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Snooker: Welsh Woes for Ding Junhui
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Chinese teenage snooker ace Ding Junhui spluttered to a first-round exit at the Snooker Welsh Open as he was knocked out 5-1 by world number 21 Jamie Cope.

This was Ding's second early exit in a row at major tournaments after crashing out of the British Masters in January, losing to former world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-3.

The first frame was slow and ponderous with Cope scoring the first point in the fifth minute.  He never let Ding return to the table though making a brilliant 115 break to clinch the first frame.

Cope twice missed in the second to let Ding equalize with a 38-point break to take the frame 81-18.

Unfortunately, Cope was too good for the next three frames and went into the mid-session break, leading 4-1.

Upon the restart, Cope was ruthless, matching Ding's 23-break with a sharp 84 to take the frame and make Ding claim a sooner-than-expected ticket home.

Jamie Cope

(CRI February 15, 2007)

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