/ Snooker

Stars names set for enthralling day of action at UK Championship

Updated: Monday, 02 Dec 2013 08:22 | Comments

Ronnie O'Sullivan faces little-known Adam Duffy at the Barbican Centre in York today
Ronnie O'Sullivan faces little-known Adam Duffy at the Barbican Centre in York today

Ronnie O'Sullivan headlines another star-studded day at the UK Championship on Monday, with six former champions in action along with world number one Neil Robertson.

O'Sullivan continues his push for a fifth title against Adam Duffy in the second round, having cruised past amateur Rhys Clark 6-0, while Robertson takes on Robbie Williams and Judd Trump is in third-round action against Xiao Guodong.

Robertson beat another amateur, Dylan Mitchell, 6-0 but the Australian expects a tougher test against the Wirral left-hander, who reached semi-finals in India and Germany last month.

The world number one said: "I haven't seen him play too much but I think in India he got to the semis. He's had a really good season so far.

"It won't just be a case of a good experience for him, he'll be really hungry to get the win against me."

Trump, who whitewashed Dechawat Poomjaeng yesterday, faces world number 28 Xiao who has dropped just three frames so far.

The Bristolian said: "I think he's improved a lot, he's a lot better than where he's ranked and it will be a hard game."

Reigning champion Mark Selby, who feels "about 80 per cent better" having been bed-ridden by flu before the tournament, faces Tian Pengfei in round two after being given a scare by 15-year-old Shane Castle.

He said of Tian: "I played him in one of the PTCs this year and won 4-2 but I'm sure he beat me in the Wuxi (Classic), I think, many years ago.

"I know what he's capable of and it'll be another tough game."

The day's other second-round game pits Mitchell Travis, the Sheffield amateur who stunned world number six Marco Fu 6-5 in round one, against Kurt Maflin.

John Higgins, who beat Rod Lawler 6-1, faces Jamie Burnett as Scottish players feature heavily in third-round action.

Stephen Maguire, Scott Donaldson and Anthony McGill are back on the baize after wins yesterday and Higgins is delighted to see the nation's proud snooker tradition maintained.

He said: "I think they maybe look at all the Scottish boys doing well over the years and they fancy to do pretty well as well.

"It's good to see Scott win, Anthony McGill's beginning to show his promise and Michael Leslie I think lost a close one."

Leslie made the tournament high break, a 139, in that defeat to Liang Wenbo.

Donaldson meets Joe Perry, who kept his hopes of a place in the Masters alive by beating Daniel Wells.

Ali Carter and Graeme Dott, also both in Masters contention, face off while Shaun Murphy faces Noppon Saengkham and Newcastle taxi driver Gary Wilson stands in the way of world number eight Barry Hawkins.

Sunday's action also saw Ding Junhui conquer his boyhood idol James Wattana 6-1 while Mark Allen beat Dave Harold 6-3.

Welsh veterans Matthew Stevens and Mark Williams battled past Yu Delu and Rory McLeod respectively while there were also wins for Ricky Walden and Stuart Bingham, the latter against Jimmy White.

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