Ding Junhui is targeting a third UK Snooker Championship triumph and the coveted world No.1 ranking after he sailed through and Mark Selby crashed out in round two at the York Barbican.
The Sheffield-based 27-year-old recovered from a slow start to beat legend Jimmy White 6-2 to progress to the last 32.
The current world No.3 is looking to add to his 2005 and 2009 title and after current No1 Selby – a first-time earlier father this month – was eliminated by David Morris, doing so would see him hit the top of the rankings for the first time.
“It is a big surprise that Selby has gone out but he must be very busy with his little baby,” said China’s most successful player of all time.
“It is good to win and get through. It was a hard match to play in but after taking the third frame I was able to put Jimmy under pressure.
“He played OK and was unlucky when he went into the pack on a few occasions; however, I took my chances when he missed.
“It was a hard match to play in but the long second frame was really important. I hope to win the tournament so I am glad to make the next round.
“When we were so close early on it was important that I attacked so I was happy with the century break in frame four also.
“Jimmy had a lot of support but there were some Chinese students here. They love snooker and give me confidence.
“Jimmy had a lot of chances and I didn’t feel good but I gave 100 per cent and I have made it through.”
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