Liang Wenbo wins his 1st snooker rank­ing ti­tle

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Liang Wenbo, photo, be­came the inau­gu­ral win­ner of the Co­ral English Open by beat­ing Judd Trump 9-6 in the fi­nal in Manch­ester, win­ning his first rank­ing ti­tle.

Liang led through­out the fi­nal, and fended off a late rally from Trump, the cru­cial mo­ment com­ing in the 14th frame when he made a bril­liant clear­ance to go 8-6 ahead. Soon af­ter­wards the player nick­named The Fire­cracker was ex­plod­ing with ex­u­ber­ant cel­e­bra­tions as he pot­ted the win­ning balls, be­fore lift­ing the new Steve Davis Tro­phy and pock­et­ing a cheque for £70,000.

The 29-year-old could be in line for a far big­ger prize later in the season as vic­tory in the other three Home Na­tions events – the North­ern Ire­land Open, Scot­tish Open and Welsh Open – would land him a mas­sive £1 mil­lion bonus.

Liang can now cel­e­brate be­com­ing the only player from main­land China other than Ding Jun­hui to win a world rank­ing ti­tle. His pre­vi­ous career high­lights in­clude win­ning an Asian Tour event in 2013 and the World Cup for China along­side Ding in 2011.

Liang’s two pre­vi­ous rank­ing fi­nals were the 2009 Shang­hai Masters when he lost 10-5 to Ron­nie O’Sul­li­van and last year’s UK Cham­pi­onship when he was beaten by Neil Robert­son by the same score­line.

Trump re­ceived £30,000 and re­mains third in the world.

“I’m very happy,” said Liang. “In the last two frames I con­cen­trated on every shot and made two good breaks. Snooker is a very dif­fi­cult game but if you don’t en­joy it you don’t play well. Judd put me un­der pres­sure but to go 8-6 ahead gave me more con­fi­dence.

Liang also men­tioned a chance meet­ing with leg­endary foot­ball man­ager Sir Alex Fer­gu­son in his ho­tel yes­ter­day, adding: “He said he would be watch­ing my matches and he told me to con­cen­trate.”

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