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Ssb - ding v fu in chengdu

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  • Ssb - ding v fu in chengdu

    You wait 30 years for an all Asian ranking event final and three come along at once.

    After Ding Junhui v Xiao Guodong in Shanghai and Ding v Aditya Mehta in Delhi we now have Ding v Marco Fu in Chengdu tomorrow.

    They each had tough International Championship semi-finals, which themselves felt like finals due to their two session format.

    Fu battled past Joe Perry 9-8; Ding made a superb clearance to deny Graeme Dott a deciding frame finish.

    Ding is thus poised to become the first player to win three successive ranking titles since Stephen Hendry in 1990. This was so long ago that Margaret Thatcher was still prime minister.

    Ding has matured into a great all round player, reliant in all departments: potting, break building, safety and big match temperament. His patience, focus and discipline is rock solid.

    Neil Robertson became a similar sort of player a few years ago and has never looked back.

    But Fu – as Robertson found out in this season’s Australian Open final – is no stranger to spoiling the party.

    This Hong Kong potter is always hard to read due to his ability to control his emotions and has scored really heavily this week, although not so heavily against Perry.

    These two have played in a final, at the 2011 Masters, which Ding won 10-4. He starts favourite again. His Shanghai win lifted the pressure he has felt playing in China and, though it may be premature to say this, seems to have transformed him completely.

    Not only is he enjoying his snooker at the moment but he is prepared to play in whatever way is required and give every frame the same commitment and concentration.

    This makes him a danger for any title. Fu will need to start well but has more than enough in his armoury to make the final a close and exciting climax to the week in Chengdu.