Ding Junhui profile
World Championship 2014 - Ding Junhui profile
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Name: Ding Junhui
Date of birth: 01/04/87 (27)
World ranking: 2
Crucible best: Semi-final 2011
Home favourite Ding Junhui delighted his fans in Beijing earlier this month when he beat world number one Neil Robertson to win the China Open.
It was a record-equalling fifth ranking event victory of the season, with Ding the first player since Stephen Hendry in 1990/91 to win five in one campaign so he arrives at the Crucible as the man in form.
It was his 11th career title, putting him ahead of Jimmy White and into sixth place on the all-time list, behind Hendry (36), Steve Davis (28), Ronnie O'Sullivan (26), John Higgins (25) and Mark Williams (18).
He also reached the final of the Welsh Open but ran into an in-form Ronnie O'Sullivan, but there is no doubt that a first world title would be the perfect way to round off such a consistent campaign for the Chinese star.
However, apart from a run to the semi-final in 2011 where he was beaten by Judd Trump, he has struggled to make his mark at the World Championships.
Maybe it's the weight of expectation from his millions of fans back in his homeland where he is regarded as a superstar, but surely it's only a matter of time before a player of his undoubted talent lifts the game's most prestigious prize.