John Higgins will meet young Chinese sensation Yan Bingtao in what promises to be the tie of the third round of this year’s UK Championship.
The four-times world champion battled his way to a scrappy 6-4 win over Cao Yupeng on Sunday evening to set up a last 32 meeting with the 17-year-old who reached the Northern Ireland Open final only a week ago.
Bingtao, however, cruised through his second round match on Sunday afternoon – thrashing Ben Woollaston 6-1.
The youngster has already had the edge of Higgins this season after beating him 6-2 in the International Championship quarter-finals last month. And there’s no doubt their next meeting will be an exciting watch on Tuesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, five-times world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan booked his place in the next round after beating Michael Georgiou 6-1. O’Sullivan is bidding to win his third ranking event of the season after his triumphs in the English Open and Shanghai Masters.
O’Sullivan will next face Welshman Michael White – winner of this season’s Paul Hunter Classic – following his win over Matthew Selt.
UK Championship 2017 – Third Round Draw
Scott Donaldson vs Li Hang
Mark Williams vs Ryan Day
Mark Joyce vs Neil Robertson
Lyu Haotian vs Marco Fu
Shaun Murphy vs Jimmy Robertson
Kyren Wilson vs Ricky Walden
Mark King vs Luca Brecel
Yan Bingtao vs John Higgins
Judd Trump vs Graeme Dott
Liang Wenbo vs Stephen Maguire
Joe Perry vs Kurt Maflin
Peter Lines vs Mark Allen
Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Michael White
Barry Hawkins vs Akani Songsermsawad
Martin Gould vs Hossein Vafaei
Xiao Guodong vs Noppon Saengkham
World number six Shaun Murphy had a real scare when he trailed Liam Highfield 5-4 in their second round clash.
But the 2005 world champion managed to win the final two frames he needed to seal a place in the last 32. Murphy next faces Jimmy Robertson who also needed a final frame decider to win his second round match against Alan McManus.
So far the biggest casualties of the tournament so far include Mark Selby, Ding Junhui and Ali Carter.