DING Junhui admitted he was overcome with emotion after sealing the Shanghai Masters title with victory over Xiao Guodong.
China’s number one star won his second major ranking event on home soil with a 10-6 win over his Chinese compatriot – ending an eight year wait for home silverware following his China Open success in 2005.
Following his win in snooker’s first ever all-Chinese final, Ding has moved five places up to seventh in the latest World Snooker rankings. And after lifting the trophy he said he winning the tournament was a huge moment for him.
“I had to let my emotions go after winning the tournament,” he said. “This showed how much I wanted this title, I wanted it more than anybody.
“But there was less pressure on me than in the past when I played here in China.
“I’ve been changing my game a little bit with a friend’s help, and training a lot. Now I can concentrate more on my snooker and this win means a lot to my career.”
And Ding said he hopes the historic final will help inspire more youngsters from China to develop their game further and play in more ranking finals.
“Liang Wenbo has been in the final of this tournament too so hopefully there will be many more chances for the players from China,” he added. “The young generation is growing up quickly so their days will come soon.”
Xiao, who was competing in his first ranking final, said he was thrilled to have had such a good week and wanted to build on it.
“Today (Sunday) is a historic day, no matter whether I won or not. Two Chinese players performing a top class match on worldwide stage. I’m so proud of myself, being a Chinese player.
“I’ve always dreamed of winning a title but I wasn’t very comfortable out there because this is my first ranking final. I’ll be more relaxed next time.
“It’s a special experience for me. I hope not to disappear from sight and hopefully I will take part in many more world class tournaments.
“I’m in the top 32 now but I hope to raise my ranking steadily. It seems to be really hard for me to get into top 16 this season, but if I keep my form it’s not impossible.”
Xiao was the biggest mover in the new world rankings list – moving up eleven places to 28th. To see the full list click here.