Ding battles past Zhou

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Ding Junhui held off a strong challenge from compatriot Zhou Yuelong to win 10-5 and progress to the second round of the Betfred World Championship.

The 12-time ranking winner will be pleased with a solid start in his bid for World Championship glory. He became the first Asian player to reach the Crucible final last year, where he succumbed to a 18-14 loss against Mark Selby. Ding will be hoping he can go one better this year.

Zhou can take heart from a spirited challenge, having started the day 7-2 behind. The teenager won the 2015 World Cup as part of China's B team alongside Yan Bingtao and both players head up a raft of young talent breaking through from Asia.

It was a fast start for Zhou, who took the opening two frames of the afternoon with runs of 60 and 93. Despite a strong showing from the 19-year-old, the story of the session saw Ding keep him at arm's length. China's top player compiled a run of 67 to extend his lead to 8-4.

Zhou got another frame on the board in the 15th to pull back within three, but the damage was done in the first session as Ding got over the line for a 10-5 win.

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