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DING CAN BE WELSH KING AGAIN; SNOOKER.

Chinese potter Ding Junhui is just one win away from his second BetVictor Welsh Open crown in three seasons.

The former UK and Masters champion (right) saw off England's Joe Perry 6-4 in an entertaining semi-final clash yesterday at the Newport Centre.

Ding, the 2012 Welsh Open winner, is now targeting the PS60,000 first prize in today's best of 17-frame showdown after reaching his fifth major final of the season.

He said: "I can handle the pressure. After winning the Shanghai Masters earlier in the season I've taken a lot of confidence. I had always struggled playing in China but after winning that tournament I've kept going and had a great run."

Perry took the lead after a break of 59 but Ding hit back to win a scrappy second frame and moved ahead with a break of 114.

A further run of 47 saw Ding lead 3-1 at the interval.

Perry kept his composure to level matters and then a break of 73 made it level pegging. But Ding pulled away again with breaks of 88 and 55 powering him to within one frame of victory.

Perry responded with a 69 break, but the end was just around the corner as Ding pocketed a 118 break - the 350th century of his career - to go through to the final.

World No.15 Perry said: "I played pretty well in bits and bobs but I probably missed a couple of balls which cost me.

"He's a super player, so if you make one too many mistakes you get punished."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 2, 2014
Words:259
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