World Champion Mark Selby was in exquisite form as he hammered a despondent Ding Junhui 10-1 on his own turf in the International Championship Final.
Selby takes control from the outset
The pairing are two of the best players so far in 2016/17, with Selby winning the Paul Hunter Classic and Ding taking home the Shanghai Masters title, defeating the World number one in the process. The Chinese number one has been almost unstoppable in recent weeks, winning 19 of his last 20 matches, although it did not take long for Selby to put him to the sword on Sunday.
The Jester barely allowed his opponent to the table in the opening frames, as breaks of 87 and 83 gave Selby a 2-0 advantage. The third frame was a much tighter affair as the Englishman edged it, though Ding struck back and showed his quality in the fourth. That spell of resilience only served to encourage Selby as he went on to win five consecutive frames before the interval. The man from Leicester compiled breaks of 67, 66 and 50 in a dominant session where Ding did not pass 47.
Ding is unable to fight back
At 8-1 down, Ding could have easily given up the ghost but continued to fight after the break. He fell eight points short of Selby in frame ten, losing out to another half century compilation, this time 62. Ding was not even afforded an opportunity in what was to be the final frame, as Selby made a seventh half century break of the contest on his way to a ninth major ranking title.
The players will remain in China for two invitational events, allowing Ding time to recover from this shock to the system. The snooker contingent will then return to the United Kingdom midway through November as the Northern Ireland Open makes it's maiden appearance on the calendar.