News, Ranking, Tournaments

Neil Robertson Eases into World Open

Neil Robertson was in fine scoring form as he easily qualified for the World Open with a 5-1 victory over Sanderson Lam on Tuesday.

Neil Robertson World15
It’s more than a year since the last of Robertson’s 12 ranking event victories. Photo credit: Monique Limbos

The Australian, winner of the inaugural Hong Kong Masters last month, compiled runs of 80, 79, 78, 64, and 60 as he powered passed the young Englishman to book his place in the last 64 in Yushan.

Robertson had a poor last campaign by his own high standards and will be looking to reignite his career during this term by challenging in more of the bigger ranking events.

World Games gold medallist Kyren Wilson recorded a similar scoreline, beating Thor Chuan Leong by four frames despite boasting only a single half century break.

It was the exact same margin for 2015 world champion Stuart Bingham, who knocked in breaks of 105, 80, and 56 in overcoming Mei Xiwen 5-1.

Former UK champion Matthew Stevens went one better with the Welshman inflicting a 5-0 drubbing on the hapless Kurt Dunham.

Stevens constructed a 110 as Aussie Dunham lost in an embarrassing fifth whitewash of the season.

Meanwhile, Zhang Anda and Yu Delu got the better of countrymen Yuan Sijun and Zhang Yong to ensure their safe passage into one of their home events in China.

Tian Pengfei also qualified with a 5-1 defeat of Jimmy White, who leaves Preston after a week of qualifiers disappointingly winless.

Li Yuan and Chen Zifan couldn’t muster up success, though, going down 5-2 to Northern Ireland Open champion Mark King and up-and-coming star Oliver Lines respectively.

In a day of one-sided affairs, Dominic Dale hammered fellow Welshman Jackson Page 5-0 in what was the latter’s 16th birthday.

Elsewhere, Tom Ford, Gary Wilson, and John Astley all enjoyed heavy triumphs to reach the first round proper in September.

The only fixture that went all the way in the penultimate day of action at the Guild Hall was Chris Wakelin’s bout with veteran James Wattana.

Despite fighting back from 3-1 down with a break of 116 to lead 4-3, Thailand’s Wattana couldn’t hold on and tallies of 79 and 57 helped Wakelin over the winning line in a decider.

Wednesday brings the eight-day long batch of qualifiers in Preston to a close with the conclusion of the World Open preliminaries.

John Higgins faces Joe Swail in an eye-catching encounter while the likes of Barry Hawkins and Anthony Hamilton are also competing.

Click here to view the draw. (Times CET)

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