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Snooker: Ding eyes strong result in Indian Open

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New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) China's top player and World No.5 Ding Junhui goes into the World Snooker Indian Open commencing here next week high on confidence after his success at the Shanghai Masters last month.

Ding has been a role model for the explosion of interest in the sport in China over the past decade, winning seven ranking titles and establishing himself as one of snooker's top stars, followed by millions of fans in his homeland.

Ding, who is No.2 behind Neil Robertson in the prize-money rankings with an earning of 300,000 pounds, said he was quite happy with his current form and game.

“It was very important for me to win a big ranking event in China. I didn't feel any pressure before but winning always gives me extra confidence. I'm very happy with my game and I feel it is stronger now than it has been in the past. My shot selection is better, I know when to attack and defend. And my safety has improved a lot which helps me to create scoring chances,” said Ding in a press release Tuesday.

Looking ahead to next week's Indian Open, Ding said: “I enjoy travelling to the big events around the world. It is exciting to be going to a new country and I hope snooker can be successful in India. It's great to see more and more Asian players doing well in our sport and I have been very impressed by the two Indians — Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta.

“I have played in India once before, at the Asian Under-21 Championship in Kolkata in 2002. I beat Pramual Janthad 6-2 in the final. I have never been to New Delhi and I'm really looking forward to going back to India.”

The 300,000-pound Indian Open will see 64 professional players bidding for the title, including the likes of four times World champion John Higgins, Mark Selby and World No.1 Neil Robertson, besides Advani and Mehta.

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