Luca Brecel wasn’t quite right at the start against Ding Junhui, the world No.15. The world champion piled on the errors and was already facing a 3-0 deficit after 45 minutes.
It also appeared to be 4-0, but in the fourth frame the counters stopped at 54, after which Pressel was able to clear the ball. The “Belgian Bullet” raised its level and equalized the score again by breaking 73 to 3-3.
In the decisive frame, Pressel still had to surrender to Ding Junhui. Frame scores were 95(94)-22, 65-56, 66-5, 70(54)-71, 12-82, 4-77(73) and 59-35.
Not only does Pressel miss out on a ticket to the British Open, he also misses out on the chance to dethrone Ronnie O’Sullivan in the world rankings after 17 months.
The victory in the first round was enough for Pressel to overcome “The Rocket”, who qualified for the tournament for medical reasons. Now world number three Mark Allen may get a chance, although the Northern Irishman should win the tournament.
Julien Leclerc (WS-69) and Ben Mertens (WS-72) already won their qualifying match in mid-August. Leclerc will play against Welshman Jimmy Jones (WS-45) in the first round on Tuesday afternoon, while Mertens will face Chinese Yuan Sijun (WS-50) on Tuesday morning.
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