Doherty delighted crowds with a trickshot routine at the opening ceremony yesterday.
Ken Doherty came through a deciding frame with John Astley to win 4-3 and book his place in the last 32 of the Indian Open in Vishakhapatnam.
The Irishman has enjoyed a brilliant run of form at the start of the 2017/18 campaign, which included his first ranking event semi-final appearance in six years at the Riga Masters.
There was never more than a frame between the pair today and Astley made 64 in the sixth to force the decider. He then had the first chances to clinch the tie, but it was Doherty who made a fine break of 62 with the balls positioned awkwardly to progress.
Afterwards Doherty, who was handed an invitational tour card at the start of the season, was optimistic about his chances of making a return to the ranking winner’s circle.
Doherty said: “It has focused my mind getting the invitational tourcard. I was embarrassed to need it. I thought to myself that I’m a former World Champion and I am not going to go out like this. I’m going to put my head down and give it everything for the two years. I have the bit between my teeth now and I have a lot of determination.
“I want to win a tournament. I look around at some of the other players who have done tremendously well like Mark King and Anthony Hamilton. They can be an inspiration to me. If they can win a tournament that gives hope to guys in their 40s. Anything is possible, but you have to believe in it.”
China’s Tian Pengfei staged a tremendous fightback to defeat Tom Ford 4-3 from 3-0 down. Ford took the opener on the black and the third frame on the pink, as he battled hard to move one from victory. However, Tian took the next four on the bounce to secure an unlikely win.
Alan McManus recorded a 4-0 whitewash against local wildcard Malkeet Singh. There was a run of 88 from Angles on his way to the win.
Chinese teenager Xu Si secured a 4-0 win over Finland’s Robin Hull to book his place in the last 32, making a break of 64 in the opener.
For full results click here.