Riga Masters

Day Downs Ding in Daqing

The International Championship is down to the last 16 after a very busy day of second round action in China on Tuesday.

Five of Day and Ding's last eight encounters have ended in deciders - photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.
Five of Day and Ding’s last eight encounters have ended in deciders – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

The top and bottom half of the draws are taking quite different shapes as the seeds begin to crumble in one and stack up in the other.

The bottom section still features seven ranking event champions and another who has finished runner-up in one.

World no.1 Mark Selby gained a modicum of revenge over Anthony McGill for his defeat to the Scotsman in the World Championship last April – which of course inflicted the Curse of the Crucible on the then defending champion – by recording a comfortable 6-1 victory.

The ‘Jester’ will take on Indian Open champion Michael White for a quarter-final berth after the 24 year-old won an all-Welsh encounter with Lee Walker 6-3.

Four former world champions go head-to-head in two of the other lower half matches.

Neil Robertson and Graeme Dott earned 6-3 triumphs over Fergal O’Brien and Peter Ebdon respectively to set up a repeat of their 2010 Sheffield final, while Shaun Murphy and John Higgins will do battle in another intriguing third round tie.

The remaining match of the lower half features Joe Perry and Ben Woollaston, who collected his second successive deciding frame success against Yu Delu.

Meanwhile, the top half of the draw boasts only two top 16 players.

Home favourite Ding Junhui was on course for victory against Ryan Day when he led 4-2 and 5-4 but, as has so often been the case between the pair in the past, the clash went into a final frame which the latter took to send the sizable crowd home disappointed.

There are two Chinese players remaining, though, with Tian Pengfei continuing his excellent form of late following a 6-3 downing of Liang Wenbo, while Zhou Yuelong impressed in a 6-0 drubbing of tour rookie Sanderson Lam.

Hong Kong’s Marco Fu, a former finalist when the tournament was staged in Chengdu, is also still in the hunt after getting the better of Jack Lisowski while 2014 runner-up Mark Allen is the highest ranked player left in the bracket.

The Northern Irishman had too much in the tank for recent Shanghai Masters winner Kyren Wilson.

One of the day’s biggest upsets came when Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh edged Mark Williams 6-5 but Jimmy Robertson, a much-improved competitor on the cirucit, also got in on the action by ousting Barry Hawkins 6-4.

At the time of writing, one more last 32 tie continues in Daqing as it approaches midnight local time with English duo David Gilbert and Oliver Lines locked at 4-4.

Click here to view the full draw.

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