Ken Doherty


Ken Doherty "relieved" to advance in World Snooker Championship qualifiers

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Ken Doherty says he's "relieved" to have booked his place in the third round of qualifying for the World Snooker Championship.

The 1997 champion held off a comeback from Fraser Patrick to win by six frames to four to move within two wins of a place in the main draw at the Crucible.

There was a lot of pressure," Doherty told the World Snooker website.  "When you're fighting to stay on the tour, or you just want to stay in the World Championship, it means an awful lot."

The Dubliner will face Mark King tomorrow as he also bids to keep his playing tour card for next season and Doherty is keen to prolong his career.

"I've played a lot of years in this Championship but it still means a lot to me - it's the one you want to play in.

"The Crucible is the golden nugget for all these players in the qualifiers. There's a lot of tough match players and a lot of nerves, but you've just got to battle through it.

"I've known Mark a long, long time, I used to practice with him and Ronnie O'Sullivan when they only around 12 when I first went over to England.

"His father actually used to drive me around to tournaments when I got on the pro circuit and Mark is a good lad and he'll be a very tough opponent, but I have a fighting chance."

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