World Grand Prix snooker: Mark Allen hits three centuries to beat Jack Lisowski to reach last 16, Ding Junhui advances

Mark Allen was in superb form as he beat Jack Lisowski 4-2 to reach the last 16 of the World Grand Prix.

The Northern Irishman hit three centuries in a best-of-seven clash to begin his title defense at Leicester's Morningside Arena.

“It would have been better to finish with four [centuries] But I played well today and that's what I'll take away from it,” Allen told ITV.

„It shows how funny this game is, because I felt terrible outside. I didn't sleep well, my eyes were a bit blurry, but they were going in, so I had to stay up often throughout the night.”

In a high-profile match, Allen, who defeated Jude Trump in last year's final, took a 2-0 lead with breaks of 103 and 110 before Lisowski pulled away.

Lisowski admitted before the match that he felt he needed a break from snooker, but showed his potential with breaks of 93 and 75.

At his fluent best, the Englishman is one of the game's most entertaining players, but he has yet to win a ranking title and has only made one semi-final this season.

He could only see Allen move within a fraction of a 3-2 win for his third century, then gave his opponent a gilt-edged chance in the sixth frame when he potted white on a long red.

Allen took full advantage of the win with 78 runs. He will meet Zhang Anda in the next round.

Zhang He shared the opening two frames in his encounter Dominic DaleBefore rising 3-1 clear with breaks of 75 and 81.

This allowed Zhang to return to the table and he finished with a 74 to complete the 4-2 victory.

Earlier in the session, Ding Junhui Won the last two frames Ricky Walton 4-3 to book his place in the last 16.

After the 36-year-old Walton won three frames in a row, he was forced to move to within a fraction of victory before producing breaks of 70 and 72.

Ding got off to the perfect start winning the opening two frames before reducing Walton's arrears to 55 runs.

The Englishman then leveled when he seized a poor fourth frame and moved 3-2 ahead with a break of 64. However, he couldn't find a way to win and left the arena a dejected man.

O'Sullivan identifies Ting as 'better than anyone who has ever played'

The Chinese player was lucky not to leave his opponent even a half-chance when he failed to drop a thin cut on the black, and he made the most of it with a clinical 72 to set up a meeting. Nopone leaning.

The Thai scored 81, 60, 70 and 81 to beat his Chinese opponent 4-1.

Xiao halved her deficit to 2-1 in the third frame, but was unable to capitalize on her chances as Noppon secured a comfortable win.

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