Six Red World Championship Down to Last 16
Defending champion Ding Junhui qualified for the last 16 of the Six Red World Championship on Wednesday after a 5-2 victory over Tom Ford in his final round-robin fixture in Thailand.
Ding, the top ranked player competing in the invitational tournament, finished second in Group A behind Noppon Saengkham and will play familiar Asian rival Marco Fu in the first knockout stage on Thursday.
2015 champion Thepchaiya Un-Nooh joined Thai compatriot Saengkham in advancing from the group stages but three other former winners of the short format bowed out at the first hurdle.
Three-time six red world champion Mark Davis suffered a shock 5-3 defeat to amateur Atthasit Mahitthi in his last game to trail Liang Wenbo and Michael Holt in Group D while Ricky Walden lost to Kyren Wilson to finish in third behind his fellow Englishman and Un-Nooh in Group C.
In Group E, Stephen Maguire threw away a commanding position despite having won his opening couple of clashes by losing heavily to Stuart Bingham and dropping to third place in the group on frame difference behind Akani Songermsawad – the third home favourite to make it through.
Bingham, runner-up to Ding twelve months ago, will meet Un-Nooh with a quarter-final spot at stake, while Songsermsawad plays Holt.
World Games gold medallist Wilson battles Mark Williams, who was one of the few players to qualify with a game to spare on Tuesday.
Scotland’s Graeme Dott boasted the most impressive record from the group stages, winning all three of his encounters to the loss of just two frames.
The 2006 Crucible champion’s reward is a match against Ryan Day, who advanced despite having the worst record with just one win out of three – the Welshman squeezing in thanks to a slightly superior frame difference.
Elsewhere, Saengkham will meet David Gilbert, Anthony McGill faces Mark King, and Liang Wenbo entertains Ben Woollaston.
By the end of Thursday’s play, the four semi-finalists will be determined in Bangkok.