The next round of the World Championship has been given some extra spice after it was confirmed the world’s top two Chinese stars of snooker will battle it out for a place in the quarter-finals.
Liang Wenbo’s hard-fought 10-7 win over Stuart Carrington means he will face good friend and China’s number one star Ding Junhui in the next round.
Earlier on Tuesday, Ding – a finalist at the World Championship twelve months ago, knocked out another Chinese entrant in Zhou Yuelong, winning 10-5.
Wenbo, through to the second round of the World Championship for the first time since 2008, came back from 5-2 down against the English qualifier.
The world number 13 is enjoying his best season ever on the old green baize after winning his first major ranking title – the English Open.
Speaking to Eurosport after his first round win against Carrington, he said: “Me and Ding are good friends. It should be a very good game.”
Meanwhile, two-times finalist Ali Carter must fight back if he is to progress through as he trailed former world champion Graeme Dott 6-3 at the end of their first session.
HOW SECOND ROUND DRAW IS SHAPING UP
Mark Selby vs Ryan Day/Xiao Guodong
Neil Robertson/Noppon Saengkham vs Marco Fu
Shaun Murphy vs Ronnie O’Sullivan
Liang Wenbo vs Ding Junhui
Stuart Bingham vs Kyren Wilson
Mark Allen vs John Higgins
Barry Hawkins/Tom Ford vs Ali Carter/Graeme Dott
Stephen Maguire vs Judd Trump/Rory McLeod