China’s Junhui survives Ding-dong battle to avoid UK Championship first round exit
World number five eventually beats Brazilian Igor Figueiredo 6-5 to advance to the second round in York
Two-time UK Championship winner Ding Junhui of China survived a big scare before beating Igor Figueiredo to reach the second round of the competition late on Tuesday.
Ding, the world number five, breezed into a 4-1 lead over the Brazilian, the world number 127, in York, northern England, only for Figueiredo to hit back and win the next four frames.
But Ding, a beaten finalist in this year’s World Championship, produced a break of 74 as he came from 61-4 down in a nail-biting deciding frame to complete a narrow 6-5 win.
“From 4-1 up to 5-4 down, I kept telling myself it wasn’t finished yet and I just needed to carry on,” Ding told the World Snooker website.
“I was still confident and I wanted to take it to a decider because I think I have played more of them than him.”
Hong Kong’s Marco Fu also progressed courtesy of a 6-2 win over Ireland’s Josh Boileau.