Day ousts wasteful Ding in thriller

Ding Junhui spurned three match-winning chances as Welsh qualifier Ryan Day recovered from 9-6 behind to complete an astonishing 10-9 win in the World Championship first round.

Eurosport

The Chinese player - a former holder of the UK Championship and the Masters - was among the favourites to carry off the tournament, but somehow contrived to lose the match from 9-6 ahead having won five straight frames in the morning session after Day had eased himself 6-4 clear by snaring the first frame of the day with a knock of 70.

The world number 10 Ding missed a red on a run of 22 in the 17th frame before seeing a simple red stay out of a middle hole in the next frame when he seemed likely to score heavily. Day made 77 to keep the contest alive.

Another error in trying to leave Day snookered behind a black in overscrewing the white ball in the 18th frame suggested the tension was starting to affect Ding as Day compiled a priceless 33 before sinking the final red and blue to prompt the deciding frame.

Ding seemed poised for victory in that decider when Day missed a long red before sending the white crashing into the pack of reds. Ding made 48, but played his final shot of the tournament when he missed a red with the rest.

Day - who is down at 35 in the rankings - held himself together wonderfully to produce a nerveless effort of 64 as he punched the air in delight moments after slotting the final pink. Ding - who had made runs of 52, 56, 69, 46 and 57 to recover from 6-4 behind - looked a bit dazed. As he left the arena, his hopes of bettering last year's run to the last four went with him.

Day's reward is a meeting with Ding's compatriot Cao Yupeng in the last 16.

First session report

One point and one frame splits Ding Junhui and Ryan Day with Welshman Day 5-4 ahead in their World Championship last 32 meeting.

Day accumulated 439 points to Ding's 438 over the nine frames. That was reflected in the score after a tense first session with Day holding a narrow lead before they reconvene to play to a finish on Wednesday morning.

The pair shared the opening frames with Ding running in knocks of 63 and 47 in moving 1-0 and 2-1 clear only for Day to twice recover aided by a 77 run in the fourth frame.

Ding pieced together a break of 100 to move 3-2 ahead only for Day to respond with a 44 at the business end of the sixth frame to restore parity at 3-3.

Missing an easy black on 52 did not hamper Day in the seventh frame as Ding failed to capitalise among the balls in falling 4-3 behind.

A 46 was not enough for the Chinese player in the eighth frame as an astonishing miss on a straight red buried his hopes of making it 4-4 with Dale adding to an earlier 35 with a 31 for a 5-3 lead.

A 53 provided Ding with the platform to close to within one frame of Day, but he will be well aware that this match could yet go either way on Wednesday.

View comments (0)