Jimmy White has been relegated from the main tour following a 10-4 defeat to Ali Carter in the Second Round of World Championship qualifying in Sheffield on Monday.
White, 56, saw his hopes of a first Betfred World Championship appearance since 2006 crushed by ‘The Captain’ – who reeled off six consecutive frames to clinch a place in the final qualifying round at the English Institute of Sport.
White made a fine start to the contest, leading 2-0 and 3-1 before Carter nudged 5-4 ahead at the interval and followed up with five frames in a row after the restart to wrap up victory.
Defeat for White means he will finish the season ranked outside of the world’s top 64 and thus relegated from the main tour, potentially bringing the curtain down on a 39-year career at the top level.
The Whirlwind, a six-time world finalist and former UK and Masters champion, must now hope he is handed a renewed wildcard by World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn or enter next month’s Qualifying School if he is to retain his professional status.
Carter, meanwhile, goes through to face John Astley in the third and final qualifying round on Tuesday after Astley defeated former Paul Hunter Classic winner Michael White 10-6 to continue his impressive run.
World number 17 Ryan Day, the highest-ranked player involved in the qualifiers, suffered a crushing 10-3 defeat at the hands of China’s Tian Pengfei – who claimed six frames on the spin to ensure the Welshman misses out on the sport’s blue riband event for the first time since 2013.
Tian Pengfei pulls off a major scalp (Photo via PA)
There was also disappointment for 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty as he went down 10-4 to in-form Scott Donaldson – who now faces China’s Lu Ning after he defeated former Northern Ireland Open champion Mark King 10-5.
Graeme Dott, who lifted the world title in 2006, safely saw off Xu Si 10-4 with a high break of 103 along the way to setting up a show-down with Kurt Maflin.
Norway’s Maflin survived a scare as he came from 4-2 down to dispatch amateur hopeful Pang Junxu 10-7, while Lyu Haotian – who reached the Last 16 on debut 12 months ago – pulled off a ruthless 10-0 whitewash of Northern Ireland’s Jordan Brown with breaks of 93, 67, 100, 135, 74, 62 and 62.
Two-time world finalist Matthew Stevens stepped up his pursuit of a 17th World Championship berth with a 10-7 win over 2018 qualifier Chris Wakelin with a top break of 143 to confirm a clash with Pengfei.
Lu was one of nine Chinese players to win through to the play-off round, including 19-year-old Luo Honghao as he stunned Robbie Williams with a 10-8 scalp to keep his quest for a dream debut on track.
London’s Martin O’Donnell progressed to the final qualifying round for the first time courtesy of a 10-8 win over three-time semi-finalist Alan McManus and will now face second seed Joe Perry in the decider.
Perry has dropped just two frames en route to Round Three, having followed up his 10-1 rout of Simon Lichtenberg with a crushing victory over Zhang Yong by the same scorline, with high breaks of 82, 102 and 110 along the way.
Li Hang battled past Ian Burns with a 10-8 success to set up a meeting with Ben Woollaston – who saw off 1995 world finalist Nigel Bond 10-4.
World number 68 Eden Sharav moved one step away from a debut at The Crucible after staging a superb fightback from 9-6 down to edge out 2013 semi-finalist Ricky Walden in a deciding frame.
Former quarter-finalist Anthony McGill continued his pursuit of a fifth consecutive Crucible appearance with a 10-5 win over Welshman Duane Jones, as UK Championship semi-finalist Tom Ford came through a high quality contest against North East youngster Sam Craigie 10-8.
Zhou Yuelong, a debutant qualifier two years ago, moved within touching distance of a Crucible return by defeating 2018 qualifier Liam Highfield 10-5, while Robert Milkins remained on course for a ninth appearance in the prestigious major after defeating Thailand’s Sunny Akani by the same scoreline.
Akani’s fellow countryman Noppon Saengkham also fell at the penultimate hurdle after a 10-5 defeat to 22-year-old Zhao Xintong – who is bidding to reach the main event for the first time.
World Snooker Championship Qualifiers 2019 Results
Monday April 15
Robbie Williams 8-10 Luo Honghao
Sam Craigie 8-10 Tom Ford
Sunny Akani 5-10 Robert Milkins
Duane Jones 5-10 Anthony McGill
Ricky Walden 9-10 Eden Sharav
Zhou Yuelong 10-5 Liam Highfield
Fergal O’Brien 4-10 Mark Davis
Jordan Brown 0-10 Lyu Haotian
Zhao Xintong 10-5 Noppon Saengkham
Alan McManus 5-8 Martin O’Donnell
Ryan Day 3-10 Tian Pengfei
Matthew Stevens 10-7 Chris Wakelin
Graeme Dott 10-4 Xu Si
Pang Junxu 7-10 Kurt Maflin
Li Hang 10-8 Ian Burns
Ben Woollaston 10-4 Nigel Bond
Ali Carter 10-4 Jimmy White
Michael White 6-10 John Astley
Mark King 5-10 Lu Ning
Scott Donaldson 10-4 Ken Doherty
Zhang Yong 1-10 Joe Perry