Gould Comeback Stuns Ding

Martin Gould staged an unbelievable fightback from 3-0 behind to beat home favourite Ding Junhui 5-3 at the Shanghai Masters in China.

Both players started the match in a nervy manner but Ding clinched a scrappy opener and took the next two to appear on his way to a very comfortable victory in front of his army of fans.

However, Players Tour Championship Grand Finalist Gould had other ideas and quickly drew level – aided by a break of 88 in frame five when he was on course for a maximum.

The 29 year-old, bidding for a place among the elite Top 16 in the world rankings for the first time in his career, then took the lead for the first time in the match and a series of daring shots in the last brought him a memorable win.

For Ding, his season has been patchy so far as he fails to gather any momentum following his run to the final of PTC 2.

Gould will face Matthew Stevens for a place in the quarter-finals in an intriguing encounter that could very well have huge implications as to which one of them grabs the final Top 16 places available before the first official cut-off point next month.

Stevens beat Englishman Stephen Lee 5-2 in what was predicted as being a closer tie while John Higgins and Michael Holt won by similar scorelines against Mark Davis and Graeme Dott respectively.

The shock of the day, if you want to call it that, was Stuart Bingham’s 5-1 victory over countryman Judd Trump.

The defeat in itself shouldn’t come as a very big surprise – after all, Bingham is the Australian Open champion – yet the wide scoring margin was unexpected.

Like Ding, Trump is struggling for consistency in this campaign so far, something that new dad Bingham is certainly not complaining about.

The 35 year-old will definitely be among the Top 16 players in October when the rankings are revised and is even pushing for a place in the top ten on this form.

Elsewhere, Mark Williams whitewashed qualifier Andrew Higginson in ominous fashion and will play Robert Wilkins in the last 16 after the Englishman knocked out seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry 5-1.

The result all but guarantees that Hendry will be in the qualifying booths himself for the second part of the season, which will mark the first time in his career he has dropped outside the elite pack.

Finally, Neil Robertson inflicted further misery on the Chinese supporters following a 5-1 triumph over Liang Wenbo.

Interestingly, the Australian has never made it to the last 8 of a major ranking event in China – something the former world champion will be keen to eradicate against Holt tomorrow.

To view the full draw, click here.

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