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UK Snooker Championship: China's Ding Junhui suffers shock defeat to Martin O'Donnell

Sports2018-12-07

China's former world number one Ding Junhui must have been rubbed his hands with undisguised glee at the very realistic prospect of a routine win when he found out world number 59 Martin O'Donnell was his opponent in the last 16 of the UK Championship.With all due respect, O'Donnell had never been past the first round of this competition, while Ding is one of the shiniest snooker stars in the world with 13 ranking event titles to his name. However, as another fresh reminder of the sports' timeless unpredictability, the 32-year-old Englishman produced the biggest result of his career by knocking out his Chinese adversary 6-4 on Thursday night.It was a tensely fought battle from the start and O'Donnell oozed incredible composure and assurance throughout, seizing control of the game with a couple of brilliant positional play. The pair were tied at 3-3 after a late rally from Ding, but O'Donnell took advantage of the two-time winner's simple misses and open up a 5-3 lead with a break of 90 before grabbing the sensational victory in the 10th.Martin O'Donnell describes the victory against Ding Junhui as "the biggest of his career." /VCG PhotoIt's worth noting that Ding is the fourth Chinese player O'Donnell has outclassed en route to the quarter-finals during an extraordinary campaign which saw him edge past Xu Si, Chen Feilong and Tian Pengfei in previous rounds. But Ding was obviously his biggest scalp so far in an otherwise mediocre career.O'Donnell cannot hide his pleasure with the amazing result, he told Eurosport: “[It's] definitely the biggest win of my career.""The UK Championship is the biggest tournament of the season, my record here has been absolutely appalling."I've played too cautiously for too many years. I've been working really hard about getting aggressive and against these top players you have to take the game to them," he added.The in-form Ronnie O'Sullivan remains on course for a record-breaking seventh UK Championship title. /VCG photoO'Donnell will have an even sterner test waiting for him next in the form of five-time World Snooker Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan, who recorded a comfortable 6-1 victory over Jack Lisowski."He (O'Sullivan) could beat me 6-0 but I will enjoy it," O'Donnell told BBC Sport. "If I get chances I will have to take them. Let's see what happens."In another shock result on the night, fifth seed Judd Trump was dumped out in the last 16 by world number 21 Joe Perry by 6-4.(CGTN)

China's former world number one Ding Junhui must have been rubbed his hands with undisguised glee at the very realistic prospect of a routine win when he found out world number 59 Martin O'Donnell was his opponent in the last 16 of the UK Championship.

With all due respect, O'Donnell had never been past the first round of this competition, while Ding is one of the shiniest snooker stars in the world with 13 ranking event titles to his name. 

However, as another fresh reminder of the sports' timeless unpredictability, the 32-year-old Englishman produced the biggest result of his career by knocking out his Chinese adversary 6-4 on Thursday night.

It was a tensely fought battle from the start and O'Donnell oozed incredible composure and assurance throughout, seizing control of the game with a couple of brilliant positional play. 

The pair were tied at 3-3 after a late rally from Ding, but O'Donnell took advantage of the two-time winner's simple misses and open up a 5-3 lead with a break of 90 before grabbing the sensational victory in the 10th.

Martin O'Donnell describes the victory against Ding Junhui as "the biggest of his career." /VCG Photo

It's worth noting that Ding is the fourth Chinese player O'Donnell has outclassed en route to the quarter-finals during an extraordinary campaign which saw him edge past Xu Si, Chen Feilong and Tian Pengfei in previous rounds. But Ding was obviously his biggest scalp so far in an otherwise mediocre career.

O'Donnell cannot hide his pleasure with the amazing result, he told Eurosport: “[It's] definitely the biggest win of my career."

"The UK Championship is the biggest tournament of the season, my record here has been absolutely appalling.

"I've played too cautiously for too many years. I've been working really hard about getting aggressive and against these top players you have to take the game to them," he added.

The in-form Ronnie O'Sullivan remains on course for a record-breaking seventh UK Championship title. /VCG photo

O'Donnell will have an even sterner test waiting for him next in the form of five-time World Snooker Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan, who recorded a comfortable 6-1 victory over Jack Lisowski.

"He (O'Sullivan) could beat me 6-0 but I will enjoy it," O'Donnell told BBC Sport. "If I get chances I will have to take them. Let's see what happens."

In another shock result on the night, fifth seed Judd Trump was dumped out in the last 16 by world number 21 Joe Perry by 6-4.

(CGTN)

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