Adam Duffy claims Sheffield-based cueman Ding Junhui is the favourite to lift the 2013 UK Championship.
Chinese potter Ding recently became the first player since Stephen Hendry in 1993 to win three successive ranking tournaments, having secured the Shanghai Masters, Indian Open and International Championship this year. His imperious form has resulted in him moving up to number three in the world rankings behind Neil Robertson and Mark Selby.
Ding, a two-time winner of the UK Championships, faces Antony Parsons, one of seven amateurs in the event, including Gleadless-born Mitchell Travis, in the first round of the tournament on Saturday.
Sheffield ace Duffy, who plays Barry Pinches in his opener tomorrow, has told The Star: “Ding is the one to beat. He is flying at the moment. There will be one or two upsets because they have changed the format but I still think the top players, such as Ding, will reach the latter stages.”
Joel Walker is in action tonight against Scot Alan McManus.