Indian Open: Walden recovers to oust Thepchaiya, enters final
Ricky Walden pulled off a superb come-from-behind 4-3 victory over rank outsider Thepchaiya Un-Nooh to stop the Thai's giant-killing run and enter the final of the Indian Open Snooker Championship here on Saturday.
Mumbai: Ricky Walden pulled off a superb come-from-behind 4-3 victory over rank outsider Thepchaiya Un-Nooh to stop the Thai's giant-killing run and enter the final of the Indian Open Snooker Championship here on Saturday.
The Englishman, the world number eight and highest ranked player left in the field at the semifinal phase, staged a grand rally after being outclassed by the wiry Thai world number 61 in the first three frames to earn a meeting with world number 22 Michael White in the final which is scheduled later today.
White ousted two-time world champion Mark Williams, the world number 15, 4-2 in an error-strewn first semifinal of the pound sterling 300,000 world ranking event.
In the deciding frame of the second semifinal, Thai wild card Thepchaiya -- conqueror of defending champion and top seed Ding Junhui in round one -- saw his precision play as well as luck deserting him.
Thepchasiya, who looked in splendid touch in the first three frames in which he compiled three half century breaks, was snookered out as he conceded 26 points through six fouls when trailing 41-47 in the seventh frame before Walden sealed his entry in the final with a decisive break of 23.
Walden, who had beaten Thepchaiya 4-1 in the Welsh Open second round last month, completed a 0-78 (78), 53-68 (62), 0-72 (68), 81 (81)-0, 73-36, 78 (78)-0, 91-47 win to enter the final against White.
White, the world number 22, ousted two-time world champion Mark Williams 4-2 (41-65, 126 (126)-7, 66-23, 80-40, 39-68 (55), 109 (87)-4) in the first all-Welsh semifinal.
White, thus, continued his dominance over idol Williams who played poorly for the most part and muffed easy pots to notch up victory after a poor start.
After losing the opening frame 41-65 by making a slew of errors, the 23-year-old this year's Shoot-Out champion White tightened up his game by firing in a superb table clearance of 126 to win the frame 126-7 and took control.
Though 39-year-old two-time UK Champion Williams, the world number 15 whose last ranking title came in the German Masters in 2011, clinched the fifth frame to narrow White's lead to 3-2, the verdict was hardly in doubt.
In the sixth frame which White won, the four points that got credited to his senior and better known rival came courtesy a foul by the former when he potted a red and his cue ball also went into the pocket.
Two runs of 22 and 87, where he cleared the colours up to the blue, gave the world number 22 the frame as well as a spot in the summit clash.
White later said that both made mistakes in the first frame which he described as a "scrappy" one but once he returned to the table to fire in the century clearance, he had things under control.
"The first frame was scrappy and I needed the break of 126 after that frame. I thought I controlled the game from then on," said White who now holds a 3-0 head to head record over Williams -- including a 10-6 victory in the first round of the 2013 world championship.
"The table was a bit bumpy, but overall I thought I played pretty well," he said.
"We are good friends. After my win last night (4-3 quarterfinal win over Chris Wakelin) I had tweeted to him I am coming for you. If I had lost, I would have wanted him to win the finals," said White.
After his Shoot-Out title win all he wanted to do in the Indian Open was not to lose in round one, White said.