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Michael White on Crucible return: ‘I’m doing myself justice’

Michael White completed a 10-8 triumph over Jordan Brown to win his final World Championship qualifying round.

The Welshman will compete at the Crucible Theatre for the first time since 2016 after fighting his way through from the very opening preliminary round last week.

A former member of the top 16 and a two-time ranking event winner, White suffered a seismic decline that resulted in him dropping off the circuit in 2020.

But the 30 year-old’s performances at the English Institute of Sport have guaranteed his return to the Main Tour as a professional for the next campaign.

Before that, White will be looking to do some more damage as he becomes one of the 32 participants in the main draw of this year’s World Championship.

“I’m lost for words,” a tearful Michael White told Rob Walker soon after he completed his victory to reach the Crucible.

“I thought I’d blown it there to be honest, I had so many chances in the last frame – this is the World Championships, it’s what it does to you.”

“I was fighting all day really to find anything. I was sticking with Jordan even though I thought he was the better player.

“I done a good clearance to go 7-7, then I did another good clearance and I thought ‘here we go’ – I felt good and really fancied getting the job done, (but) I just crawled over the line in the end.

“It’s all coming out now. But I’m trying to stay calm and I’ve been working on that, but it means so much to me. I’ve been working so hard and I think I deserve what I got.

“I don’t really want to talk about what I’ve been through off the table, but it hasn’t been good. I’ve had issues.

“But that’s behind me now, and I have good people behind me. I’m enjoying my snooker again, and I’m doing myself justice.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet (to be back at the Crucible). I’m just really excited, I’ll wait for the draw and see who I’m playing – it’s just fabulous.”

Elsewhere on the first of two Judgement Days in Sheffield, Ding Junhui and Stephen Maguire safely advanced with respective defeats of David Lilley and Zhou Yuelong.

Ding looked in trouble when he trailed his amateur opponent 7-4 but reeled off the following six frames and, like Maguire, will be a name all of the top 16 seeds will prefer to avoid.

Elsewhere, Ashley Hugill will make his World Championship debut after a 10-7 triumph over Joe O’Connor.

There were wins too for Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Jamie Jones, Lyu Haotian, and Scott Donaldson – the latter after a 10-1 drubbing of Allan Taylor.

On Wednesday, the remaining eight fixtures in the final qualifying round will take place.

There are several intriguing ties to keep an eye on, but one that immediately sticks out is the clash between two-time former finalists Matthew Stevens and Ali Carter.

Former world champion Graeme Dott, who compiled a 147 break in the penultimate round, takes on Jamie Clarke while recent Gibraltar Open champion Robert Milkins meets Noppon Saengkham.

Wednesday, April 13th
11am and 5pm

David Gilbert vs Anthony Hamilton
Jimmy Robertson vs Chris Wakelin
Noppon Saengkham vs Robert Milkins
Liam Highfield vs Yuan Sijun
Ali Carter vs Matthew Stevens
Jackson Page vs David Grace
Graeme Dott vs Jamie Clarke
Lei Peifan vs Hossein Vafaei

Tuesday’s Results

Allan Taylor 1-10 Scott Donaldson
Dominic Dale 4-10 Lyu Haotian
Stephen Maguire 10-7 Zhou Yuelong
Michael White (a) 10-8 Jordan Brown
Matthew Selt 7-10 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Tom Ford 5-10 Jamie Jones
David Lilley (a) 7-10 Ding Junhui
Joe O’Connor 7-10 Ashley Hugill

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.

Judgement Day will also be available for free on the WST Facebook and YouTube channels.

Featured photo credit: WST

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