Birthday: April 1, 1987
Birthplace: Yixing, Jiangsu
Height: 176 cm
Weight: 60 kg
"He is quite mature(成熟) for 17 and looks very relaxed(放松) on the big stage. He just needs a bit more experience to go to the next level...Once he tightens up(成熟) he's going to be an even tougher(更难对付的) opponent."
— Irish snooker player, Ken Doherty, on Ding Junhui two months ago
ON April, 3 in Beijing,18-year- old Ding Junhui surprised the snooker(斯诺克) world by winning the 2005 China Open with a 9-5 victory over the seven-times Embassy World Champion Stephen Hendry. That night, over 100 million people watched the game on TV.
A world champion to be?
Ding is the first player to win a ranked tournament(排名赛) a wildcard(外卡) player and the second youngest ever to win a ranking title(顶级赛头衔) — just 9 days older than the world number one player Ronnie O'Sullivan. Seeing Ding's outstanding(出色的) performance, O'Sullivan proclaimed(宣布) him as a future world champion.
Nothing but his adulthood?
Two days before his victory, Ding celebrated his 18th birthday. His first ranking title was surely his best birthday present. However, he couldn't get the ￡ 30,000 prize and his world ranking has dropped from No. 54 to No. 58 as well. Why? According to the rules, wildcard players can't get their prizes and their points are also greatly reduced(减少).
Someone joked that Ding rewarded(奖励) nothing but(只有) his adulthood for his victory. But that was not the end of the story: a local snooker manufacturer(厂商) rewarded Ding with US$50,000 to make up f