Ricky Walden came from two frames down to beat top seed Mark Selby 4-3 in the third round of the Gibraltar Open on Saturday.
Walden, who has struggled for form this season amid dropping out of the top 16 in the world rankings, moved into the final day at the expense of the world champion.
The 34 year-old had earlier recorded a brace of victories over Chinese duo Liang Wenbo and Yan Bingtao, and will face Alfie Burden in the fourth round.
Burden accounted for Shoot Out champion Anthony McGill in the last 64 before a 4-2 triumph over another heralded cueman from China in Zhou Yuelong.
Meanwhile, in an evening full of close encounters and deciding frame thrillers, Shaun Murphy avoided a scare as he fought back from 3-2 down to deny Allan Taylor.
The 2005 world champion, who is the only player in the upcoming 16-man Players Championship field who has not at least reached the final of a ranking tournament this campaign, will face Barry Hawkins after the World Grand Prix champion edged Michael White.
Marks Williams and Davis set up a clash against each other following respective 4-3 defeats of Lee Walker and Zhao Xintong.
Williams had been hoping that a triumph this week would help him grab the final spot in the lucrative Players Championship but fellow Welshman Ryan Day’s equal run to the last 16 on Friday had already put an end to that.
Still, the 18-time ranking event champion could yet add to that tally, which would go a long way in aiding his quest to break into the top 16 in the overall world rankings before the World Championship, where automatic qualification for Sheffield is at stake.
Finally, Nigel Bond rolled back the years with successes over Aditya Mehta, Steven Hallworth, and Daniel Wells to set up an intriguing clash against Brazil’s Igor Figueiredo.
The Brazilian has been on and off the circuit the last number of seasons, a lot of which has been down to an inability to secure finances and support, but showed his potential with a run to the last 16 of a ranking event for the second successive month – subsequent to his impressive Welsh Open in February.
Figueiredo beat Sydney Wilson 4-1 before inflicting consecutive 4-3 losses on Fraser Patrick and Malaysia’s Thor Chuan Leong.
The Gibraltar Open concludes on Sunday with the final four rounds whittling down the pretenders until the 2017 champion, who will pocket €25,000, is crowned.
Coverage will continue on Eurosport.
Categories: Snooker News