Judd Trump survived a fight back from Stuart Carrington to win 4-3 at the Coral World Grand Prix in Cheltenham, while local favourite Jack Lisowski was soundly beaten 4-1 by Ding Junhui.
Trump is aiming for his third title of the season having won the Northern Ireland Open and the Masters, and he looked sharp as he took the first three frames against Carrington with top breaks of 92 and 122.
His opponent fought back bravely to 3-3 to threaten an upset, and he had two clear chances in the decider but couldn’t take them. World number five Trump snatched victory with a 30 clearance to set up a last 16 clash on Wednesday evening with Tom Ford, who edged out Joe Perry 4-3 with a top break of 79.
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Ding made it a good day for China as he joined Xiao Guodong and Yuan Sijun in round two. And the 13-time ranking event winner was in sizzling form as he fired breaks of 52, 88 and 126 against Lisowski.
Cheltenham’s Lisowski took the opening frame but his hopes of a deep run in his home tournament were short lived as Ding won four in a row, finishing the match with 349 unanswered points. He now plays David Gilbert or Yan Bingtao on Thursday.
“I’m very happy to have played well out there,” said world number nine Ding. “Jack played some bad safeties and gave me some easy balls to start breaks. My cue ball control was good.”
Ding is currently 24th on the one-year ranking list and needs to be in the top 16 by the end of this month to qualify for March’s Coral Players Championship in Preston. “This is a good chance to climb up,” he added. “The next target is to play well in this tournament and get into the top 16.”
Stephen Maguire top scored with 73 in a 4-1 win over Mark King, setting up a match with Chinese teenager Yuan, who knocked out Mark Williams earlier today.