All the heavy-hitters in action on a busy second day at the UK Championship made it through the first round in York on Wednesday.
Two-time champion Ding Junhui exited the event a day earlier amid some minor controversy surrounding his press conference – he swore – but there was to be no repeat for any of his rival stars yesterday.
Former champions Judd Trump and Shaun Murphy outplayed their amateur opponents to record comfortable 6-1 victories while 2008 runner-up Marco Fu had a similarly easily time in his 6-2 triumph over Hatem Yassin.
Trump had lost to opponent Hammad Miah the last time the pair met earlier in the campaign but compiled runs of 77, 75 and 64 as he coasted into the next round.
Murphy, meanwhile, was in superb form as he reeled off runs of 102, 92, 70, 69, 65, 58 and 52 in a dominant display against Ashley Hugill that will surely send a message to his fellow competitors.
Elsewhere, Joe Perry secured a 6-1 thrashing of former world no.3 James Wattana while Ali Carter was made to work a lot harder in his bout with Alfie Burden before eventually sealing a 6-4 win.
Twice champion Mark Williams earned a similar success against Pakistan’s Hamza Akbar but was pushed further than expected having established an early 4-0 lead.
In the end, the Welshman practically stumbled over the winning line with a 6-4 scoreline.
Ricky Walden made light work of Brazil’s Itaro Santos 6-1 while 2006 winner Peter Ebdon impressed in his whitewash drubbing of Lu Chenwei.
One former champion crashed out, though, as Matthew Stevens’ run of bad form continued following a black-ball deciding frame defeat to Chris Wakelin.
That result began a sequence of four clashes that finished in deciders post midnight, with Alan McManus, Aditya Mehta and Li Hang all also earning dramatic late triumphs.
In other results, a pair of Englishmen who have been playing pretty decently of late, Jimmy Robertson and Jamie Cope, both squeezed into the second round following close encounters with Lu Ning and Rory McLeod – the Ruhr Open champion having now lost his last three ties since lifting the trophy in Mulheim.
Chinese trio Tian Pengfei, Yu Delu and young Zhou Yuelong earned relatively easy wins, as did Gerard Greene and Ryan Day.
The latter will be hoping to continue his recent run of form and perhaps challenge deep into this tournament at the Barbican.
Finally, Michael Holt, Ben Woollaston, Mike Dunn, Jamie Burnett and Ross Muir all advanced into the the last 64.
Categories: Snooker News