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Ding Beats Davis to Win UK Snooker Title

Chinese 18-year-old Ding Junhui became the first non-British or Irish winner of the UK Championship snooker title in York on Sunday by beating Steve Davis, currently ranked No.6 in the world, 10-6.

Railing 5-3 at interval, Davis fought back at the start of the evening session in his 100th career final, but Ding, with a world ranking of 60, managed to match the six-time world champion in some epic safety exchanges before potting his way to a deserved and memorable victory.

There was pre-match talk that Ding, from Shanghai, might struggle to handle the tactical nous of an opponent 30 years his senior.

But he consistently coped with the best safety Davis had to offer and answered with even better positional play of his own.

Veteran Davis was left to tap the table in appreciation regularly in a match lacking in century breaks but not quality.

Ding's third-frame 111 proved to be the highest of the match, although he sunk countless pressure pots to clinch frames.

"I didn't make the most of my breaks and kept slipping out of position," Davis told BBC Sport afterwards. "But he played fantastic. I've had a great week, but Ding was stronger on the day."

Speaking through an interpreter, Ding thanked a largely pro-Davis audience for their support.

"This is the second-most important ranking tournament, so it is a great pleasure to win it," said Ding, who won the China Open earlier this year.

"York is a big step for me. I've gained loads of confidence and experience here," he added.

The Travis Perkins UK Championship opened at the York Barbican Center on December 5.

(Xinhua News Agency December 19, 2005)

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