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China’s Junhui survives Ding-dong battle to avoid UK Championship first round exit

Two-time UK Championship winner Ding Junhui of China survived a big scare before beating Igor Figueiredo to reach the second round of the competition late on Tuesday.

Ding, the world number five, breezed into a 4-1 lead over the Brazilian, the world number 127, in York, northern England, only for Figueiredo to hit back and win the next four frames.

But Ding, a beaten finalist in this year’s World Championship, produced a break of 74 as he came from 61-4 down in a nail-biting deciding frame to complete a narrow 6-5 win.

“From 4-1 up to 5-4 down, I kept telling myself it wasn’t finished yet and I just needed to carry on,” Ding told the World Snooker website.

“I was still confident and I wanted to take it to a decider because I think I have played more of them than him.”

Hong Kong’s Marco Fu also progressed courtesy of a 6-2 win over Ireland’s Josh Boileau.