Snooker News

Ken Doherty Dumped out of China Open

Ken Doherty lost 5-3 to Allan Taylor on the first day of China Open qualifiers in Preston, exacerbating his chances of staying inside the top 64 in the world rankings.

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Photo credit: Monique Limbos

The Irishman has endured a torrid campaign which has seen him fall to within a few places of dropping below the crucial cut-off point where tour safety is guaranteed.

Given that the 1997 world champion has points to defend from two years ago in the rolling rankings, in contrast to those chasing him in the standings, it is likely the 47 year-old will plummet outside the top 64 at the next rankings revision.

Already not qualified for the German Masters, Doherty only realistically has three ranking events left to save his place on his own accord.

Elsewhere during a busy day of action at the Guild Hall on Tuesday, Masters runner-up Joe Perry continued his fine form with a 5-0 hammering of Welshman David John.

Perry didn’t let the disappointment of losing at the Alexandra Palace to Ronnie O’Sullivan on Sunday get to him, knocking in a tournament high 136, along with runs of 94, 75, 69, and 68 in whitewashing John.

Fellow Englishmen Shaun Murphy and Martin Gould also enjoyed relatively routine victories, 5-1 an 5-2 over Sydney Wilson and Lee Walker respectively.

Indian Open champion Anthony McGill progressed unscathed as well but there were a number of upsets too.

Barry Hawkins, perhaps still pining over his missed opportunity to reach a second Masters final at the weekend, was downed 5-2 by Aditya Mehta while Welsh duo Jamie Jones and Dominic Dale lost to Scottish pair Eden Sharav and Ross Muir.

Meanwhile, amateurs Andy Hicks and Ashley Hugill, who were invited to make up the numbers, shocked Luca Brecel and Anthony Hamilton respectively.

Most of the encounters were one-sided affairs, although one fixture did go the distance as Iran’s Hossein Vafaei Ayouri pipped Dechawat Poomjaeng 5-4.

China’s Tian Pengfei qualified for a return to his home country while Ben Woollaston, Kurt Maflin, Mike Dunn, Robbie Williams, and Alex Borg similarly advanced.

Ali Carter will be on the plane to Beijing as well but he didn’t have to do much work for it as he enjoyed a walk/over against Hamza Akbar.

On Wednesday, the likes of John Higgins, Mark Williams, and Jimmy White enter the fray.

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