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Ding Earns Beijing Berth

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Defending champion Ding Junhui booked his place in the final stages of the China Open in Beijing with a 5-1 win over Ross Muir in the qualifying round in Barnsley.

China’s top player Ding failed to qualify for the Wuxi Classic and International Championship earlier this season, but made no mistake this time. He lost the first frame but then hit back to take five in a row despite failing to make a break over 50.

Ronnie O’Sullivan secured his last 64 spot with a 5-1 win over Belgium’s Luca Brecel. A run of 117 gave Brecel the opening frame before the Rocket stormed to victory with top breaks of 86, 62, 56 and 124.

Neil Robertson was pushed hard by Chinese teenager Lyu Haotian, but came through 5-3 with a high break of 73.

The surprise result of the round was Mark Allen’s 5-1 defeat against Michael Leslie. Scotland’s Leslie, 106 places below Allen in the world rankings, scored top breaks of 53 and 70.

World Champion Mark Selby compiled breaks of 78, 52 and 90 in a 5-1 win over Barry Pinches while Shaun Murphy top scored with 77 in a 5-1 defeat of Igor Figueiredo.

John Higgins pulled away from 2-2 to beat Oliver Lines 5-2 with a top run of 112, while Judd Trump made a 111 in a 5-0 thrashing of Eden Sharav.

Marco Fu saw off Michael Georgiou 5-2 while Ken Doherty edged out Dave Harold 5-4.

Jimmy White suffered a 5-4 reverse against Ashley Carty, losing the decider 70-20.