UK Snooker: It’s 22 wins and counting for in-form Ding Junhui

York Press: Ding Junhui Ding Junhui

EVEN Ding Junhui reckons his winning run is “incredible” but the Chinese superstar said he feels no pressure as he bids to emulate snooker legend Stephen Hendry.

Ding comfortably beat Fergal O’Brien 6-1 to record his 22nd straight victory in ranking events and will take on Ricky Walden in the last 16 of the williamhill.com UK Championship today.

Having won the last three ranking tournaments, he is aiming to become the first player since Stephen Hendry 23 years ago to win four straight, but Ding said that when he plays well he is always confident of success.

“I played a lot better (against Fergal),” he explained. “I made some breaks and I feel more in control of the white ball. It’s an incredible run and I will keep going and trying hard to win the next games.

“When I am confident, there is no pressure. I relax and concentrate and do well. I know I am playing well. To win four ranking titles in a row would bring me even more happiness.

“Stephen Hendry is a legend and no one has been able to do it since him. I will try.”

The tournament starts now, meanwhile, for defending champion Mark Selby.

The Leicester potter set up a last 16 clash with Graeme Dott after sweeping aside Stuart Carrington 6-0 and the introduction of the two table set-up at the Barbican is exciting the former world number one.

“I feel as though I have been here forever but, at the same time, it’s obviously still good to be involved,” he said.

“The last few days I have found it quite difficult to concentrate because there seems to be a lot going on so with the two table set up – it’s what we are used to over the last few seasons when we have come to venues – it will hopefully be a lot different.”

On his game with Dott, he added: “It’s going to be a tough game.

“I have played him quite a few times and we have always had some tough and gruelling matches so I have got to play better.

“I know what I have got to expect. I am no longer going in there blind. I can go in there with the right mindset.”

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