Web Stories Thursday, April 25

Ding Junhui cruised to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Omar Alajlani on Monday to advance into the next round of the Riyadh Season World Masters.

The world No. 9 looked in control throughout his whitewash win and set up a clash with Ali Carter which will take place on Monday evening.

The wild card match also saw the introduction of the Golden Ball at the inaugural invitational event in Saudi Arabia.

The first golden ‘167 maximum break’ in snooker history will be rewarded with a huge £395,000 cheque at this event.

After going 1-0 up in the opening frame, Ding looked on course to become the first player to get himself in position for the 167, but had to settle for a break of 66 to double his lead.

Ding followed that up with another break of 66 before scoring 95 points to wrap up the game.

“I’m happy to be here and to play again with Omar and looking forward to playing well again,” he said after the match.

When asked about his upcoming clash against Carter, Ding replied: “He’s doing good this season, it’s tough to play him so looking forward to it tonight.”

Ding finished the match with a pot rate of 79% and scored a total of 358 points on his way to the next round.

John Higgins moved past wild card Ali Alobaidli by the same scoreline to set up a tie with Mark Williams.

After a slow start to the match, Higgins scored 80 points in the opening frame to take an early lead.

Alobaidli battled back and looked on course to pull level as he built a comfortable lead, but then missed a pot to left middle as Higgins returned to the table with a deficit to close.

As he took the lead in the frame, surprisingly, Higgins gifted Alobaidli two chances but the Qatar player could not take either one, as Higgins eventually sealed the frame to double his advantage.

Alobaidli had another opportunity to build something substantial in the third frame, but after he missed an easy blue to the centre pocket to rack up just nine points, Higgins looked at his best as he knocked in a speedy break of 117 to move within a frame of victory.

Higgins sinks a century in third frame against Alobaidli

There was no super maximum break, but a second sizeable break from Higgins worth 80 points was enough to put him in the next round as he wrapped up a comfortable encounter.

Ding’s clash with Carter and Higgins’ meeting with Williams will be played on Monday as the players eye a spot in Tuesday’s quarter-finals.

Stream top snooker action, including the Riyadh Season World Masters and World Snooker Championship, live on discovery+, the Eurosport app and at Eurosport.com.

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