Ken Doherty's hopes of Crucible return ended after loss to 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.

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

"I think a lot of people would have liked to have seen us both there," Doherty said. "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, from Nuneaton, earned a Crucible debut with a 10-1 win against China's Tian Pengfei. The tournament draw takes place on Thursday morning.

- PA


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