Ding Junhui Advances in Shanghai Masters with Commanding Win Over Si Jiahui

Photo: Eurosport

In a thrilling match, Chinese snooker legend Ding Junhui secured a commanding 6-2 victory over his 21-year-old compatriot Si Jiahui, earning himself a spot in the Shanghai Masters’ last 16. This marked a significant moment as the tournament marked professional snooker’s return to mainland China for the first time since 2019.

Ding Junhui, a two-time Shanghai Masters champion, hadn’t claimed a professional title since his victory at the 2019 UK Championship. Meanwhile, Si Jiahui, in the early stages of his professional career, had already demonstrated his remarkable talent by reaching the semi-finals of the previous season’s World Championship.

The match began with Ding taking the opening frame, and he extended his lead to 2-0 with a break of 70. Si fought back valiantly in the third frame, constructing a break of 60. However, Ding, with a break of 51, turned the tide and secured the frame with a black ball finish. Si managed to get his first frame on the board with a break of 71, reducing the deficit to 3-1 at the mid-session interval.

Upon resuming play, both players exchanged frames before Ding took control, winning two consecutive frames, including a marathon 29-minute eighth frame. The 36-year-old Ding emerged triumphant with a final score of 6-2.

Ding Junhui’s next challenge promises to be an exciting one, as he faces the 2010 World Champion from Australia, Neil Robertson, in the last 16.

In another match, John Higgins achieved a significant milestone by delivering a flawless 6-0 whitewash against Chinese wildcard Deng Haohui. Higgins, a four-time Crucible champion from Scotland, crafted his 950th career century break with an impressive run of 141 in the fourth frame. He joined Ronnie O’Sullivan as the only player to achieve this feat.

Higgins displayed remarkable form, producing additional runs of 64, 102, 91, and 59 on his way to a convincing victory. The 48-year-old Higgins is now set to face 2015 Shanghai Masters winner Kyren Wilson in the last 16. After the match, he expressed his happiness at being back to compete in China, praising the city and its amenities.

Hossein Vafaei delivered a dominant performance, securing a 6-1 win against wildcard Gong Chen. Vafaei showcased his prowess with century breaks of 120, 117, and 108 during the match and is now poised to face four-time World Champion Mark Selby, having won their last three meetings.

Additionally, former Shanghai Masters champion Ali Carter triumphed over Dong Zi Hao with a 6-2 scoreline, while China’s Fan Zhengyi secured a 6-2 victory over Scottish Open champion Gary Wilson.

In a nail-biting contest, Jack Lisowski made a significant contribution with a break of 84 in the deciding frame, edging out Zhou Yuelong with a 6-5 win. Lisowski’s reward is an intriguing last 16 showdown against his close friend, Judd Trump.

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