DING Junhui admitted he lost to the better man on the day, after the former two-time winner tumbled out in the first round of the UK Championship to qualifier Ryan Day.
The 25-year-old star led 4-3 at one point before Day snatched the final three frames in succession to put out the Sheffield-based potter 6-4.
The Chinese star and current world No 10 started out in fine form, taking the first two frames on Saturday in York including a magnificent century break of 106. But Day, who also beat Ding in the first round of this year’s World Championship, came roaring back to send the UK champion of 2005 and 2009 home at the first opportunity.
But despite the disappointment Ding refused to be downcast, insisting his form was somewhere approaching his best: “I played well he just played better than me,” he said. “I didn’t really do anything wrong apart from a big mistake in the third frame on the pink but that was it.”
Former Rotherham Shaun Murphy, UK champion in 2008, had no such struggles as he progressed to the second round courtesy of a 6-3 win over qualifier Robert Milkins.
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