UK Championship qualifiers
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Eight more players emerge from UK Championship qualifiers

Ding Junhui, Joe Perry, and David Gilbert were among the remaining eight qualifiers for the UK Championship on Thursday.

The tournament will officially start on Saturday, moving to the Barbican Centre in York after six frantic days of preliminary action at Ponds Forge.

Ding prolonged his aspirations of capturing the UK Championship for a fourth time with a 6-4 defeat of Robert Milkins.

The Chinese former world number one will face Barry Hawkins in the last 32 after the first round draw was made in between sessions on Thursday.

It was much more straightforward for Perry and Gilbert – the pair recording comprehensive 6-0 whitewash wins against Graeme Dott and Mark King respectively.

Elsewhere in Sheffield, former ranking event winners Matthew Selt and Jordan Brown also progressed.

The latter earned a 6-3 triumph against Zak Surety, while Selt was the last man to negotiate the UK Championship qualifiers with his late-night 6-4 victory over Anthony Hamilton.

Liam Highfield produced arguably the result of the day with his come-from-behind 6-5 beating of Ali Carter.

Highfield trailed 5-2 but reeled off the last four frames to upset the two-time former World Championship finalist.

Xiao Guodong ended the impressive run of Andres Petrov and Sam Craigie ousted Ian Burns in the day’s other encounters.

There’ll be a full preview of this year’s UK Championship to come later, but for now here’s a look at the draw for the first round.

UK Championship Draw

Round 1 (L32)

Zhao Xintong vs Sam Craigie
Ryan Day vs Jimmy White
Mark Allen vs Jordan Brown
Kyren Wilson vs Matthew Selt

Mark Selby vs Hossein Vafaei
Jack Lisowski vs Xu Si
Shaun Murphy vs David Gilbert
Judd Trump vs Xiao Guodong

Neil Robertson vs Joe Perry
Stuart Bingham vs Liam Highfield
Luca Brecel vs Lyu Haotian
John Higgins vs Tom Ford

Mark Williams vs Jamie Clarke
Barry Hawkins vs Ding Junhui
Yan Bingtao vs Zhou Yuelong
Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Matthew Stevens

Featured phot credit: WST

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