International Championship

International glory is ‘dream come true’ for impressive Walden

Ricky Walden. Picture by Monique Limbos

Ricky Walden. Picture by Monique Limbos

NEWLY crowned International Championship winner Ricky Walden has described winning the title as a ‘dream come true’.

The Chester potter lifted the biggest ranking title of his career on Sunday when he beat Mark Allen 10-7 in an entertaining final in Chengdu.

With the match tied at 7-7, Walden produced his best snooker at the most critical time hitting breaks of 85, 103 and 62 to win the trophy and a massive £125,000 in prize money.

Walden is becoming something of a snooker king in China as victory earned him is third major career title to add to the two previous titles he also won in the country – the 2008 Shanghai Masters and the 2012 Wuxi Classic.

“I couldn’t be happier,” he said after getting his hands on the trophy.

“It was a tough first session today, and then I got better in the second session. It’s a dream come true to win this event. All three of my titles have come in China and I love playing here.

“I’ve not thought about the money. It was just so important for me to get my hands on the trophy. The money is just a bonus.”

On the other hand, it was the same sinking feeling for Allen who suffered his second major ranking final defeat of the season following his loss in the Shanghai Masters in September.

Allen also lost in the final of the first of this season’s first European Tour (minor ranking) events before making amends and winning the second event in Germany in August.

“I didn’t come here (the final) to finish second,” he said. “I’ll probably look back in a few months time and think I’ve had a great start to the season. But I’ve lost three out of four finals and that’s not good enough. It’s something I have to work on.”

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