Emirates Arena
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Confident Ding Junhui Starts Well at Emirates Arena

Ding Junhui cued the ball beautifully as he ran out a comfortable 4-1 Scottish Open first round winner against Michael White on Tuesday at the Emirates Arena.

The 32 year-old hadn’t much time to celebrate his terrific third UK Championship triumph from Sunday and found himself 1-0 down early on to the Welshman.

But after finding his feet in Glasgow, the Chinese number one barely missed a ball as he rattled off breaks of 118, 104, 83, and 60 to coast into the second round.

Before York, Ding had been struggling for form and confidence but it looks as though both elements have rejuvenated in abundance.

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump both joined Ding in the last 64 but only after emerging from contrasting opening ties.

O’Sullivan fought back from 3-1 behind to deny Dominic Dale in a decider, inexplicably losing the fourth frame after walloping the black against the middle pocket when a tap in would have seen him restore parity.

As it was, the “Rocket” raised his game when it was needed and he avoided what could have been successive defeats to the Welshman.

Trump’s progress was much more straightforward with the world number one firing in a brace of centuries in a 4-0 thrashing of Amine Amiri.

That was the same scoreline in which Stephen Maguire overcame Jimmy White, with the Scot immediately bouncing back from his loss in the final of the UK Championship a couple of days ago.

Elsewhere at the Emirates Arena, 2018 Scottish Open runner-up Shaun Murphy moved through along with fellow top 16 members Kyren Wilson, Jack Lisowski, and David Gilbert.

However, Stuart Bingham crashed out in a 4-2 reverse against a Matthew Stevens who was able to carry forward his recent form from the Barbican Centre, where he reached the last eight.

There were victories for experience over youth as Peter Ebdon and Alan McManus ousted young challengers Zhou Yuelong and Zhao Xintong respectively.

The Chinese pair’s countrymen Yan Bingtao, Xiao Guodong, Li Hang, Tian Pengfei, Mei Xiwen, Yuan Sijun, Chang Bingyu, and Zhang Jiankang all remain in the hunt for the £70,000 top prize, though.

Mark Davis and Ali Carter survived encounters that lasted the distance, while reigning European Masters champion Jimmy Robertson beat Harvey Chandler 4-1.

Among some of the others to reach the next stage were Ricky Walden, Kurt Maflin, Joe O’Connor, and James Cahill.

Live coverage continues on Eurosport and Quest TV.

Click here to view the Scottish Open draw (Times: CET)

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