I think it was interesting to see what Steve Davis and John Parrott were saying about Ding. We all know he capitulated under the abuse he suffered in 2007, what with so called fans shouting at him merciless, saying he didn't deserve to be there playing etc. But they also implied that he thought he was the best player ever, and when Ronnie hit him in full flow, he realised he wasn't. And that hurt him.
I was at Wembley for his Wildcard round match in 2007, and his semi against Hendry. I thought he was on his way to being the best player in the world too. I was seeing him, at a young age doing stuff I've only seen Ronnie do before. He was winning frames in less then ten minutes. I don't think any frame he won went longer then, like 9 minutes. He was every bit the machine we were comparing him too in the final. I was like
It was easy to see why he thought he was the Don Dapper. Realising he wasn't hurt him for while, but I think it helped him in the long term too.
A few years out of form, and he was back making it to final after final last season. He won the 2008 UK Championship, and the 2010 Masters. (At the arena he had demons from.) I can see Ding winning more finals now. He's more mature, more experienced. Has learned to play safety when needed, more patient.
I hope he does get at least one World Championship. The Crucible has been a bit of a bogey venue for him. Let's hope he can get a good run together this year. See if he can take the fear out of playing there too.