Riga Masters: Yan Bingtao beats Mark Joyce in the final to claim first ranking title

Yan Bingtao
Yan Bingtao

Yan Bingtao claimed his maiden ranking title by beating Mark Joyce 5-2 in the final of the Riga Masters.

Bingtao has been tipped for big things ever since reaching the final of the Northern Ireland Open in 2017 but began the new campaign on the back of a frustrating season last term, though he did arrive in Riga with a real opportunity owing to late withdrawals from the likes of Neil Robertson and Kyren Wilson following a cancelled flight on the eve of the tournament.

As it proved, Bingtao got stronger as the event progressed and following hard-fought victories over the likes of Alan McManus and Li Hang, the 19-year-old produced some fine snooker to beat Matthew Selt 5-3 in the semi-finals.

Joyce, on the other hand, sensed his chance for a big payday when edging past Jack Liswoski in the third round but despite beating Kurf Maflin to book his place in the final, he was always on the back foot against Bingtao who dominated proceedings from the moment he won the opening frame on the black.

A break of 48 helped Bingtao double his lead and though Joyce struck back with a classy break of 103, Bingtao stepped in with a cool run of 53 to lead 3-1 at the mid-session interval.

Joyce managed to win the first frame upon the resumption, frame five, but Bingtao always looked the more assured of the two and didn't blink with the winning line in sight, wrapping up proceedings with clinical breaks of 65 and 66 and seal his 5-2 victory.

In lifting the trophy, Bingtao became the first teenager since Ding Junhui back in 2006 to win a ranking title.

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