The Sheffield-based Chinese cueman beat Doncaster’s Chris Keogan in the first round of the Dafabet English Open in Barnsley, cruising to a 4-1 triumph.
That included a fluent break of 113 in frame two, as Ding set up a mouth-watering clash with heavy-scoring world No.28 Michael White in round two on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old has already won the World Open in Yushan, China this season but has been picking and choosing his events in the campaign’s early going.
With the International Championship, Champion of Champions, Shanghai Masters, Northern Ireland Open, UK Championship and Scottish Open all to be crammed in before Christmas, that may yet prove to be a shrewd tactic.
And the world No.2 is certainly wary of burnout.
“I have to get ready for the long run of tournaments and take them one by one,” said Ding.
“I can’t put too much energy into one match or one shot. I have to keep rolling and get the right rhythm.
“I feel different before every tournament and for this one, I’m just coming to play and do my best because there’s another three or four tournaments coming in a row.
“I don’t want to think about all the travelling coming up, I’ve just come to play and do my best.
“I’m happy to win against Chris and I’ll try to win the tournament but whatever happens, I’ll take it on to the next tournament.”
With a ranking event victory already under his belt, Ding is unsurprisingly content with the state of his game at the minute.
“I feel good when I’m playing and I’ve got good cue-ball control at the minute,” he added. “Everything is going well, I feel good and I’m not worrying about my matches.”
There was less joy for Pickering potter Paul Davison however, as he crashed out at the hands of John Astley.
Astley made breaks of 58, 71 and 56 at the Metrodome Leisure Complex as the 46-year-old Davison let a 2-1 lead slip to eventually go down 4-2 to his Gateshead-based opponent.
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