Liang looking forward to Ding date at World Championships

PUBLISHED: 06:27 19 April 2017

Liang Wenbo studies the table in his match against Stuart Carrington at the Betfred Snooker World Championships at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield (pic Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Liang Wenbo studies the table in his match against Stuart Carrington at the Betfred Snooker World Championships at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield (pic Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Romford-based potter sets up all-China clash

Liang Wenbo is determined to enjoy the occasion when he comes up against good friend and compatriot Ding Junhui at the Betfred World Championships.

The Romford-based potter booked his place in the second round at the Crucible with a 10-7 victory over Stuart Carrington last night.

And his success sets up a mouth-watering head-to-head clash between two of China’s biggest sports stars and Liang, who hasn’t got past the first round since 2008, cannot wait.

“Me and Ding are very good friends, I’ll enjoy the game and try to give the fans a good game. I imagine there will be a lot of interest back in China,” he said.

“I just want to play my game and enjoy it but Ding is a very good player and very talented. We’ve stayed together, practiced together and talked a lot.

“He’s shared a lot of experiences with me. Ding has a lot of experience and controls the table very well, I need to do much better and control my own game.”

Liang was 2-0 up against Carrington before the Grimsby potter smashed home three successive century breaks, but the 13th-seed fought back to level at 5-5.

A nervy second session presented opportunities for both players with Liang, winner of the English Open earlier this season, eventually prevailing.

Meanwhile, Judd Trump has it all to do in Sheffield after letting a four-frame lead slip against Rory McLeod in his own first-round match.

The Romford-based potter will resume 5-4 down against McLeod on Wednesday morning in the best of 19 match with the winner facing Stephen Maguire in the last 16.

Trump was amongst the favourites to lift the world title at the start of the tournament, but the 27-year-old has some thinking to do.

Things appeared to be running to the second seed’s script early on when he struck two half-centuries to open up an early 2-0 lead.

He doubled that advantage before the mid-session interval but after the break it was one-way traffic as McLeod won five frames on the bounce against the 2011 world finallist.

Trump has been in fine form this season thus far, picking up two ranking tournament titles for the first time, and will need to regain that form quickly if he is to reach the second round.

*Watch the Snooker World Championship Live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player, with Colin Murray and analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.

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