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Swail bows out after decider in late night UK drama

By Luke Baker

Joe Swail suffered late night heartbreak at the prestigious UK Championship in York. The Belfast cueman and Edinburgh's Ross Muir started out in the afternoon but at 5-5 in their first to six frame encounter had to come off the table to allow the scheduled evening matches to start.

The pair began their deciding frame at close to 11pm, with the 21-year-old triumphant.

Swail's fellow Ulsterman Mark Allen is in action tonight.

Two-time winner Ding Junhui survived a major scare to book his place in the second round.

The 2016 World Championship finalist cruised into a 4-1 lead against Brazilian world number 127 Igor Figueiredo but then lost the next four frames to sit on the brink of elimination.

The 2005 and 2009 champion said: "From 4-1 up to 5-4 down I kept telling myself it wasn't finished yet and I just needed to carry on.

"I was still confident and I wanted to take it to a decider."

Ding admitted he needs to turn a blind eye to the weight of expectation on his shoulders during major championships.

He added: "I want to try and ignore the pressure, I don't want to think 'this is the UK Championship, this is a big event'. I just need to go in, try hard to win matches and play the best I can.

"Every time I make a mistake, I need to forgive myself and that is one of the hardest things for me. I still have some emotions and anger in the matches but I try to keep them down and just wait for my next chance."

Judd Trump, champion in 2011, produced a run of five frames in a row to see off 46-year-old James Wattana 6-2.

There were no ill effects for Barry Hawkins from his loss in the final of the Northern Ireland Open on Sunday as he swept past David John 6-0.

Other winners on the opening day included Marco Fu, Michael Holt and Ryan Day, who triumphed 6-2 against the 1993 winner Jimmy White.

Belfast Telegraph


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