Awesome Allen Takes Ruhr Open Crown

It has been a quiet start to the season for Mark Allen, but today the Northern Irishman completed an excellent weekend’s work with a 4-1 victory against Ding Junhui to win the Ruhr Open in Germany. Click below for my round-up of the event…

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Appearing in his second European Tour final, Allen made the perfect start to the match by taking the opening frame with a break of 76 to lead 1-0.

Opponent Ding Junhui looked set to hit back immediately with a good break of 55 in the second, before a missed red to the left-centre allowed Allen a way back into the frame. Despite a miss on the final yellow, it was Allen who would eventually take the frame on the colours, before a break of 100, his fourth ton of the event, put him one away from victory at 3-0.

Credit to Ding, who did not give up and took frame four to keep the match alive, but it was to be Allen’s day and the Antrim man wrapped up victory in the fifth frame to take his fifth professional title.

For Allen, while I suspect he will have his eye on bigger titles than this, winning is always a good thing and I’m sure that it won’t be lost on him that now assured of his place in the PTC Grand Finals at the end of the season, he will have the opportunity to skip the remaining European Tour events should he wish to do so. That said, with his place in the Masters in January not yet secure, he might want to keep on entering the events for the foreseeable future.

In respect of Ding, it has been another good weekend for the recent Shanghai Masters champion, who has now risen to fourth on the latest projected seedings list, equally his career-best ranking. One of the players of the season so far, it is good to see him performing well consistently and in the mix for silverware.

As we have come to expect with snooker in Germany, it has been another extremely well supported event and one that will hopefully be back on the calendar next season.

Aside from the finalists, the main stories included Robbie Williams defeating the likes of David Gilbert and Luca Brecel to reach the last four of a European Tour event for the first time, as well as a career-best (according to World Snooker), victory for Leicester’s Ben Woollaston against Ronnie O’Sullivan on Friday, finished with a century break in the decider.

It was also good to see Shanghai Masters quarter-finalist Kyren Wilson maintain his strong form with another run to the final day, while Chris Norbury also impressed with a last 16 run.

At one stage yesterday it looked as though the favourite to take the event would be Neil Robertson, as he made an incredible start to the event by defeating Ahmed Saif 4-0, notching four century breaks in the process and outscoring his opponent 419-0.

Taking into account his 6-2 victory against Li Hang earlier in the week at the International Championship qualifiers, Robertson’s run saw him an outrageous hit eight centuries in 10 frames, scoring 611 unanswered points, before he was defeated by Stuart Bingham in the last 32.

Next up, a week off for the main tour before 64 players (plus wildcards), head to India for the inaugural Indian Open. Rather unfortunately, I hear that the event will not be televised at all, while the short format of best of seven matches, up to a best of nine final means that the event will not appeal to all, but hopefully the event will lead to bigger things in India in future seasons.