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Watch: Borg wins at world snooker championship qualifiers

Alex Borg is through to the second qualifying round of the World Snooker Championship which is currently being played at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

The Mellieħa-born cueist reaced the next round after having the better of Patrick Whelan, of England, 6-4 on Wednesday.

After losing the opening frame, the Malta professional fought back strongly to win the next three frames to head into the interval leading 3-1.

Borg won the opening frame after restart to stretch his advantage to three frames.

Whelan pulled one back but Borg’s response produced a run of 80 that increased his advantage to 5-2.

The English player tried to keep the game alive when winning the next two frames to move just one frame behind – 4-5.

But Borg soon recovered his poise seal the win when winning the tenth frame 65-49.

On Friday, Borg will be up against English player Liam Highfield, who is ranked 60th in the world.

Elsewhere, Belgian 15-year-old Ben Mertens became the youngest ever winner of a match at the Betfred World Championship, beating James Cahill 6-2.

Mertens isn’t the only teenage Belgian to achieve a World Championship landmark, his compatriot Luca Brecel became the youngest player to qualify for the Crucible in 2012, at the age of 17.

Last year, it was Cahill who made history with a World Championship shock, when he became the first amateur to qualify for the Crucible and went on to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in the opening round. On Wednesday, the Blackpool cueman experienced the other side of an unexpected defeat.

Mertens, who won the world under-16 title in 2018, is one of continental Europe’s most promising prospects. He joins Polish 16-year-old Antoni Kowalski in round two, who defeated David Lilley 6-4.

Despite only being 15 years of age, Mertens is already used to playing in front of the TV cameras, having represented Belgium in the World Cup alongside Brecel. He also beat Thai legend James Wattana to reach the last 64 of the Shoot Out in 2019.

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