Perry Becomes Wildcard Victim

In light of the news that Stephen Lee was found guilty of match fixing, it may have slipped some people’s minds that there’s actually a pretty big tournament in progress.

The Shanghai Masters enters its second day today with the opening day being overshadowed with the revelation of the hearing back in England.

It was an exciting first day as well, with half of the eight matches contested going right down to the wire in nervy deciders.

Of course, the wild card round, whether liked or not, has been a permanent fixture in Chinese events for many years now and inevitably there will always be at least one professional who becomes a casualty.

This time, that honour, or lack thereof, was bestowed on Joe Perry, who went down in a 5-3 scoreline to China’s Wang Yuchen.

Perry is an extremely talented pro but he is also one of the most streaky performers on the circuit.

The Englishman was superb at the outset of the campaign, collecting a brace of trophies, but has since let that form apparently go by the wayside – inconsistency that has been a trademark of his career.

Elsewhere, five other players forced to compete in the extra round all escaped unscathed, although three only barely.

Home hopeful Cao Yupeng, David Gilbert and Martin Gould each required all nine frames to progress to the first round proper.

Xiao Guodong and Ryan Day had no such concerns, though, as they recorded 5-0 and 5-1 successes over their respective amateur opposition.

Chinese Guodong faced countryman Yuan Siyon, a 13 year-old who was given a harsh lesson facing a top pro with a high break of just 14.

Two wildcard round matches will conclude on Tuesday but a pair of former world champions are already into the last 16 following contrasting encounters.

John Higgins comfortably saw off Mike Dunn 5-1 but Shaun Murphy was taken the distance before outlasting Yu Delu 5-4.

The full draw and list of results can be viewed here.

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