2024 Masters: Ding Junhui Hits Rare 147 but Loses to Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ding Junhui reflects on his first-round loss to Ronnie O'Sullivan at the MrQ Masters, where despite succumbing to a 6-3 defeat, he captivated audiences with a remarkable 147 break, a highlight of the thrilling encounter.

2024 Masters: Ding Junhui Hits Rare 147 but Loses to Ronnie O'Sullivan
Louis Hobbs

Written by: Louis Hobbs

(Senior Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2024-01-09

5 minutes read

147 Magic

In a dazzling display at Alexandra Palace, Ding Junhui crafted a sensational maximum break during the 2024 MrQ Masters, yet it was Ronnie O'Sullivan who emerged triumphant with a 6-3 victory.

 

The pinnacle of Ding's performance came in the seventh frame of their first-round encounter when he effortlessly compiled a seventh career 147. In a remarkable sequence, the 36-year-old navigated a challenging yellow and a precarious pink with the rest, the latter teetering on the pocket's edge before gracefully dropping in. 

 

This achievement marked only the fourth maximum break in the history of the prestigious tournament and marked Ding's second, the first being achieved during his teenage years in 2007. Despite Ding's remarkable feat, it was O'Sullivan's stellar play that propelled him into the quarter-finals with a decisive win.

 

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Nerves and Precision in the Crucial Moments

When asked about his emotions as he approached the end of the 147 break, Ding Junhui admitted, "Well, the last red was a little bit nervous because you need to put a good angle on the black as it was pushed. So yeah, it's difficult to control a little bit of movement position." He highlighted the challenges faced in maintaining precision, particularly in transitioning from the yellow to the black.

Crowd's Enthusiastic Response

The crowd's reaction to Ding's 147 was overwhelming, as they stood on their feet, cheering the accomplished snooker player. Ding acknowledged the support, saying, "I think they'd love me to make the 147. They love to watch great matches like this." He emphasised the importance of bringing an element of fun to snooker, drawing parallels with Ronnie O'Sullivan's playing style that fans find so appealing.

Missed Opportunities and Ronnie's Resilience

Reflecting on the missed chances after the 147, Ding admitted, "Yes, I still had a chance after four-three. I put the long ones in and opened a pack that gave me a chance, but I missed it." Despite his efforts, O'Sullivan seized the momentum and secured the victory with a 6-3 score line.

Incentives and Future Aspirations

The conversation turned towards potential future achievements, including the prospect of a 147 at the Crucible and the associated £147,000 bonus for a player to hit two 147s at any of this season’s Triple Crown events, which was announced by the World Snooker Tour (WST) at the beginning of the season. 

 

Ding Junhui commented, "I haven't thought much about that bonus, but yes, it would make it extra special to hit a 147 at the Crucible." He stressed the importance of turning losses into wins while expressing the desire to make another maximum break in the future.

A Mental Block Against Ronnie?

The interviewer delved into Ding's experiences facing Ronnie O'Sullivan, both at the UK Championships and the Masters. Ding expressed enjoyment in their encounters, stating, "I'm quite enjoying him because at UK championships and like today, we fight hard against each other. We play more open ball and it's very attack minded."

 

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Addressing the topic of his record against Ronnie O'Sullivan, Ding Junhui clarified, "I don't put it as a mental block. I just need to keep focused on winning well on different levels." He emphasized the correlation between his performance and the outcome, expressing confidence that playing his best would significantly reduce the chances of defeat.

Balancing Emotions and Priorities

As the interview concluded, Ding was asked about the emotional aspect of the match. He acknowledged the crowd's happiness and admitted, "I just didn't concentrate on the table in my first few shots, I gave him a chance and he took it." Despite the emotional rollercoaster, Ding emphasised the importance of maintaining focus and prioritising winning over individual achievements.

 

In conclusion, Ding Junhui's journey in the MrQ Masters may have ended with a loss, but his remarkable 147 break and insightful reflections offer fans a glimpse into the mindset of a dedicated and resilient snooker player.

 

Image credit: World Snooker Tour (WST)

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Louis Hobbs

Louis Hobbs

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.

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