Ding Junhui secured a rare victory from his 2021/22 snooker season as he booked his spot at the venue stages of the Turkish Masters on Sunday.
The Chinese star has plummeted all the way down to 30th in the world rankings after a dismal spell in which he has skipped a lot of events and suffered from poor form.
The 34 year-old will likely have to qualify for the World Championship at the end of this campaign, but before that he’ll be hoping to rediscover some of his old reliability on the baize.
A brace of century breaks helped Ding to a 5-2 triumph against Andrew Pagett at the Morningside Arena as he sealed his berth in the last 64 of the inaugural Turkish Masters next month.
Ding’s countrymen Yan Bingtao, Liang Wenbo, and Lyu Haotian all progressed as well thanks to one-sided defeats of Steven Hallworth, Zhang Jiankang, and Fergal O’Brien respectively.
Elsewhere, recent German Masters semi-finalist Ricky Walden scored well in a 5-3 victory against Ashley Carty, while Tom Ford repeated that scoreline against Hammad Miah.
Former World Championship runner-up Ali Carter was pushed until the final frame before edging out Ben Hancorn in a decider.
Among the others to make it through to the venue stages in Antalya were Joe Perry, Ben Woollaston, and Elliot Slessor.
The preliminary stage in Leicester has now concluded with the main event set to take place from March 7 to 13 in Turkey.
Click here to view the draw and schedule (times in CET)
Featured photo credit: WST