Mark Williams beats Ding Junhui to win China Open title
Williams has now won 17 ranking titles in his career
Mark Williams staged a superb fightback to beat home favourite Ding Junhui 10-6 and win his first title in four years at the China Open in Beijing.
Ding, 23, knocked in two century breaks to build a 5-3 lead over the Welshman.
But the two-time former world champion won seven of the next eight frames for his third triumph in the event, and a provisional world ranking of seventh.
It was the 35-year-old Welshman's 17th ranking title and his first since winning the China Open in 2006.
As well as the top prize of £55,000, it marks the return to form of a player who had been in the doldrums in recent years.
He belied his official ranking of 15 in the world to claim the scalps of Marcu Fu (ranked eighth) and Ali Carter (fifth) to reach the final.
Williams started the match in fine style with a break of 110, and the high quality continued as Ding knocked in a 127 to level things up.
After Williams had edged 2-1 ahead Ding captured three frames in succession, which culminated with a run of 116 for a 4-2 advantage.
Williams stayed in contention by winning the seventh but a well-constructed 82 gave Ding a 5-3 lead.
The final frame of the first session was critical and both men wasted chances before Williams kept his composure to record a 61 break and give the scoreline a much more respectable look from his point of view.
Breaks of 81 and 65 saw Williams edge into the lead for the first time since the opening frame but a 73 from Ding levelled up the entertaining encounter once again.
There was to be no further twist, however, as Ding began to feel the tension and Williams methodically claimed four frames in succession, before exuberantly smashing the yellow off the table having cleared to the colours to seal the match.
"I'm over the moon to win again. It's been a long time coming but I've kept working hard and I felt that in the end the results would come," said Williams after his sixth victory in Asia.
"The match was a very high standard, we both played well. I felt I was a bit unlucky to lose the first session 5-4, but I knew if I could keep calm and play the way I have been all week, I would have a chance.
"My attitude all week has been not to let it affect me when things have not been going the right way.
"My biggest goal for the season was to make sure of my top 16 place so it's great to have that as well as a title before Sheffield (the World Championship beginning on 17 April).
"Ding played well and if he keeps that up he will be one of the favourites. He is more than capable, and after Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins he is the man to beat."
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