Thepchaiya Un-Nooh is back at the Crucible this year after a hat-trick of brutal draws in his previous three appearances, but he is not looking for an easy touch this time round.
The Thai star came through three rounds of qualifying, beating Andrew Pagett and Jak Jones before facing a man he has never beaten before in Matt Selt.
The head-to-head stood at 7-0 to Selt before this game but Thepchaiya finally got his man, beating the Englishman 10-7 to make it back to the Crucible for a fourth time.
The man known as F1 is yet to win a game at the Crucible, but it’s understandable as he has taken on John Higgins, Judd Trump and Ronnie O’Sullivan in his three first round contests.
The 36-year-old lost 10-1 to the Rocket in 2020 but fancies another shot at his snooker hero, while he would also like a crack at rising star Zhao Xintong, wanting to take on someone who will go head-to-head with his guns-linging style.
‘I prefer to play against Ronnie O’Sullivan because it’s really going to be a good match and he’s my idol too,’ said Thepchaiya after beating Selt.
‘Xintong, I would like to play with him because we are the same style and I think it would be good for the people watching if we play each other.’
Thepchaiya will learn his fate at the draw for the first round of the World Championship at 11am on Thursday.
Also qualifying on Tuesday night were Stephen Maguire, Ding Junhui, Michael White, Jamie Jones, Lyu Haotian, Ashley Hugill and Scott Donaldson.
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