Selt Savours Australia

Matthew Selt has knocked out defending champion Stuart Bingham 5-4 to reach the last 16 of the Australian Open in Bendigo.

The Englishman evidently has a love affair with Oz after the tournament gave him his first quarter-final place at a ranking event this time last year.

In that run, Selt overcame then world champion John Higgins in a decider and he has ousted one of this season’s form horses by the same token in the 2012 edition.

Bingham had come into his defence full of confidence having won APTC1 and reached the final of the Wuxi Classic in June but couldn’t even get into second gear.

In a dour affair, Selt enjoyed the lead for the majority of the contest but seemed to let his advantage slip when Bingham surged ahead at apparently the right time to make it 4-3.

However, the 36 year-old missed an easy green, one of several simple pots rattled over the course of the contest, on his way to victory and was never really a contender in the final frame shoot-out.

The match was one to forget with high breaks at a premium and both players’ pot success below 85% but not that it matters to world no.41 Selt, who goes on to face Ryan Day in the second round.

In an event that has already seen an amazing six matches go the distance, Peter Ebdon and Shaun Murphy both withstood late revivals from their opponents Michael Holt and Marcus Campbell to prevail 5-4 respectively.

While they avoided shock results, the same could not be said for World Championship runner-up Ali Carter, who was downed 5-3 by Cao Yupeng.

Sheffield aside, Carter’s form in the last two years has been atrocious – so much so that he even threatened to quit the game after the UK Championship last December.

Similar thoughts may be running through his mind once again following a terrible start to the new campaign in which he has lost both of his opening bouts against qualifiers.

Carter has been seeded as a top 16 player in both Wuxi and Victoria but that is only because of the number of UK players within the elite bracket choosing to skip the overseas events.

In reality, the ‘Captain’ is still 17th in the standings and has seriously missed the boat with his chance to find a safe passage away from the inevitability of the qualifying cubicles later in the year.

Of course, Ronnie O’Sullivan’s continued stand-off with World Snooker will help his cause in avoiding such an outcome.

China’s Cao, though, continues to go from strength to strength as the 21 year-old seeks to build on his own successful run to the last 16 at the Crucible in April.

In the other encounters on day two, Mark Davis beat young pretender Jack Lisowski 5-2 while Marco Fu eased past Joe Perry 5-1, despite the latter compiling a 128 in his only winning frame.

Tomorrow, the first round comes to a conclusion with world no.1 Mark Selby in action as well as Ireland’s former world champion Ken Doherty.

The full draw can be viewed by clicking here.

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