Walden – Good start proved vital in Wuxi win

NEW WUXI Classic champion Ricky Walden has said winning the first few frames was massive in his grand final win over Stuart Bingham.

Walden dominated the match throughout and went on to beat his Essex opponent 10-4 to clinch his second world title with his last ranking success coming four years ago in the Shanghai Masters.

After his win, Walden collected the winning trophy, a cash prize of £75,000 and gained the maximum 7,000 ranking points for winning the season’s first major event.

“I’m over the moon to win the event and am very very pleased,” Walden told World Snooker.

“It was a tough game, I won a few good early frames on the black to open up a lead and I played pretty solid from then. I think the first two frames were massive. The first frame, I felt like I hadn’t settled down and Stuart seemed to be getting the upper hand. When he missed and let me in I managed to get a couple of snookers to put the pressure back on.

“I think it set the tone for the rest of the match and I took advantage of a few of his mistakes, potted a few big balls in the opening five or six frames and I managed to keep a decent lead.

“In the second session Stuart looked like he was hitting the ball a bit better and he was putting a few good breaks together. I was just trying to hang in there and just keep doing what I was doing, playing solid stuff, keeping it tight, as tight as I can and hoping my chance would come and I took it out in the end.”

And Walden, who climbed into the top ten of the projected seedings list after his solid win, said it was great to win in China once again following his first success in Shanghai.

“It’s great to play out in China, the game’s getting bigger and bigger over here,” he added.

“Four years ago when I won in Shanghai, it was all kicking off then and it was great to play then. If you can learn to win in China then it’s a good thing because the tournaments are slightly different than they are in the UK. Every tournament is different and if you can manage to win in China then I think it’s a good thing. The lads are enjoying playing out here as well.

“The people have been great, the fans have been great, it’s a great city and the trophy is an unbelievable trophy so it’s an honour for me to win for the first time.”

Despite a big defeat, Bingham can take great heart from his run to the final in Wuxi and for the start he has made into the new season especially after winning the Asian PTC 1 event ten days ago.

Bingham delighted the Wuxi crowd with a superb 147 and he told World Snooker that was the most pleasing aspect on what was for him a disappointing match.

” Obviously I’m a bit disappointed, I’ve had 15 (games) or so unbeaten and today it just didn’t happen,” he said.

“I think it was just a bad day at the office. Some consolation was the 147. It’s always nice to make a 147, especially in a final.

“If someone had said before I went to China that I’d win the ATPC event and come here and get to the final I’d have bit their hand off so I can’t grumble. That’s my third professional 147, I normally get close a couple of times before I make one so it summed up a good week for me.”

Both Walden and Bingham will be competing in Bangkok this week in the SangSom Six Red World Championship which kicks off today (Monday).

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