Yuan Sijun and Lyu Haotian became the fourth and fifth Chinese players to reach the winners’ week of BetVictor Championship League Snooker, at the Morningside Arena, Leicester.
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Yuan, ranked 80th in the world, won all three of his matches without dropping a frame to book his spot in winners’ week. He opened his season with a 3-0 victory over countryman Lei Peifan, with a top break of 88. Another swift 3-0 victory followed, this time against 1997 world champion Ken Doherty, making breaks of 95 and 50.
The group decider came against top seed Barry Hawkins, with Yuan needing just a point against the Hawk, and he eased to another 3-0 success.
Lyu remained unbeaten in Group 30, dropping just three frames all day as he joined compatriot Yuan in reaching winners’ week.
World number 45 Lyu opened with a 2-2 draw against Fraser Patrick, with the Scot knocking in a century break of 101 in the first frame. Lyu bounced back immediately with a 3-1 win over bottom seed Hayden Pinhey, breaks of 67 and 42 enough to secure victory.
The group came down to the final match of the day, between Lyu and 2006 World Champion Graeme Dott. The young Chinese star found another gear, cruising to a 3-0 victory and making a group high break of 135. The whitewash defeat also sent Dott to the bottom of the group despite being in contention for winners’ week qualification.
2022 BetVictor Championship League Snooker continues on Thursday with four-time world champion Mark Selby, James Cahill, Ben Woollaston and Zhang Jiankang in action on Table One in Group Three, live on FreeSports and Matchroom.Live in the UK and networks worldwide. Joe Perry leads Group 23 with Andrew Higginson, Elliot Slessor, and Lukas Kleckers, live on the Matchroom Multi Sport YouTube for free.