Chinese ace Ding Junhui made sure this year's SAGA Insurance Masters started
in sparkling fashion Sunday with the first maximum 147 break seen at the Wembley
Arena in 23 years.
It was only the second maximum
clearance in Masters history, with Kirk Stevens the last player to have achieved
the difficult feat 23 years ago.
Chinese snooker legend Ding Junhui
achieved a preeminent maximum 147 break at the SAGA Insurance Masters on
Sunday, Jan 14, 2007. It's the first maximum seen at the Wembley Arena in
23 years. [sina.com]
Back in 1984, Stevens made a 147 break in a 6-4 Masters semi-final defeat
against Jimmy White at the Wembley Exhibition and Conference Centre.
But aged 19 years and nine months, Junhui rewrote the record books again to
become the youngster player to have ever made a televised maximum.
He also pocketed ?35,000 in prize
money, unless the break is matched by another player at this year's event, which
concludes next Sunday.
Chinese snooker Ding Junhui smiles
after he achieved a preeminent maximum 147 break at the SAGA
Insurance Masters on Sunday, Jan 14, 2007. It's the first maximum seen at
the Wembley Arena in 23 years.[China Foto Press]
He stands to win ?10,000 for the highest break prize and ?25,000 for the
maximum break prize.
Two-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan held the record at 22 years and
five months, as the youngster player to have netted a televised 147 when he did
so in the 1997 World Championship at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre.
Three-times a ranking event winner, Shanghai's Junhui, who practises at the
World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, compiled two further centuries in a
comfortable 6-3 first round win over Nottingham's Anthony Hamilton and now meets
good friend Peter Ebdon - last month's Maplin UK Championship winner - in the
next round on Tuesday night.
A delighted Ding said: 'I'm
feeling really special to be the second player in Masters history to make a 147
Chinese snooker Ding Junhui prepares
to hit his shot during the SAGA Insurance Masters Jan 14, 2007.Ding
achieved a preeminent maximum 147 break at the Masters on Sunday. It's the
first maximum seen at the Wembley Arena in 23 years.[sina.com]
'When I got to the last red ball I was nervous and on the final black, so I
was very happy to pot that.'
Looking ahead to his second round match with Ebdon, who beat him 9-5 in the
UK quarter-finals, Junhui added: 'I hope we will give the audience a very good
'I think I have a good chance and I will be trying my best.
'I never thought about winning this tournament before because everyone here
are very professional players - and I hope now I can play at my best to have a
It was Hamilton who started the better of the two players with a 59 break to
take the opening frame of the pair's best-of-11 frame match.
But Junhui hit back with runs of 50 and 61 to level matters. He won the next
frame with a 78 break and then edged a scrappy fourth for a 3-1 interval
Hamilton responded following the resumption with a 72 run, before Junhui
showed his class. A 105 break made it 4-2, before his special maximum - which
came in little over 14 minutes - made it 5-2 and one frame away from victory.
Hamilton, a beaten semi-finalist at last season's Welsh Open, pocketed a 103
run to reduce his arrears.
But it only delayed the inevitable as Junhui, with a break of 108, made sure
there were four centuries in consecutive frames for a place in the next round of
this year's ?432,000 event.