Doherty in control against Dunne

Ken Doherty has gone 7-1 up against Mike Dunne at the midway point of the second round of the UK championship.

Ken Doherty has gone 7-1 up against Mike Dunne at the midway point of the second round of the UK championship.

The match will resume at noon tomorrow.

Dave Harold hopes to clinch the perfect present on his 40th birthday tomorrow by heaping further misery on struggling seven-times former world champion Stephen Hendry.

The qualifier, now in his 16th year as a professional, meets the Scot in the second round after sealing a 9-7 victory over Robert Milkins with a break of 102 at York's Barbican Centre on Tuesday.

Despite currently being ranked number one in the world, Hendry has made a slow start to the new season, succumbing to Stephen Lee in the last 16 of the Northern Ireland Trophy and failing to progress past the group stage at the Royal London Watches Grand Prix.

Although world number 35 Harold will begin the best-of-17-frames tie as a rank outsider, the Stoke-born player will be looking to repeat his shock victory over the five-times UK champion on the way to becoming a 500-1 winner of the Asian Open in Thailand 13 years ago.

Harold said: "Everyone keeps telling me still about 1993 and my solitary win. I beat him along the way then. But I must have beaten him five or six times.

"Obviously Stephen's not having the best of seasons - he's down to number 11 in the provisional rankings - but he's just human like us all. It's unthinkable but there's a possibility he could drop out of the top 16 - he'll be desperate to win."

With all the pressure on Hendry to improve his provisional ranking, veteran Harold sees no reason why he cannot see off last season's York semi-finalist.

He said: "I can go and enjoy the match. If I play like I have been then I'm confident I will win. There's no pressure on me.

"For me to qualify is an achievement and to come here and win (against Milkins) is an achievement, so I can just relax, get all the family up and celebrate Saturday night after the win for the 40th!

"With snooker players you're trying to get any encouragement, you're trying to feed off anything from other players.

"If Stephen Hendry had won the last three tournaments and had still been provisionally number one you would have been looking over your shoulder.

"But when you see them struggling you feed off every little thing they give you, so it does give you a little bit of a boost."

Defending champion Ding Junhui has had little time to prepare for his match with Ryan Day after arriving in the country less than 24 hours before the contest.

The top seed will have made a last-minute dash from Qatar, where he has been representing China in the Asian Games, to allow him to begin his defence of the trophy.

Day, currently ranked number 18 in the world, progressed into the second round when he dispatched Ding's countryman Liu Song 9-5 on Tuesday.

World champion Graeme Dott begins his campaigns tomorrow afternoon against Scott Mackenzie.

Mackenzie, the world number 59, made light work of his first-round tie, cruising to a 9-0 whitewash over Michael Holt.

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