Jimmy White and Ken Doherty have been knocked out of the 2019 World Snooker Championship after respective 10-4 losses in the penultimate qualifying round on Monday.
White, a six-time runner-up at the Crucible, was bidding to reach the venue stages for the first time since 2006 but lost to Ali Carter.
The 56 year-old began strongly, pinching the opening two frames on the pink and black en route to establishing a 3-1 lead at the mid-session interval.
Carter wasn’t playing anywhere near his best but took advantage of a number of mistakes from his opponent and made the most from his abundance of chances to move into the final qualifying round.
For White, it could mark his final match as a professional player as it hasn’t yet been made known whether his invitational tour card will be renewed.
Waiting for the “Whirlwind” will at least be the growing World Seniors Tour, in which he has already collected three pieces of silverware in its first two official seasons.
For Carter, the 39 year-old will be an awful draw for anybody at the Crucible if he manages to emerge from his last test.
The 2008 and 2012 runner-up says that he wants to draw tournament favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan in the opening round, almost twelve months after shocking the “Rocket” in a highly charged last 16 clash.
💬 “I hope I qualify and draw him again first round”
— World Snooker (@WorldSnooker) April 15, 2019
Doherty, who has also been competing thanks to an invitational tour card but who will rejoin the world’s top 64 after a consistent period on the circuit, suffered a similar reverse against Scott Donaldson.
A number of other high-profile players crashed out as the pressure ahead of Judgement Day intensified at the English Institute of Sport.
World number 17 Ryan Day, who only missed out on an automatic berth by one spot in the rankings, was hammered 10-3 by Tian Pengfei.
Former World Championship semi-finalist Ricky Walden lost the last four frames in a deciding frame defeat against Eden Sharav.
Michael White, a two-time ranking event winner, was downed 10-6 by John Astley while Mark King fell to Lu Ning.
Several of Tian and Lu’s Chinese compatriots made it through in addition, including Li Hang, Lyu Haotian, Zhou Yuelong, Zhao Xintong, and Luo Honghao.
Graeme Dott, the 2006 world champion, had far too much for Xu Si, though, while Joe Perry thumped Zhang Yong 10-1.
Two-time finalist Matthew Stevens boasted a 143 total clearance as he beat Chris Wakelin to move one step closer to a return to the Crucible.
However, veteran Alan McManus’ hopes were dashed after losing 10-8 to Martin O’Donnell.
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Among the others to advance were Anthony McGill, Robert Milkins, Mark Davis, Tom Ford, Ben Woollaston, and Kurt Maflin.
The next two days will see the qualifiers conclude with the dramatic final set of matches that will determine the 16 hopefuls who will go through to the World Championship main draw on Thursday.