O’Sullivan and Ding start UK Championship campaign with wins

WORLD champion Ronnie O’Sullivan cruised into the second round of the UK Championship after brushing aside 19-year-old Rhys Clark in a thumping win.

O’Sullivan, winner of the Champion of Champions event last week, made easy work of his first round clash against the amateur Scotsman winning 6-0 in a match which took less than an hour and a half.

Breaks of 82, 71 and 72 helped the Rocket set up a second round clash (last 64) against Adam Duffy on Monday.

Ding Junhui, winner of three major ranking events this season, also avoided a huge shock beating Antony Parsons 6-3.

Despite not being at his most fluent best, the Shanghai Masters, Indian Open and International Championship winner had too much for the Middlesbrough amateur to secure a place in Round 2.

Elsewhere so far today, former world champion Shaun Murphy suffered a huge scare when he trailed 3-0 in his second round battle against Yorkshire’s Paul Davison.

But breaks of 75, 78 and 80 helped the 2005 Crucible champion to recover and finish with a 6-3 win.

Ali Carter, who reached the semi-finals of this event last year, had no problem in his second round match – beating Jimmy Robertson 6-0 and World Championship runner-up Barry Hawkins defeated China’s Zhang Anda 6-3 to make the last 32 stage.

Former world champion Graeme Dott came through a tough battle against Nigel Bond winning via a deciding frame shootout and Shanghai Masters finalist Xiao Guodong booked his place in the third round with victory over Jamie O’Neill.

Nottingham potter Michael Holt kept up his impressive season with a 6-4 win over former Masters winner Alan McManus and Fergal O’Brien beat Mark King 6-3.

Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham is also through after victory over Sean O’Sullivan and Irishman David Morris recorded an impressive 6-1 win over former world champion Peter Ebdon.

Gary Wilson’s run in the UK Championship also stretched further after he beat Australian Vinnie Calabrese 6-3.


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