Rob Walker & Robert Milkins Walk A Dog

Ding Set For Newport

China’s 14-time ranking event winner Ding Junhui earned his place in the final stages of the BetVictor Welsh Open after scoring a comfortable 4-0 win over Gao Yang.

A difficult couple of years for Ding have seen him slide down to 31st position in the world rankings. After spending so long as China’s leading player, he now has four compatriots ranked higher than him. Ding will require a very strong end to the season to avoid having to participate in the qualifying stages for the World Championship.

This afternoon’s performance proved to be a strong start in that quest for Ding. He composed breaks of 59 and 134 on his way to the comprehensive victory.

Jack Lisowski recovered from 2-0 down to beat Stuart Carrington 4-2. Lisowski produced a break building barrage, firing in runs of 76, 87, 102 and 65 in consecutive frames to seal victory with four on the bounce.

Englishman Chris Wakelin eased to a 4-0 defeat of Ireland’s Aaron Hill. He fired in a run of 105 during the whitewash win.

Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham secured a trip to Newport with a 4-2 win over Tian Pengfei, while Zhao Jianbo beat David Grace 4-3.

The qualifying round runs throughout this week in Wolverhampton, with players needing to win one match to book a place at the final stages at ICC Wales in Newport. The top 16 seeds are seeded through to the final stages which run from February 28 to March 6 – for ticket details click here.