Ding Junhui suffered shock 6-5 defeat to Chinese amateur Wang ZePeng in the International Championship qualifying round in Barnsley on Monday.
Pic: Tai Chengzhe
It’s the second time this season that Ding has failed to qualify for a ranking event in China, having lost 5-0 to Oliver Brown in the Wuxi Classic. Ding won the International Championship last year, beating Marco Fu 10-9 in the final, but this time his fans in the city of Chengdu have been denied the chance to watch their hero.
Wang, an 18-year-old who finished 17th on the Q School ranking list, showed his ability in the opening frame with a break of 103. Ding took the second frame before his opponent knocked in another century, 120, to lead 2-1. Ding found some fluency with runs of 63, 75 and 112 to lead 4-2, only for Wang to make an 85 in frame seven then nick the next on the black after gaining the snooker he needed on the blue. The next two frames were shared before Wang dominated the decider, taking it 71-6.
World number two Neil Robertson survived a late scare against Malta’s Alex Borg to win 6-5. Robertson led 5-2 after breaks of 58, 70, 59 and 66 before Borg battled back to 5-5. But Australia’s Robertson made a superb 113 in the decider to make sure of his place at the final stages.
Sheffield’s promising Joel Walker beat former World Champion Ken Doherty 6-4 with a top break of 59, while Mark Williams saw off Scott Donaldson 6-2 with a top run of 91.
Chris Melling came from 5-4 down to beat Luca Brecel 6-5, making a 50 clearance in the tenth frame and a winning 52 in the decider, while Graeme Dott eased to a 6-1 success over Lee Page.
Mitchell Mann scored his first professional win with a 6-5 defeat of Peter Lines, while Michael White came from 4-1 down to beat Sean O’Sullivan 6-4, making a 131 in the ninth frame.