Matthew Stevens, Graeme Dott and Joe Perry qualify for the Crucible

Snooker
Matthew Stevens
Matthew Stevens

Former World Championship winner Ken Doherty missed out on a Crucible return when he lost to Matthew Stevens in the final qualifying round on Wednesday.

The 1997 champion was beaten 10-2 by Stevens at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

Stevens, who has twice lost in world finals, led 7-2 overnight and swiftly wrapped up victory over the 48-year-old Irishman.

Stevens said: "I played very solid. I knew I had to be at my best and I was.

"Ken's a legend and he said it was the best he's seen me play for a long time and that he wishes me well.

"I've known Ken for many years. We first played 22 years ago.

"It's disappointing Ken didn't make it there but I'm sure he'll come again."

Doherty added: "I think a lot of people would have liked to have seen us both there.

"There were a few players you wouldn't like to play in that last match and he was definitely one, because of his pedigree, his class and his experience.

"I just said to him, 'There's a lot of players in that top 16 that won't want to draw Matthew Stevens in the first round'."

Chris Wakelin earned a Crucible debut with a 10-1 win against China's Tian Pengfei.

Wakelin said of his breakthrough victory: "I played really well. It was amazing, it's a dream for all the players.

"I'm just a normal person and it just shows that if you put the hard work in anyone can do well in sport, if you really put your mind to it.

"I feel really good going into the tournament. I've got a lot of confidence and hopefully I can put on a good performance."

Graeme Dott, the 2006 world champion, came through the qualifying rounds for a fourth straight year as he won 10-7 against Mike Dunn.

The Scot wants to avoid in-form Ronnie O'Sullivan in the first round after a run of heavy defeats to the five-time Crucible winner.

Dott said: "You've got to be brutally honest and I don't think anybody wants to play Ronnie because he's playing awesome, and I've probably won about one frame in our last five meetings, so there's easier games than playing Ronnie.

"If you were to get him it's the best time to get him, in the first round, but you'd rather not play him."

Peter Ebdon, the 2002 world champion, isn't joining Dott in the main draw after falling to a 10-6 defeat against Ryan Day.

Stephen Maguire is heading back to the Crucible after a 10-7 victory over Hossein Vafaei and Welshman Jamie Jones was a surprise 10-0 winner against Liang Wenbo, who missed the chance to become the first player in snooker history to make two 147 breaks in the same competitive match when he failed to sink the final black in the first round of qualifying.

English players Joe Perry, Michael Holt, Liam Highfield, Jimmy Robertson, Ricky Walden, Jack Lisowski, Robert Milkins and Stuart Carrington joined those heading to the main draw.

China's Lyu Haotian and Xiao Guodong claimed wins to progress to the Crucible, along with Thailand's Thepchaiya Un-nooh, on his 33rd birthday.

The tournament draw takes place on Thursday morning.

Third Round results

  • Ryan Day 10-6 Peter Ebdon
  • Daniel Wells 4-10 Liam Highfield
  • Adam Duffy 1-10 Xiao Guodong
  • Stuart Carrington 10-8 Zhang Anda
  • Graeme Dott 10-7 Mike Dunn
  • Michael Holt 10-3 Robert Milkins
  • Rory McLeod 2-10 Lyu Haotian
  • Matthew Stevens 10-2 Ken Doherty
  • Liang Wenbo 0-10 Jamie Jones
  • Jack Lisowski 10-3 Alan McManus
  • Andrew Higginson 6-10 Ricky Walden
  • Mark Davis 7-10 Joe Perry
  • Tian Pengfei 1-10 Chris Wakelin
  • Alfie Burden 8-10 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
  • Jimmy Robertson 10-7 Michael White
  • Hossein Vafaei 7-10 Stephen Maguire

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