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Mark Allen drops out of world's top 16 but can still secure automatic World Championship spot

Dafabet Masters Champion Mark Allen has dropped out of the world's all-important top 16 but can still secure an automatic place at next month's World Championship.

The Antrim man is down to 17th in the rankings after a few disappointing results in the wake of his Triple Crown January success.

After beating Kyren Wilson to land the 2018 Masters title, Allen crashed out in the last 16 of the Welsh Open and the first round of the World Grand Prix.

Then last week came what he called his 'all time low' - a defeat to Ding Junhui in the first round of the Players Championship.

That result, coupled with a quarter-final finish for Ryan Day, meant Allen toppled out of the top 16 that will claim automatic places at next month's World Championship.

BUT Allen shouldn't quite book his spot at the qualifying event just yet. He could still make a return to the world's top 16 with a positive performance at the upcoming China Open. It's not until after that tournament that the automatic spots for the Crucible are finalised.

The China Open takes place from 2-8 April and Allen is due to face world number 46 Noppon Saengkham in the first round. World number 16 Ryan Day is not scheduled to play at the tournament, giving Allen a positive

The Betfred World Championship begins on April 21 and finishes on May 7.

The qualification tournament, which Allen is still hoping to avoid, will be play from April 11 to April 18.

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