In a highly-anticipated clash at the Duelbits Tour Championship, Ding Junhui staged a remarkable comeback against Mark Allen to take a commanding 5-3 lead at the end of the first session in Hull.
Despite trailing 2-0 and 3-2 at different points, the Chinese snooker ace showed his mettle by bouncing back and establishing a two-frame cushion over his opponent. This victory is crucial for Ding, as a loss would effectively end his hopes of being a top 16 seed for the upcoming Cazoo World Championship.
The match started with top seed Allen dominating the opening frame with a clear from the last red, followed by a break of 72 for a 2-0 lead. However, Ding wasn’t deterred and staged an impressive comeback with a break of 116 and adding frame four to level the score at 2-2.
After the interval, Allen managed to regain the lead with a run of 52, but failed to pot a ball in the next two frames, allowing Ding to take the lead with his impressive runs of 51, 67, and 92. The last frame of the session saw a tactical battle between the two players, but Ding outwitted his opponent with a clever safety play, and capitalized on the opportunity to extend his lead.
With the match scheduled to resume at 7 pm, the stakes are high for both players, as the first to ten frames will progress to the semi-finals. Allen, who already has three titles this season, will be eager to stage a comeback and keep his hopes of another victory alive, while Ding will look to maintain his momentum and secure a place in the next round.