Wilson edges out Ding to seal second-round spot

Wilson edges out Ding to seal second-round spot

Kyren Wilson (Outright 12/1) defeated Ding Junhui 10-8 in a high-quality contest to secure his place in the second round of the World Championship.

Arguably the pick of the first-round ties at the Crucible, Ding was probably the highest-profile player to have come through the qualifiers.

He began the tournament ranked 29th in the world following a dramatic loss of form – his last ranking title coming in 2019 as he won the UK Championship.

However, he went toe-to-toe with world number five and former world finalist Wilson, who has also had an underwhelming year on the tour.

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Five centuries were scored between them as the game went 8-8 – the 17th frame proving crucial.

Ding was looking to clear up from 65-0 but missed the final pink before Wilson punished him and match-winning clearance of 62 was struck in the next frame.

Wilson, who will face 2015 World Championship winner Stuart Bingham next, said of his game with Ding: “I loved every minute of it. When you are both scoring well and feeding off each other it produces good snooker. It was fast, attacking, flowing and there were some close finishes too. It had a bit of everything.

“The draw is very tough and a lot wouldn’t want to play Ding Junhui in the first round. You can’t view it that way and it will stand me in good stead for the rest of the tournament. I came out on top.”

Meanwhile, John Higgins (Outright 11/1) recovered from a 5-4 deficit to defeat Thai player Thepchaiya Un-Nooh to reach the second round.

The four-time world champion struggled for rhythm on day one but three centuries saw him win 10-7 and advance, as he seeks his first world title since 2011.

Number 14 seed Jack Lisowski (Outright 66/1) won 10-8 after holding off Matthew Stevens’ spirited fightback to win 10-8.

On Thursday, the first round concludes with two more places in the last 16 up for grabs.

2019 champion Judd Trump is 6-3 up against Iranian debutant Hossein Vafaei (Match betting – Trump 1/22, Vafaei 12/1) despite being far from his fluent best.

Belgian Luca Brecel has work to do on Thursday as he is currently 6-3 down against Thai player Noppon Saengkham (Match betting – Brecel 12/5, Saengkham 1/3).

The second round also gets underway with three-time winner Mark Williams facing 20-year-old Jackson Page (Match betting – Williams 2/13, Page 9/2) in another all-Welsh battle – a player whom Williams has mentored in his short career so far.

UK champion Zhao Xintong – who is hoping to become the first Chinese player to win the World Championship – faces the dangerous Stephen Maguire (Match betting – Zhao 4/11, Maguire 11/5) who toppled Shaun Murphy in round one.

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Author: Lucille White