big snooker event

Neil Robertson Earns China Spot

Neil Robertson and Ryan Day were among the final qualifiers as the preliminary round for the China Championship wrapped up on Tuesday in Preston.

Robertson hasn’t won a ranking event since this time last year. Photo credit: World Snooker

Robertson lost his opening frame against Gerard Greene to a century break but levelled by pinching a close second, before subsequently controlling the contest for a 5-2 success.

Day similarly started slowly against Jimmy White but managed to nab the first two tight frames.

After that his opponent failed to score a single point as the Welshman compiled runs of 86, 68, 61, and 55 for a routine victory.

England’s Michael Holt also recorded a comprehensive triumph, allowing Kurt Dunham only 35 points in a 5-0 rout, while Hossein Vafaei Ayouri prevailed by the same scoreline in a battle of Iran with Soheil Vahedi.

The majority of the other fixtures took either eight or all nine frames to complete as the players desperately tried to secure their passage into one of the most lucrative ranking events on the calendar.

Xiao Guodong, Matthew Selt, and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh all managed to clinch deciding frame victories.

Selt’s was particularly dramatic as he launched an incredible comeback from 4-0 down to stun Peter Lines 5-4.

Former Indian Open champion Michael White reversed a 2-0 deficit to Martin O’Donnell to advance with a 5-3 defeat of the Q School graduate.

Li Hang, Cao Yupeng, Tom Ford, and Chris Wakelin won by the same two-frame margin while Matthew Stevens ensured his qualification by dispatching of tour rookie Ashley Hugill 5-2.

That brings to an end the first week of the 2017/18 campaign with the qualifiers for the China Championship and Riga Masters now complete – bar the select few matches which were held over to the venue stages.

The action takes a backseat once again for a couple of weeks with nothing scheduled between now and the end of June on the professional circuit.

For the qualifiers it’s an opportunity to get some extra summer rest in before the season really kick starts.

For those who lost, it’s time to reflect and a return to the practice table in the hope of rediscovering some form.

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