The final of the 2013 PTC Grand final will between last years runner up Neil Robertson and yesterdays maximum man Ding Junhui,after both came through very contrasting semi-finals.
First up we had Robertson taking on Tom Ford.This was Ford's first ranking event semi-final and it showed early on as he struggled to get any rhythm going early on as missed a few easy balls in the opening frame,eventually losing it.!-0 Robertson.
Into the second and Robertson made the early running with 50 before another unexpected miss from Ford presented him with the chance to kill it off,which he did with a break of 65.From here the score quickly became 3-0 courtesy of an 80 break and it look as if Robertson was coasting to the final.
It was here though that something unexpected happened.Whether it was a case,that Robertson sub-consciously lifted off the gas or that Ford relaxed or possibly a mixture of both,but whatever it was,things started to change.
Ford got his first frame on the board with a break of 60 and followed it up in the next with contributions of 51 & 66 after Robertson had missed a blue off the spot .The score 3-2.Robertson was now showing signs of feeling it and a missed red to the middle allowed Ford the chance to clinch the frame and force the match into a decider,a situation that looked very unlikely only an hour previous.
Robertson must really have been wondering what was happening as he faced to very real possibility of losing a match that he had been in complete control of and it was ford who had the first real chance in the decider but missed a red to the corner.This set the tone for the frame and both missed decent opportunities to win it before Robertson made a decisive 48 to clinch his place in the final,a fact he celebrated with his customary fist pump.
That didn't seem to go down well with Ford as he barely looked at Robertson as they shook hands at the end but maybe this reaction from Ford had as much to do with the fact he had let some clear chances slip in the last frame as much as anything to do with Robertson's celebration.
The incident launched the usual debates on Twitter about whether it is sporting or not but as far as i'm concerned I have no problem with someone releasing their emotions once the match is won.the only time I don't like to see this is during a match itself.
Robertson's opponent in the final will be Ding Junhui after the Chinese eased by Kurt Maflin in a one sided affair.Maflin ,like Ford earlier was also playing in his first ranking semi final and never seemed to settle as Ding won the first three frames without having a break over 50.This wasn't the high scoring Ding that we saw im his previous two matches but in truth it didn't have to be as Maflin really struggled.The end came in the fourth,when having split the pack wide open from his initial red,Maflin missed a brown to the middle.This pretty much summed up the match for him and Ding saw out the 4-0 win with a 73,his highest break of the afternoon.
So after a week that was dominated by shocks in the early matches we have a final between two of the games big hitters.The action gets under way at 8pm (gmt).I can hardly wait.