Snooker News

Bingham Begins Defence of Shanghai Masters

Defending champion Stuart Bingham is into the second round of the Shanghai Masters after seeing off amateur Fang Xiongman on day two in China.

Bingham beat Mark Allen in the 2014 final - photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

Bingham beat Mark Allen in the 2014 final – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

Chinese invitee Fang had recorded the customary defeat of a professional in the much detested wildcard round when he ousted Jamie Jones on Monday.

However, world champion Bingham ensured that was as good as it got as he attempts to kick-start what has been a slow opening to the campaign.

Despite a 104 from his inexperienced opponent, ‘Ballrun’ recorded runs of 97 and 65 of his own in a 5-2 victory to reach the last 16, where he’ll face Mike Dunn, who shocked Marco Fu 5-3.

Elsewhere today, Judd Trump joined Australian Open finalists John Higgins and Martin Gould, as well as Ryan Day, who had all advanced to the second round during Monday’s opening exchanges.

Trump wasted little time in whitewashing Robert Milkins 5-0, impressing with breaks of 122, 74, 62 and 53 as he demolished his fellow Englishman.

Trump will meet Matthew Selt for a quarter-final berth after the latter was given a walkover with Ricky Walden withdrawing following the birth of his first child.

Meanwhile, 2013 champion and home favourite Ding Junhui demonstrated some rustiness early on in his bout with Alan McManus as he contested his first ranking event match of the campaign.

However, the 28 year-old finished off the Scotsman in impressive fashion with breaks of 66, 104 and 74 sealing a comprehensive 5-1 triumph.

Also enjoying a four-frame margin of success was Michael Holt, who easily outpointed the out of sorts Stephen Maguire.

Holt has begun working with Terry Griffiths this season and there is a lot of focus on what kind of impact that may have, so it’s interesting to see the ‘Hitman’ follow up his semi-final appearance in the Paul Hunter Classic immediately with a defeat of an established top 16 player.

In the wildcard round, thankfully there were no other upsets of the pros – who are there to make their living in a prominent ranking event which doesn’t require wildcards any more, certainly not eight.

Among them was Peter Ebdon, who was encouraged today to join Twitter by Shaun Murphy, a fellow former world champion who he’ll meet on Wednesday as the last 32 draws to a conclusion.

The full draw can be viewed by clicking here.

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