Doherty Through in Oz Qualifiers

Ken Doherty moved into the penultimate qualifying round for the Australian Open after a 5-1 victory over Sanderson Lam in Crawley on Wednesday.

At 45, Ken is now one of the oldest players on the tour - photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.
At 45, Ken is now one of the oldest players on the tour – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

The Irishman controlled the contest throughout despite there being a number of tight frames, before knocking in a 108 in the last to seal victory.

The 1997 world champion faces a difficult prospect in the third round with young talent Kyren Wilson his next challenge.

A lot is expected of Wilson, who beat Ian Glover 5-3, and it’ll be interesting to see how his budding career develops throughout this campaign.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Hossein Vafaei Ayouri has wasted little time in making up for lost time as a brace of victories has seen him move a step closer to a trip down under.

Ayouri has already won multiple amateur titles but struggled for a long time to obtain a UK visa, instead residing and practicing in Ireland for the last few years.

The 20 year-old is highly regarded on the Emerald Isle and his 5-3 triumph over Zak Surety sets up a clash with Lee Walker on Thursday.

Elsewhere, Northern Ireland’s Joe Swail got his campaign off to a flying start with a 5-0 drubbing of amateur Dylan Craig.

It was much closer for Aditya Mehta, Mitchell Mann and Allan Taylor, who were pushed all the way to the deciding frame in their respective bouts with Sean O’Sullivan, David Grace and Stuart Carrington.

Chinese duo Li Hang and Zhou Yuelong both advanced while Michael Georgiou, Chris Wakelin and Liam Highfield enjoyed whitewash wins.

Tour stalwart Jamie Burnett had no problems in dispatching of Q-School graduate Gareth Allen 5-1 while father and son duo Peter and Oliver Lines similarly progressed unscathed.

The second to last qualifying round takes place today before some of the higher seeded players between 17 and 32 enter the fray on Friday.

The full draw can be viewed by clicking here.

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