2024 World Grand Prix: Ding Junhui Sneaks Past Ricky Walden to Reach the Last 16

In a riveting first-round encounter at the Spreadex World Grand Prix, Ding Junhui showcased his snooker prowess by edging past Ricky Walden with a 4-3 victory. The match featured impressive breaks, intense safety battles, and a one-frame shootout, highlighting Ding's resilience. With this hard-fought win, Ding extends his unbeaten record against Walden in ranking TV events to almost a decade, earning a well-deserved spot in the tournament's last 16.

Player standing with a cue stick
Louis Hobbs

Written by: Louis Hobbs

(Senior Sports Writer)

Fact checked by: Wade McElwain

(Senior Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2024-01-17

4 minutes read

A Quickfire Start

In an intense first-round clash at the Spreadex World Grand Prix, snooker maestro Ding Junhui emerged victorious in a hard-fought battle against Ricky Walden, securing a 4-3 win to advance to the last 16. The match showcased Ding's resilience and skill, as he overcame a resilient opponent to maintain his impressive record against Walden in ranking TV events.

 

Ding wasted no time asserting his dominance in the opening frame, displaying his trademark finesse with a sublime 63 break that set the tone for the match. The Chinese sensation then continued his impressive form, engaging in an intense safety battle on the yellow in the second frame. Employing his strategic prowess, Ding snookered Walden three times before efficiently clearing the colours, securing a narrow two-frame lead.

Scrappy Affair Levels the Score

The third frame saw Walden responding with a commendable 55 break, signalling his determination to claw back at Ding's lead. As the match progressed, the fourth frame unfolded as a scrappy affair, with both players missing easy reds. Nevertheless, Walden managed to level the score at 2-2, setting the stage for a closely contested showdown.

 

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Walden’s Momentary Brilliance

In a pivotal moment, Walden capitalised on Ding's mistakes in the fifth frame, executing a brilliant clearance of 64 to take the lead for the first time in the match. However, Ding responded with unwavering confidence in the sixth frame, unleashing a commanding 70 break to force the game into a one-frame shootout, intensifying the drama for both players and spectators alike.

Nerves of Steel from Ding

Ding, known for his remarkable consistency, showcased nerves of steel in the decisive seventh frame. Despite a slight mishap on the black ball into the bottom right pocket, Ding managed to recover without conceding anything to Walden. The Chinese snooker star then returned to the table with determination, ultimately pinching the last frame and sealing the hard-fought victory.

 

This triumph extends Ding Junhui's impressive streak, as he maintains an undefeated record against Ricky Walden in ranking TV events for nearly a decade. With this resilient performance, Ding advances to the next stage of the Spreadex World Grand Prix, leaving fans eagerly anticipating his future matches as he continues to make his mark in the world of snooker.

 

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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