BUOYED by a good week in Germany, Chris Melling is hopeful of making further strides this afternoon in the Coral UK Championship.

The 35-year-old, who defeated former world champion Peter Ebdon 4-2 in the Kreativ Dental Ruhr Open last Friday before bowing out to Stephen Maguire by the same score in the last 32, faces Jack Lisowski in the best-of-11-frames first round today at the Barbican Centre in York.

“Although he is ranked higher than me (Melling is 87 to Lisowski’s 39), I have more big-time experience,” said the Keighley cueman, who is aiming to reach the BBC-televised stages, which start on Saturday in what is the game’s second biggest tournament behind the World Championship.

“Jack is either hot or cold, and it would not be a shock if I were to beat him easily but it would be a shock if he were to beat me easily as I am playing well at the moment.”

Melling (pictured), who reached the semi-finals of the World Pool Masters in Nottingham the weekend before playing in Germany, defeated world No 124 Ahmed Saif 4-0 in the third round at Mulheim an der Ruhr, winning the first frame from 71-1 behind.

“He is struggling a bit at the moment and I won that 78-77 and made a 137 total clearance in the last frame,” said Melling.

“Then I played really well to beat Peter, who felt I could go all the way the way I was playing, while Stephen had a large slice of luck when he was beating me 3-2.”

“We both needed the last red and three colours, and he snookered me behind the yellow after using the rest. I left the red and he cleared up.

“But we both laughed at one shot I played. I wanted to screw back the length of the table for the yellow but hit the cue ball so powerfully that it bounced off the baulk cushion to land on the yellow, and I only hit it at 60 per cent! The tables are so slick.”