Australian Open champion Judd Trump is out of the Shanghai Masters after a shock 5-2 defeat at the hands of Dominic Dale in China.
Trump had been many people’s pre-tournament favourite to lift the title following his early season form but was powerless to stop his Welsh Opponent after the scores were tied 2-2 at the interval.
Dale, the 2007 champion, won a scrappy fifth frame to take the lead for the first time before superb consecutive century breaks earned him his last 16 berth.
It marks the first time that Dale has got one over Trump in his sixth attempt, having been denied in close high-profile encounters at the UK and World CHampionships in the past.
Now 42, Dale is widely considered as the best player who has failed to ever be ranked inside the world’s top 16.
With two ranking titles to his credit, as well as a PTC trophy and success in the Sky Shoot-Out, it’s easy to understand why people believe so.
But Dale has always been a good winner, and rarely afraid to beat the top players on his good days – which today certainly was.
It marks a big disappointment for Trump, though, who would have surely been hoping to build on his promising performance in Bendigo, while the Englishman became the fifth seed out of seven to be sent crashing in the opening round.
Elsewhere, defending champion Ding Junhui was able to avoid any upsets as he overcame the challenge of Jack Lisowski with a 5-1 scoreline.
Lisowski had been expected to pose a threat, and the opening exchanges were close, but after Ding opened up a two-frame advantage at the mid-session interval it was one way traffic.
There was a packed crowd in for the evening session for the second day in a row and, though they went home disappointed following Ronnie O’Sullivan’s defeat on Monday, Ding ensured his legion of supporters left happy today.
Meanwhile, it was a good day for Dubliners Ken Doherty and Fergal O’Brien.
Doherty raced into a 4-0 lead over Huang Jiahao in the wildcard round and, despite stuttering, managed to seal a 5-3 triumph to set up an intriguing last 32 contest with world champion Mark Selby.
O’Brien’s result was more impressive, with breaks of 46, 75, 44 and 63 helping him to an emphatic 5-1 win over Robert Milkins.
Earlier in the day there were two thrillers that went down to the deciding frame.
Ryan Day continued his solid start to the season by coming from 4-2 down to overcome John Higgins but another multiple world champ in Mark Williams was able to squeeze past Barry Hawkins with a similar 5-4 score.
Finally, another professional fell foul of the wildcard stage as Matthew Selt was downed 5-3 by amateur Zhao Xintong, who you may remember beat Lisowski en route to the last 16 of the Wuxi Classic earlier this year.