Snooker: Ding storms into Welsh Open final

NEWPORT, United Kingdom: China's Ding Junhui swept past England's Shaun Murphy 6-2 to reach the Welsh Open final on Saturday.

The 24-year-old, who laid the foundations for victory by taking a 4-1 lead in the best-of-eleven-frame clash, will tackle Mark Selby, who defeated Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-2, in Sunday's final.

It will be Ding's first ranking final since he lost to Mark Williams in the 2010 China Open.

"The past couple of years have been difficult because I have been travelling to and from China so I haven't been able to practise properly," said Ding.

"If I stay here for two or three months then I miss home and I want to go to China for a week.

"In the last few weeks I have had my best practice for a long time and I feel my game is getting better. I'm really happy to be in the final and I played well today."

Murphy praised Ding for his contribution to the sport, both on and off the table.

"Ding is very hard to read but he's a lovely lad and a credit to the game," he said.

- AFP/de

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