Stars in action in China event

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DING Junhui and Shaun Murphy will be in action this week at the Haikou World Open, the latest ranking tournament on the snooker calendar.

Sheffield-based Ding kicks off his title-challenge in China tomorrow against Nottingham potter Michael Holt, while former Rotherham cueman Murphy faces Pinner potter Martin Gould today.

Victory for both players would see them progress to the last 16 stage of this week’s event which offers an £85,000 first prize and concludes on Sunday.

And there’s extra importance for both players as they intensify their preparations for the World Championship, which returns to Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre in less then eight weeks’ time.