Snooker: Memorable match for Sheffield potter in Cardiff

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Ding Junhui is adamant there is still more to come from him at the Welsh Open after reaching the last 16 in Cardiff on Wednesday.

The Sheffield-based Chinese cueman opened up with a spectacular century against Matthew Selt at the Motorpoint Arena, although he was made to work hard before ultimately prevailing 4-3.

Selt was unhappy with the table conditions after his defeat but still came close to overturning a 3-1 deficit before Ding edged the decider.

A lot has been written about the 28-year-old’s struggle this season but with three wins in Cardiff this week he seems to have turned a corner and admits that his confidence is slowly starting to return.

“I think I played alright, I didn't make many mistakes to go 2-1 up,” explained Ding. “Matt played well in the safety game and he doesn't miss a lot, so he came back and put me under pressure.

“The last frame was better for me, I took my chances, I still missed a few but I won. I am playing well but I can still improve.

“I've done well in deciding frames in the past few years, I'm feeling good and looking forward to the next match.”

The Welsh Open is being shown live on Eurosport all week and Eurosport’s expert line-up includes five-time world champion Ronnie “The Rocket” O’Sullivan, six-time World Championship finalist Jimmy “The Whirlwind” White, 1986 world champion Joe Johnson and former world No.3 Neal Foulds.

Ding’s campaign to win a second Welsh Open this week – following his 2012 triumph – continues on Thursday against Luca Brecel.

His match with the rising Belgian star is set to begin at 8pm with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.

Brecel is a man in form having reached the final of both the German Masters and the Snooker Shootout in the past fortnight, so Ding is expecting a tough match but certainly not a slow one.

“Luca is quite a good player and he is quite attacking,” added Ding. “I haven't had much time to watch him but I know he enjoys the game and he likes to play quick.”

* Eurosport is the Home of Snooker, showing 19 tournaments per season, including the World Championship, UK Championship, Welsh Open and the Masters, as well as the exclusive series ‘The Ronnie O’Sullivan Show’.