Indian Open: White swamps Walden to clinch maiden ranking title
Highly talented Welsh youngster Michael White capped a splendid run by claiming his maiden ranking title when he blanked world no. 8 Ricky Walden 5-0 in a one-sided final of the Indian Open Snooker Championship here on Saturday.
Mumbai: Highly talented Welsh youngster Michael White capped a splendid run by claiming his maiden ranking title when he blanked world no. 8 Ricky Walden 5-0 in a one-sided final of the Indian Open Snooker Championship here on Saturday.
The 23-year-old White jumped to a 4-0 lead after firing in breaks of 81 (1st frame), 77 (2nd), 45 and 41 (3rd) and 32 and 58 (4th) even as his opponent looked on glumly before the organisers called for a 25-minute break in the best-of-nine-frame title contest.
Any hopes of the 32-year-old Walden staging a fight-back, as he had done when he clawed his way back from a 0-3 deficit to put it across exciting Thai talent and rank outsider Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in their morning semi final, were dashed as White took the fifth and title-deciding frame on a canter.
White won the final frame with his highest break of the match, 85, to take home the winner's purse of pound sterling 50,000 while Walden got half that amount for finishing runner-up in the pound sterling 300,000 world ranking five-day event.
White won the summit contest 81 (81)-0, 77 (77)-20, 86-0, 90 (58)-1, 85 (85)-6.
The fact that Walden won a total of just 27 points, including 20 in the second, in the entire final indicates how lop-sided it was. The Englishman had beaten the Welsh player on both their previous meetings, including the quarter final of the 2013 World Championship 13-6. However, today the foot was on the other foot.
The great escape that he staged from the deep hole against Thai world no. 61 Thepchaiya in the morning semi final seemed to have sapped the energy of Walden, winner of the International Championship in China last November - against a rival who gave him hardly a toe-hold.
White, who has entered the quarter finals of quite a few ranking events including the first Indian Open held in New Delhi in 2013 but has never gone beyond that stage, showed no mercy while simply cantering away to victory, his second title triumph within a week?s time after his win in the Shoot-Out at Blackpool, a pro non-ranking event.
White, a precocious talent who became a professional before he was 16 after winning the IBSF World Grand Prix as a 14-year-old and then took eventual champion Mark Selby the distance in their first round clash in the 2013 world championship, showed superb cue touch as he sunk long pots with aplomb, while playing the short game too with alacrity.
White, ranked 22 and hailing from Neath, had sped his way past two-time world champion Mark Williams, currently world no. 15, 4-2 in the all-Welsh semi final and was even more ruthless in the summit clash held in the evening.
In the deciding frame of the second semi final, Thai wild card Thepchaiya, conqueror of defending champion and top seed Ding Junhui in round one, saw his precision play as well as luck desert him against Weldon and lost 3-4.
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 no. 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 semi final.
Ricky Walden (Eng) bt Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (Thailand) 4-3: 0-78 (78), 53-68 (62), 0-72 (68), 81 (81)-0, 73-36, 78 (78)-0, 91-47.
Michael White (Wales) bt Mark Williams (Wales) 4-2: 41-65, 126 (126)-7, 66-23, 80-40, 39-68 (55), 109 (87)-4).
Final: White bt Walden 5-0 (won 81 (81)-0, 77 (77)-20, 86-0, 90 (58)-1, 85 (85)-6.