LIANG Wenbo is now a major ranking event winner after he put on an impressive display to beat Judd Trump in the English Open final.
China’s number two star held his nerve in brilliant fashion to beat the world number three and last week’s European Masters winner 9-6 in an engrossing final.
As well as winning £70,000, the hard-fought but deserved win earned him his first major ranking title since becoming a professional eleven years ago.
The talented star has been knocking on the door in recent times after making the final of the UK Championship and the semi-finals of the German Masters last year as well as losing to Ronnie O’Sullivan in the 2009 Shanghai Masters final.
FACTFILE – LIANG WENBO
Turned Professional: 2005
Achievements Prior to English Open: UK Championship runner-up 2015, Shanghai Masters runner-up 2009
Prize Money: £699,663
World Ranking: 12
But there was no stopping the determined 29-year-old in Manchester where he delivered his A game to perfection and became the first player to win the new English Open competition and the Steve Davis Trophy.
Going into the final after beating former world champion Stuart Bingham in a dramtic semi-final, Wenbo made a storming start to the final making two breaks of 95 to give him a 2-0 lead.
Trump, looking to win back to back major ranking events after his success in Romania just seven days ago, responded winning the next two frames before Wenbo won three on the bounce including a brilliant double to win a re-spotted black to take a 5-2 lead.
The Juddernaut’s break of 52 in frame 8 kept the final tight going into the evening session with Wenbo leading 5-3.
And Trump made a stunning start to the evening session as a break of 132 put him right back into the contest at 5-4.
But Wenbo showed he was made of tough steel when he responded with breaks of 84 and 98 to go back three frames clear and just two away from glory.
Trump though ensured Wenbo would be tested to the hilt when he won back to back frames either side of the session interval to reduce his arrears to 7-6.
And Trump looked a big favourite to win the next frame and level the scores until a wonderful 62 clearance from Wenbo – under huge pressure – edged him closer to glory.
One away from victory, Wenbo had a golden chance to win the match in one visit but missed a tricky red with the rest on 32 which allowed Trump back in.
But the world number three could not take full advantage as he, crucially, missed a red along the bottom cushion with a slender lead of 51-36.
Wenbo soon levelled the scores before potting a crucial last red on he side cushion allowed him to sink in the colours to complete his biggest victory yet. The victor jumped for joy after potting the final pink to clinch the win.