Reigning champion Ding Junhui edged out of UK Snooker C’ship

Defending champion Ding Junhui of China has been knocked out of the UK Snooker Championship by Englishman David Grace 6-5 in the second round.

Ding, 33, entered the event as the world number 10 and the reigning champion. The Chinese top player on Saturday led 5-3 after eight frames but lost three in a row to his opponent who is 65th in the world rankings, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Ding wasn’t at his best but you have to play well to even put a thought in his mind that you can beat him,” Grace told the World Snooker Tour website, claiming it’s his best win in terms of the quality of the player he has beaten.

The 35-year-old will play Xiao Guodong in the second round as the Chinese ace edged Belgian Luca Brecel 6-5.

In other second-round matches, Chinese Chen Zifan edged compatriot Yan Bingtao 6-5 to set up a clash with Anthony Mcgill. Australian Neil Robertson outplayed Chris Wakelin 6-1 to face Li Hang of China.