian has wasted no time in getting in amongst the balls in frame two but a split has gone wrong on 22 and he has had to play safe…but Ding has played a poor one and Neil has another chance to score heavily following an opening red to the right-centre…68 and that leaves Ding needing three snookers so looks like 2-0 to Robertson…and it is.

Frame Three:

A half-chance for Ding has given Neil first blood again in frame three but following a strange decision to go into the reds when the angle was not good, he has run out of position on 37 and been forced to play safe…

A very interesting frame this, with the reds very awkwardly placed it was Ding who got in first with a break of 28 – not bad at all, before another safety exchange also won by the Chinese number one which as given him a chance to get his first frame on the board…unfortunately for him however he has not been able to win it in one visit, though he does lead 54-43 with five balls remaining…and has now converted it into the frame to trail just 1-2…

Frame Four:

After Neil has edged into a 27 point lead we have seen a far more tactical frame before the interval as the two scrap for an opportunity…and eventually it falls to Ding who has wrapped up the frame with an excellent break of 80.

So level at 2-2 at the mid-session interval which Ding will be delighted with after the brilliant start from Neil Robertson. Very finely poised, I do hope that we go into the evening session with the score standing at 4-3 to either player.

Frame Five:

So after the interval we are back for a further three frames…

Ding is on a roll at the moment, getting a lot of table time and looks comfortable in amongst the balls. Lead up to 45 points and with every ball out in the open, I would not be surprised to see the second century of the match coming up…and he hasn’t let me down, 112 and the frame, Ding Junhui.

Frame Six:

As was the case last night, Ding’s all-round game is looking very good today as he is scoring well and just as importantly, playing some excellent safety. As a result of one such safety shot, he is now in amongst the balls again and looking to put some points on the board…but it has not worked out and now Neil has his first chance to score in quite a while. The black and pink are not well placed however so it is not quite a frame-winning opportunity just yet…

But he has made it happen, and in the process recorded the 100th century break of his career. More than that though it has ended Ding’s three frame winning streak and kept himself right in touch.

Frame Seven:

The final frame of this session and with the scoreline now sure to be 4-3 either way, regardless of who takes it we are set for a fantastic final later on this evening.

Drama in this frame early on as Ding got in first and then split the reds beautifully from the blue, but in doing so managed to knock a red in and now the chance falls to Neil who will be looking to re-take the lead going into tonight.

But another twist! He has miscued on 17, let’s hope that has not damaged his tip…well it seems to be ok, Neil has come back to the table and done enough to secure a 4-3 lead. We are no closer to knowing who will win this…