International Championship

Fu – ‘Ding’s playing like Hendry in his prime’

Stephen Hendry

Stephen Hendry

INTERNATIONAL Championship finalist Marco Fu has said Ding Junhui’s sensational form reminds him of how seven-times world champion Stephen Hendry played during his prime.

Ding triumphed on Sunday beating Fu 10-9 in a pulsating grand-final and in doing so won his third major ranking event on the bounce.

The win moved China’s number one star up to third place in the official world rankings and earned him his ninth career ranking title. He had recently won the Shanghai Masters and Indian Open.

In a thrilling final, Ding showcased his world quality once again on the biggest stage with five century breaks and two breaks of 90+.

Speaking after the final, Fu said Ding’s natural talent is that similar to Crucible king Hendry when it comes to putting breaks together.

“In terms of break-building, I think Ding’s playing like Hendry in his prime,” the Hong Kong star said.

“His ability makes me think of Hendry’s seven century breaks against Ken Doherty in the 1994 UK Championship final, plus he’s playing with great confidence now.

“I put him under a lot of pressure today, leading 8-7 and 9-8, but he fought back very quickly. A lot of tough shots I thought he would miss today, he didn’t. Hendry was great under pressure and Ding is kind of like that, playing even better under pressure. It’s special and very rare.”

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