|Ding Junhui of China competes during his round one match against English Michael Wasley on Day 2 of World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theater in Sheffeild, Britain, April 20, 2014. (Xinhua/Wang Lili)
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SHEFFIELD, England, April 20 (Xinhua) -- China's qualifier Xiao Guodong lost an exciting battle 10-8 to two-time world finalist Ali Carter in the snooker World Championship here on Sunday.
China's top star Ding Junhui finished the opening round to lead worlds first timer Michael Wasley 6-3 overnight.
Sheffield debutant Xiao,ranked 25th in the world, fought back strongly from a 4-1 down in the first round and made it 4-5 at the end of the first session.
The 24-year-old won the first two frames in the second round to lead 6-5. The next four were shared, Carter making breaks of 81 and 55 while Xiao made a 70.
Carter looked set to go 9-7 up until he ran out of position on 59 in frame 16, allowing Xiao to make a brilliant 69 clearance. But the Englishman responded superbly and his opponent didn't score a point in the last two frames. A run of 80 put Carter 9-8 up and he dominated the next to secure the result.
Xiao said: "Ali played very well in the last two frames. I had the chance to go 7-6 up but lost that frame. It was a good game and every frame was very close and there was never more than two frames in the match.
"I enjoyed playing at the Crucible because everyone wants to come and play at the World Championship here. It was my first time here but I wasn't very nervous because I just wanted to enjoy it. My coach Terry Griffiths told me don't think too hard and just try to relax."
Carter, who reached the finals here in 1998 and 2012 but lost on both occasions to Ronnie O'Sullivan, said, "I went out there with a game plan to try and attack and at 4-1 in front I was cruising and felt good. It cost me in the first session as for all the money in the world it looked like I was going to be 7-2 up, but then to get out 5-4 ahead in the end, I felt like I'd had a result.
"He played well and didn't look like he was under any pressure at any time. There was no emotion from him either because there is a lot of pressure out there. The clearance he did to go 8-8 was massive but all credit to me for making the 80 break and playing a granite last frame there to win it.
"When I was 6-5 down I produced my best stuff and made an 80-odd break to go 6-6 and then went 7-6 up. Every time I was on the floor, I picked myself up and I seem to be able to do that so that's good.
"To come through a good 10-8 win there against an in-form qualifier, possibly the toughest qualifier I could have faced, is pleasing."