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Ding Junhui Wins First Qualifying Match

Ding Junhui beat Tian Pengfei 6-4 to reach the final round of qualifying for the World Snooker Championship on Sunday.

The former world number one compiled breaks of 134, 66, 55, and 50 to see off the challenge of his fellow Chinese competitor.

Ding has been consigned to the qualifying tournament this year after dropping way down the official two-year rankings list.

The last time the 35 year-old was forced down this avenue, however, was back in 2016 when he ended up going all the way to the final at the Crucible.

In Judgement Day, Ding will take on David Lilley after the amateur thrashed Kurt Maflin 6-1 at the English Institute of Sport.

Defeat for Maflin means the Norwegian, a World Championship quarter-finalist less than two years ago, finishes the season outside the world’s top 64 and loses his professional status.

Michael Holt is another familiar name who may need Q School in order to save his long tenure on the pro circuit.

The Hitman exited proceedings with a 6-3 reverse to Tom Ford, meaning Holt will definitely end this campaign outside the top 64.

The former Shoot Out champion could still survive off the one-year rankings, but he needs a specific set of results in order to take advantage of those four available tickets.

Ford will take on Jamie Jones in the last round of qualifying after the Welshman hammered Mark Joyce 6-1.

Elsewhere, there was a big upset as Martin Gould crashed out with a 6-5 loss to Ashley Hugill.

Hugill will take on Joe O’Connor for a berth at the venue stages of this year’s competition, while Anthony Hamilton and David Gilbert will next encounter each other following respective triumphs over Elliot Slessor and Rory McLeod.

Among the others to make it beyond the penultimate round were Matthew Selt, Jimmy Robertson, Chris Wakelin, and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

Un-Nooh won the last two frames in a titanic tussle with Jak Jones to safeguard his place on the Main Tour for another term.

On Monday, the third round concludes with the likes of Graeme Dott, Ali Carter, and Ryan Day entering the fray.

Recent ranking event winners Joe Perry and Robert Milkins will also be attempting to reach Judgement Day.

Monday’s Order of Play

Round 3

(Apr 11, 9:30am)
Graeme Dott vs Pang Junxu
Gary Wilson vs Jamie Clarke
Alexander Ursenbacher vs Lei Peifan
Hossein Vafaei vs Simon Lichtenberg

(Apr 11, 2:30pm)
Noppon Saengkham vs Daniel Wells
Robert Milkins vs Cao Yupeng
Liam Highfield vs James Cahill
Ryan Day vs Yuan Sijun

(Apr 11, 7:30pm)
Ali Carter vs Gao Yang
Sam Craigie vs Matthew Stevens
Joe Perry vs Jackson Page
Xiao Guodong vs David Grace

Live coverage of the World Snooker Championship qualifiers will be available across Europe on the Eurosport App.

Viewer in all other territories – other than China – will have the option to subscribe to Matchroom.Live.

Featured photo credit: WST

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