Ding Junhui on tossing away Ronnie O'Sullivan Masters lead: 'I confused myself'

Ding Junhui admitted that he confused himself toward the end of his Masters first round clash with Ronnie O’Sullivan, as he let a 5-3 lead slip to a 6-3 defeat.

Ding played superbly in the first half of the match, opening up a 3-0 lead, and despite O’Sullivan battling back, China’s number one would move 5-3 ahead.

With breaks of 129, 128, 83, 75 and 73, Ding did not look like he was about to lose three frames on the spin, but that is exactly what happened.

The 33-year-old had excellent chances to win the match in the ninth and 10th frames and was even offered an opportunity in the decider when the Rocket missed a red to middle.

However, it was not to be and he was left to regret his misses rather than remember his excellent break-building.

Ding felt that the lack of crowd took the pressure off the match, but it still got to him in the end.

‘It feels like a practice game, it doesn’t feel pressured,’ Ding told Eurosport. ‘I had a lot of chances to win the match and I didn’t make it.

‘Sometimes I made it a bit complicated to think about winning the frames, to make the positions.

‘Sometimes just make simple shots and take more points, sometimes I confused myself.’

Ding missed a simple red to win the match 6-3 and will also regret taking on a very difficult brown in the final frame, which proved to be his final shot.

However, he says he did little wrong over the match and praised O’Sullivan for his excellent performance in coming back.

‘I still had chances, I still potted long ones,’ continued Ding. ‘Maybe just without that stupid match shot.

‘Nothing really wrong, Ronnie just played a bit better than the first half. Also, maybe sometimes I chose the wrong positional shots.’

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