Mark King starts his 2018 World Championship qualifying on Wednesday against Gerard Greene as the Englishman attempts to reach the main stage of the tournament for the first time since 2013. King, who has been a professional since 1991, has been in decent form this season and he managed to reach the semi-final of the 2017 Indian Open before making it to the last-eight of the UK Championship.
However, the 44-year-old, who broke his duck when winning the 2016 Northern Ireland Open, has struggled in recent weeks and he has failed to get past the second round in the six 2018 events he has featured in. Despite the poor run of form, ‘The Romford Battler’ is still feeling optimistic about his chances of playing at the season-ending tournament at the Crucible in Sheffield. The first stage of qualifying will see King go up against Greene on Friday and the Englishman has won three of the previous five meetings, with the most recent encounter ending in a draw at the 2008 Championship League. Northern Ireland’s Greene, who is yet to win on tour, has shown some promising form this year and he managed to make the fourth round of the Snooker shoot-out before reaching the third stage at the Welsh Open.
King, who has never gone past the second round at the World Championship, is the 1/2 favourite to pick up the win whilst his opponent is priced at 6/4. The winner of the match will take on either 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty or Josh Boileau and the former is the firm 3/20 favourite to advance whilst his fellow Irishman is the 4/1 outsider.