Doherty won the world title in 1997 and has twice been a runner-up since
Former world champion Ken Doherty survived some anxious moments before beating Mohammad Sajjad 5-4 in the wildcard round of the Shanghai Masters.
Pakistan national champion Sajjad was 3-1 and 4-2 ahead but Doherty hit back and won the decider with a break of 83.
Scotland's Jamie Burnett reached the second round, beating Tian Pengfei 5-2 with the help of a 131 break.
Burnett has a bye in the first round after 2009 winner Ronnie O'Sullivan pulled out of this year's tournament.
O'Sullivan, who won the title last year with a 10-5 victory over Liang Wenbo, has decided to spend more time with his young family.
Pengfei demonstrated plenty of character in the early stages of his match with Burnett, levelling at 1-1 with a break of 130 before establishing a 2-1 lead, but he could not keep it up and the Scot prevailed.
In other matches, Andrew Higginson recovered from losing the opening frame to win the final three frames and beat Rouzi Maimaiti 5-2, while Jin Long defeated Robert Milkins 5-2.