Ding Junhui is the 2023 Six-reds World Champion

Ding Junhui beat Thepchayia Un-nooh by 8-6 in the Final of the 2023 Six-reds World Championship today. It’s the second time Ding wins this event, and it’s also his first professional title of any kind since 2019. That’s quite a long drought for a player of his quality.

Congratulations Ding Junhui!

Here is the report by WST:

Ding Beats Un-Nooh In Six Red Final

China’s Ding Junhui captured the Six Red World Championship crown for a second time, after scoring an 8-6 win over home hero Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in Pathum Thani, Thailand.

It comes seven years after Ding first won the World Championship of snooker’s shorter format. In 2016, the 14-time ranking event winner came out on top in an epic final with Stuart Bingham 8-7. This week’s victory is Ding’s first on the World Snooker Tour since the 2019 UK Championship.

Ding’s triumph this time around sees him earn a top prize of 4.2 million Baht, which is worth over £100,000. He also takes home the stunning trophy granted to the event by the King of Thailand.

It will come as a big confidence boost to former world number one Ding heading into the final stages of the season. As things stand, ranked 24th in the world, he faces a trip to World Championship qualifying in order to secure a place at the Crucible.

Defeat is a disappointing end to Un-Nooh’s campaign. He was also aiming for a second win in the event, having been victorious in 2015 when he defeated Liang Wenbo in the final. He will have to settle for being runner-up on this occasion.

The opening frame saw Ding fire in a superb run of 72 to take the initial advantage. It was soon 2-0 when 2016 champion Ding crafted another impressive break, this time of 71, to extend his lead.

Un-Nooh responded with a run of 51 to take the third and reduce his arrears. There was a prolonged safety battle on the colours in the next frame, Ding eventually got a chance, but spurned the pink with the rest and allowed Un-Nooh to make it 2-2.

Ding then charged clear with three on the bounce to re-assert his control on the match at 5-2, before a break of 34 saw Un-Nooh take the eighth to stay in touch, trailing 5-3.

The home crowd were cheering every ball potted by Un-Nooh and he sent them into raptures when he pulled back within a frame at 5-4. However, the trend would continue and see him fall further behind.

After Ding claimed the 10th frame, Un-Nooh had left him requiring snookers in the 11th. Unfortunately for Un-Nooh, he inadvertently potted the pink when escaping a snooker and Ding cleared the colours to move 7-4 ahead.

A dramatic 12th frame went the way of Un-Nooh on the pink and he ratcheted up the pressure by adding the next with a break of 41 to make it 7-6. However, Ding controlled the 14th frame to get over the line and secure six red glory.

I was hoping to get a chance in the black ball area at 7-4 up. I actually had two great chances to win and missed a few shots. It is a bit lucky for me. I just believe in myself and try to pot more balls than everybody” said 35-year-old Ding.

I feel good. I think everybody enjoys coming to Thailand to play six red. There isn’t much pressure with the ranking points, so it is relaxed. The organisation was so good for the tournament. I am happy to come here and win again.

The six red is quite fun for the players. There were some players coming here for the first time like Ronnie and Judd. It is fun and games and good to play in.

I just need to keep my head still and do everything right. I will go back to practice and work hard for the end of the season.

I didn’t see anything of the match – I hope I can watch it later – but I’m very happy for Ding. He has gone through really hard times, not just with covid and its aftermath but also, very recently with several players playing in his academy being suspended over suspicion of involvement in match fixing and betting on snooker. That must have been, and probably still is, a major concern.

At the same time, I’m a bit sorry for Theppy. The man doesn’t have that many opportunities to play in his own country, in front of his family, friends and fans.