Snooker: Hot prospect Joel primed for Wuxi Classic

Sheffield youngster Joel Walker faces Alex Davies in the first round of the Wuxi Classic
Sheffield youngster Joel Walker faces Alex Davies in the first round of the Wuxi Classic

Sheffield-born potter Joel Walker locks horns with Alex Davies in the first round of the Wuxi Classic, the first ranking event of the season, today.

The 19-year-old, who practices at Hustlers Sports Bar, in Eckington, qualified for the tournament, held in the Jiangsu Province of China, last month. Should the world number 90 see off Davies, he would meet either Chinese youngster Chen Zhe or Ben Woollaston in the last 32.

Fellow Sheffield cueman Adam Duffy was due to face Matthew Stevens in the first round but has been shunted back into a wild-card round showdown with Lu Ning for the right to take on Stevens.

As part of snooker’s new format, players in the world’s top 16 are required to qualify for major tournaments, meaning all 128 tour players start in the same round.