| Ding Junhui |
New Delhi: Aditya Mehta’s dream run in the Indian Open world ranking snooker tournament ended when he was outplayed 0-5 by China’s Ding Junhui in the final on Friday night.
The 24-year-old Indian cue star, who overcame two world champions — Peter Ebdon and Mark Williams — in the earlier rounds and then scalped Stephen Maguire in a tense semi-final, was a hapless onlooker against the rampaging Chinese in the best-of-nine-games tie.
Known in the circuit for his frequent century breaks, world No. 4 Junhui was in scintillating form and won 76-36, 87-0, 107-0, 93-1, 116-1 in the one-sided contest. It included two century breaks of 107 and 100 in the third and fifth game, respectively.
The 27-year-old Indian had played remarkably well throughout the tournament. On Friday, he became the first Indian to reach the final of a professional snooker meet. No Indian had even made it to the semi-final earlier.
“I tried to give my best in the final, but Ding played superb snooker,” said Aditya after the final. “I am still happy for myself as I could beat some of the best in the business in the earlier rounds.”
In the semi-final, Aditya held his nerves in the final game to beat world No.5 Maguire from Scotland 4-3. In the other semi-final, Junhui outclassed Robbie Williams 4-1, which included the tournament’s highest break of 142.
Maguire, in his 15th season as a professional, fought for all his worth as he bounced back from 0-3 to 3-3 against Mehta. But a series of mistakes in the tense decider, especially when he left the yellow in the mouth of the bottom right pocket when trailing by 16 points, cost him dear.