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Snooker: Ding Junhui back 'stronger'

Ding Junhui insists that he is a better player and a stronger character than the last time he faced Ronnie O'Sullivan at the Masters.

The 24-year-old defending champion opens the tournament at its new venue of Alexandra Palace on Sunday against four-time winner O'Sullivan in the tie of the first round. The last time the pair met at the event, Ding ended the contest in tears and tried to leave a frame early in a 10-3 defeat.

China's No 1 player took some time to recover, but last year beat Marco Fu in the final. Ding said: "Last year was great for me at the Masters, I had my problems but I put those behind me and I am looking forward to it this year."