DING JUNHUI stands just one win away from making snooker history after he secured a place in the World Championship final for the first time in his career.
China’s number one star will become the sport’s first ever Asian world champion should he win the final on Monday.
Reaching the final itself is a huge feat for Ding who has struggled to deliver his best form on snooker’s biggest stage for many years – only reaching one semi-final appearance prior to this year’s event.
But now Ding needs just one more win to secure an historic title after he defeated Alan McManus 17-11 with a dominant and record breaking display having become the first man to make seven centuries in a single match at the Crucible Theatre.
The world number 17 will face either Mark Selby or Marco Fu in snooker’s biggest match of the year with the winner receiving £300,000.
Should Fu beat Selby tonight it will be snooker’s first ever all-Asian World Championship final.
The final is expected to be watched by millions of people worldwide and with China such a hotbed in the snooker world Ding will have millions of followers over the next two days.
Starting the final session 14-10 ahead of the Scot, who was playing his first Crucible semi-final in 23 years, Ding continued his domination and clinched victory after four frames of the afternoon session.
After the first two frames were shared, Ding edged closer to the final with a brilliant break of 123 – his seventh of the semi-final which broke a record at the famous Sheffield venue.
And Ding clinched victory a frame later to wrap up a 17-11 victory against the veteran whose triumphant tournament will put him back into the world’s top 20 going into the new season.
Ding, who is yet to win a major title this season, will know who he faces in the final later tonight following the conclusion of the second semi-final.
Selby and Fu resume at 7pm with the match beautifully poised with the scores all square at 12-12.
Ding Junhui’s Crucible Record
2016 – Final
2015 – Quarter-Finals
2014 – First Round
2013 – Quarter-Final
2012 – First round
2011 – Semi-Final
2010 – Second Round
2009 – Second Round
2008 – Second Round
2007 – First Round