Sunday 11 December 2016

'He let the lads down!' - Ronnie O'Sullivan jokes after Ding Junhui hits 147 at Welsh Open

Published 19/02/2016 | 15:06

Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui

Ding Junhui hit a maximum 147 during his quarter-final defeat to Neil Robertson at the Welsh Open in Cardiff.

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After losing the opening frame, Chinese player Ding produced a clearance of 120 to level only for Robertson to make a 140 break to move ahead again.

After the interval, Robertson led 4-1, needing only another frame to book a place in the semi-finals.

However, Ding, the 2012 Welsh Open winner, rallied with a brilliant maximum break, screwing off the penultimate red into the middle pocket back onto the black before going on to sink the colours, taking the rest for the yellow and green.

After using a cue extension to slice the pink into the bottom corner, Ding sank the black to secure his sixth 147 and land the £10,000 prize. He could also win an extra £2,000 as the top break of the tournament, providing nobody matches his feat in the remaining games.

Earlier in the tournament, former world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan had turned down the opportunity to make a maximum during his first-round match after potting 14 reds and 13 blacks, saying afterwards the fund was "too cheap" to try for the achievement. O'Sullivan later played down the furore, claiming he was only "having a bit of fun".

Despite Ding's 147, he was unable to turn things round against Robertson as the world number three secured progress in the next frame after the interval, winning 83-1 to seal a 5-2 victory.

Ding revealed that he was eyeing up a maximum from early on in the frame after seeing the position of the reds.

"The reds were looking good (so) I go for it and (it's) the only chance I have for the good one," he told BBC Radio 5 live. "It's just a 147, a new record for me. I like to beat the records every time I play in the tournaments."

There was also praise from his opponent Robertson, who was full of admiration for Ding's bold approach.

"What a wonderful break," the Australian added. "He was clearly determined because he went for a risky shot in the 40s."

O'Sullivan, who defeated Mark Selby 5-1 in his quarter-final clash, was asked about Ding's achievement having caused a stir by his decision not to try for a maximum earlier in the week.

"I just thought he's let the lads down, hasn't he," he joked. "Ding got it and it's fantastic. At least they've had a 147 this week...and a 146."

O'Sullivan said the offer of £61,000 for a 147 from a bookmaker this week would have made going for the maximum worthwhile, yet he failed to emulate Ding in the third frame against Selby when he missed the black after making 57.

"I was going for it, 100 per cent," he added. "But then there is obviously pressure on it when you're going for it and I twitched on the black."

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