Defending champion Ding Junhui has work to do if he is going to advance from the round-robin phase as the Six Red World Championship got under way in Thailand on Monday.
The Chinese number one suffered a one-sided 5-1 defeat to Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham in his first fixture in Group A.
Only the top two players from each of the eight four-man groups progress to the last 16 on Thursday.
In the same group, Tom Ford beat Lu Haotian 5-2 with the latter representing Ding’s next opponent in a must-win match for the 30 year-old.
Saengkham is one of six home competitors in the field this year but it was a bad start for them as only two came out on the winning side.
2015 champion Thepchaiya Un-Nooh edged Kyren Wilson 5-3 in Group C, but lies behind amateur Kristjan Helgason on frame difference after the Icelandic former European amateur champion hammered Ricky Walden 5-1.
Walden is somewhat of a six red specialist having won this tournament under a previous guise in 2008 and with two further final appearances under his belt, but has struggled with form and injury over the last year or so.
Another Englishman well acquainted with this format of the game is Mark Davis, and the three-time world champion got off to a confident start with a 5-3 success against Liang Wenbo.
Meanwhile, 2014 winner Stephen Maguire began his campaign by overcoming Akani Songsermsawad 5-1 to head Group E in front of last year’s runner-up Stuart Bingham.
Elsewhere, the results mostly went with the form book.
Ryan Day and Anthony McGill won in Group B, while Group F saw triumphs for Marks Williams and King.
In Group G, Martin Gould and Graeme Dott recorded a pair of 5-1 scorelines while recent Paul Hunter Classic champion Michael White and Marco Fu earned respective 5-2 victories in Group H.
There’ll be two further rounds of group stage encounters on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Coverage will be on the Eurosport Player from today and selected betting websites.
Categories: Snooker News