Ranking, Snooker News, Tournaments

Mark Selby Starts Well in World Open

Mark Selby and Ding Junhui won their opening contests on a busy first day at the World Open in Yushan on Monday.

Mark Selby World Open 17 (WS)
World number one Selby at the Opening Ceremony on Sunday. Photo credit: World Snooker

World champion Selby, who has failed to reach beyond the last 16 of an event so far this campaign, compiled five half centuries in overcoming Kritsanut Lertsattayathorn 5-2 in his held over qualifying round fixture.

Ding Junhui also skipped the preliminaries in Preston and duly delivered in front of a big home support in China with a 5-1 thumping of Hammad Miah, advancing to the first round proper.

Joining him, but only barely, is countryman Liang Wenbo, who fought back from 4-2 down to deny Akani Songsermsawad in a decider.

The Thai knocked in a 101 break followed by a 119 to establish a two-frame cushion but Liang forced the decider and compiled an excellent 88 to pinch it.

Martin Gould and Jimmy Robertson were comfortable winners against wildcard opposition in two of the other matches that were held over from the Guild Hall.

However, Alan McManus and Michael White crashed out against Chinese amateurs Hu Hao and Ma Bing respectively.

McManus was left asking questions like who and how, as his little known challenger romped away to a shock 5-0 success, while White will feel especially aggrieved as he tamely bowed out to Ma after being forced to play with an alien cue.

The Welshman, along with Matthew Stevens and Ryan Day, suffered a baggage problem at the airport en route to the venue with all their trusted cues failing to arrive with them in China in time.

Stevens suffered a 5-0 demolition job at the hands of the in-form Mark Williams in the last 64, who recently captured his first piece of silverware in years at the Six Red World Championship in Bangkok.

Day, meanwhile, still managed to produce a terrific display with runs of 80, 75, and 63 helping the Riga Masters champion to a 5-1 triumph against Gary Wilson.

Elsewhere, Neil Robertson scored heavily as he overcame Noppon Saengkham 5-1 while Ricky Walden continued his mini resurgence of late by recording a similar scoreline versus Andrew Higginson.

Barry Hawkins was the victim of the biggest upset of day one as the world number seven squandered a 4-2 advantage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory against Chris Wakelin.

The latter dramatically stole the spoils in the decider on the final colours to move into the last 32.

Among the others to progress were China Championship winner Luca Brecel and veteran Peter Ebdon.

Brecel, surely buoyed in confidence by his maiden ranking event title and rise into the top 16 in the world standings, ruthlessly put Mike Dunn to the sword while Ebdon got the better of Graeme Dott in a battle of the former world champions.

Xiao Guodong and Michael Holt were also victorious after ousting Dominic Dale and Mark Joyce respectively, while other winners included Robert Milkins, Ben Woollaston, John Astley, and Allan Taylor.

The likes of Indian Open champion John Higgins and Shaun Murphy enter the fray on Tuesday, with Selby and Ding also back in action in the first round proper.

Click here to view the draw.

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