Former holders of the UK Championship title, Ding Junhui and Stephen Maguire will battle for glory at the Barbican Centre in York on Sunday. The 2019 UK Championship is the final triple event of this decade, and the encounter is expected to be very memorable for a handful of fans.
Maguire’s success at this event dates more than a decade ago with his last being at the 2004 UK Championship. At the time, the Scot was brilliant and was for lack of words, unstoppable.
A year later, Ding had just burst onto the mainstream snooker scene, announcing himself to the world after overcoming a resurgent Steve Davis to be crowned for just the first time.
The 32-year-old also repeated the same run some four years later, showing why he still maintains his place as China’s number one. But quite frankly, Ding hasn’t been too impeccable with his Masters’ glory in 2011 the only good news in a barrage of bad ones having suffered a long barren run in all Triple Crown events he’s played ever since.
While both players can boast of spelling out varying degrees of success, none of the duos has lived up to their potential or the billing.
Coincidentally, both players had their confidence levels bruised and battered in the early years of their careers, no thanks to bruising wins by Ronnie O’Sullivan.
The fact that it happened a long time ago means they must have had enough time to heal. However, that isn’t the case. They no longer possess the air of invincibility they
It should be an interesting final to watch as both players have for long now been away from the absolute big-time.
Junhui’s commanding win over Ronnie O’Sullivan is a signal that his form has returned and he could be in for the ultimate prize. The former world number one has been many miles short of brilliant in the recent past with many doubts cast over whether he would ever recover.
He’s definitely pulled off an incredible recovery and looks in the best shape to take on Maguire. Maguire has several semi-final disappointments that has kept the finals out of his arms reach. However, a place in the finals means he can now truly contest for the title and reclaim the title 15 years after he last did.