Triple UK champion Ding Junhui has revealed he has been forced to focus on snooker while he copes with the stress of his wife and daughter being back in China.
Ding left behind his wife and daughter when he flew to the UK to compete at the delayed World Championship last July, but has been unable to be reunited with them due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
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With every event in China postponed this season and the 2020/21 campaign being restricted to Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire before a rare trip away from the Marshall Arena to Celtic Manor for this week's Welsh Open, the 2011 Masters winner is unclear when he will see his family.
"I came back on 9 July, so almost eight months," said Ding after completing a 4-1 win over his compatriot Lyu Haotian in the Welsh Open first round boosted by breaks of 52 and 102.
I don’t know yet, not many tournaments left, I just need to concentrate on these three or four tournaments and see if I can go back in the summer or they can come here.
"It’s left me nothing to do, so it’s good for practice, but it is bad."
"I just always keep busy," added the Sheffield-based world number nine, who faces rising star Pang Junxu in the second round.
"Practice, go to a match, practice, go to a match, keep busy all day and also try to have less time to think about it.
"Hopefully everything in the world can go well quickly and everything can get back to normal life, that would be great."
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Ding has reached five quarter-finals this season, but would dearly love to emulate his 2012 Welsh Open success when he completed a 9-6 win over Mark Selby in the final.
I won once in Newport, beat Selby in the final, it’s a great event, I like it. I haven’t been doing so well after that, but hopefully I can win more matches.
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