China’s Zhou Yuelong pulled off a notable giant-killing feat at the world snooker championship beating sixth seed Mark Allen to reach the second round on only his second appearance.
The 21-year-old managed to stave off a rally by the experienced Northern Irishman to win the best of 19 encounters 10-7 and set up a clash with either Jack Lisowski or Ali Carter.
Zhou ranked 35 in the world, said the win was the most satisfying moment of the season and he had been pleased by how he had not crumbled despite Allen rattling off five frames in succession to trail 9-7.
“Mark played very well from 9-2, he scored fast and heavily. I just had to wait for my chance and concentrate on every shot,” Zhou said on the tournament website.
“I think this was my best match of the season, especially yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) session (he took a 7-2 lead).
“I was happy to play against Mark. He’s one of the best players in the world. I enjoyed it.”
“In snooker, you just have to do your own job, concentrate on yourself. If you think about your opponent too much, it has a bad effect on your own game. I just focus on myself.”
Allen – a semi-finalist in 2009 and three-time quarter-finalist – said he had been all at sea mentally.
The early and middle part of that match was really hard to be part of because I was struggling mentally,” he said.
Zhou’s compatriot Li Hang fared less well, thrashed 10-1 by 2013 world finalist Barry Hawkins.
Li, 28, world 28th-ranked, narrowly avoided the same fate of compatriot and fellow debutant Luo Honghao, who became only the second player to suffer a whitewash at the Crucible in losing 10-0 to Shaun Murphy.
Li’s exit means that only two out of six Chinese players, Ding and Zhou, reached the second round.