Seeds Tumble in Shanghai

The first round of the Shanghai Masters has come to a conclusion with a mixed bag of results for the top seeds.

Almost half of the top 16 competitors who were guaranteed entry to the venue stage of proceedings have already been eliminated after a day of shocks on Wednesday.

The bottom half of the draw remains a tough nut to crack with several of the sport’s established stars still in contention.

However, the top half has been blown wide open following a succession of unforeseen scorelines.

Arguably the most impressive result today was Kyren Wilson’s 5-1 drubbing of fellow Englishman Stuart Bingham.

The 21 year-old, who came through four qualifying rounds to book his flight to China, surged into a 3-0 lead before almost compiling a maximum 147 break to go four up with five to play.

He didn’t need all five, only two more as he moved into the last 16 of a ranking event for the first time in his career.

Wilson takes on Hong Kong’s Marco Fu in the hope of continuing his run after Fu whitewashed China’s Cao Yupeng 5-0.

It wasn’t all bad news for the home country, though, with Xiao Guodong overcoming Stephen Maguire 5-2 in a surprisingly one-sided affair.

Xiao is dangerous and we all know that Maguire’s form can often be anything but ‘On Fire’, yet it was still a slight shock all the same.

With Xiao’s next opponent Peter Lines, after the 43 year-old edged Matthew Stevens in a decider, the Chinese will be thinking that he now has the potential to go far on home soil.

That said, despite being in what appears to be the better half, his quarter of the draw still includes two of the most threatening.

John Higgins is obviously a four-time world champion but the man he faces next in Mark Davis boasts one of the hottest cues on the circuit at the moment.

Following triumphs in the 6-Red World Championship and the General Cup in the last two weeks, Davis completed an impressive victory over Ali Carter in the opening round and his confidence will be at an all time high.

I said at the outset of the week that this could be his best opportunity to reach a maiden ranking event final and that remains the case.

Rounding off the top section, Martin Gould and Michael Holt will do battle after the latter heaped more misery on out-of-sorts Judd Trump with a 5-1 hammering of the Bristolian.

In the bottom half of the draw, Chinese fans were ensured of further happiness today as Wednesday came to a close when hero Ding Junhui saw off the challenge of David Gilbert 5-2.

Despite appearing one-side, the encounter was a battle throughout, yet Ding did perform well in spells and produced back-to-back centuries to turn the screw at a crucial moment in the match.

His task doesn’t get any easier as he must tackle 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy next in arguably the tie of the round.

Elsewhere, world no.1 Neil Robertson eased past amateur Wang Yuchen to set up a meeting with Mark King, who beat Graeme Dott, while Mark Selby and Robert Milkins will contest an all-English tussle after the latter came from 4-2 down to prevail 5-4 against Mark Joyce.

Finally, Ryan Day recorded an excellent 5-1 success over Mark Allen and will play Crucible runner-up Barry Hawkins, who completed the round’s second whitewash over lowly ranked qualifier David Grace.

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


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