And so Ding Junhui is back lifting silverware again. A barren career phase has seen the critics doubt Ding’s hunger and desire to compete at the highest level.
Now after lifting his third UK title in York yesterday, they are asking if he can finally become World Champion!
The challenge for Ding at the Crucible, has always seemed that he is not just playing for himself. It’s as if he is carrying the hopes of the Chinese nation on his shoulders.
A burden that means he is unable to play freely when it comes down to the business end of the World Championships.
In other words he is too emotionally invested. Snooker is one of those games that requires very little emotion. It’s a game of the mentality. A game that requires you to see and think clearly without distraction. A game of beautiful concentration.
Of course Ding wants to do well and not let his massive audience down. But it is not his burden to carry. He has done the ground-work in popularising the game in China.
Now, if he wants to give his audience some special Sheffield moments, he can only do it by concentrating exclusively on his game. Take his concentration to another level. Practise like a World Champion. Strategise like a World Champion.
His audience cannot help him achieve his dream. Only Ding Junhui can do that.Maybe now that he is back on track, he can put down the over-bearing emotional baggage and do what he does best. Which is keep that cue ball on the end of a string.
You don’t chase the World championship title. it comes too you when everything is in place. And yesterday at The Barbican, Ding had everything in place.