HISTORY will be made on Sunday when this year’s Shanghai Masters final will see an all-Chinese affair between Xiaou Guodong and Ding Junhui.
This will be the first all-Chinese final in the history of snooker after both men completed deserved semi-final victories earlier today (Saturday).
Ding Junhui, who remarkably (given his talent) has not won a major ranking event in his home country since the 2005 China Open, booked his place in the grand final with a 6-2 win over World Championship runner-up Barry Hawkins.
Despite not being at his fluent best, Ding had control of the semi-final with a 4-1 lead with a top break of 53.
Hawkins pulled a frame back with a break of 90 but there was no chance of a comeback from the Englishman as Ding secured the win with a break of 68 and by winning a scrappy eighth frame.
Earlier in the day Guodong reached his first ever ranking final with an impressive 6-3 win over Michael Holt.
The 24-year-old hit breaks of 64 and 95 to help him to an early 3-1 lead at the mid-session interval.
Holt fought back with some quality snooker as breaks of 113 and 64 helped the Nottingham star level the scores – but it was one way traffic afterwards with Xiao taking the next three frames.
Guodong won the match in style knocking in a superb break of 127 – one of the highest of the tournament after Holt fouled on the black at the start of the ninth frame.
And the new Chinese star appeared to be confident mood when asked of his chances of winning the trophy.
Guodong said: “I’m confident now and I’m going to lift the trophy tomorrow, whoever I’m going to play. This is what I’ve been desperate to do for years.
“It’s not done if I lose. I have one more match to play, which will be my biggest stage in my career.”
The winner of the final will win the top cash prize of £80,000 and the Shanghai Masters trophy.