Ding Junhui secured his place in the last 16 of the World Open with a convincing 5-0 victory over Xiao Guodong on Wednesday.
The Chinese number one wasn’t at his absolute best but was clinical enough to take the chances that were presented to him by his countryman.
Ding, who this time last year won his latest ranking event crown at the Shanghai Masters, will meet Joe Perry for a quarter-final berth on Thursday after the Englishman similarly recorded a whitewash win against Ryan Day.
Day’s cue troubles from earlier in the week, when his trusted piece of equipment failed to arrive with him at the airport en route to Yushan, were behind him but he had nothing in response to a terrific display of power scoring from Perry that included breaks of 114, 79, 60, and 57.
Mark Williams was another who boasted a one-sided scoreline as the Welshman inflicted a bagel on Chen Zhe too.
Williams finally rejoined the winner’s circle a few weeks ago by capturing silverware in the Six Red World Championship, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the 18-time ranking event winner threatened to add to his tally come Sunday evening.
Tournament favourite with the bookies, John Higgins also booked his spot in the third round but in starkly contrasting fashion.
The Scot, victorious in last week’s Indian Open, fought back from 4-3 down to deny Matthew Selt in a decider.
Meanwhile, China Championship winner Luca Brecel likewise required the allotted amount of frames as he withstood a late revival from Daniel Wells, Shaun Murphy’s conqueror in the last round, to prevail 5-4.
With Cao Yupeng’s excellent defeat of former world champion Stuart Bingham, and world champion Mark Selby’s shock demise on Tuesday, Belgium’s Brecel will surely be fancying his chances of going deep again with his quarter of the draw especially opening up nicely.
Also in that section are Lee Walker, who continued his memorable run after ousting the world number one with another 5-2 triumph over Robert Milkins, and Anthony McGill.
McGill, runner-up to Higgins in Visakhapatnam on Saturday, stunned Stephen Maguire in a battle of the Scots by winning the last three frames for a 5-4 victory, dramatically pinching it on the final black.
Elsewhere, Mark Allen looked to be hitting the ball nicely as he reeled off runs of 72, 80, and 70 in disposing of Allan Taylor 5-2.
It’s been around 18 months since Allen has seriously threatened the business end of a big competition but the Northern Irishman has fond memories of the World Open having twice won it in the past when it was previously staged in Haikou.
Allen clashes with Neil Robertson at the next hurdle, the latter another player seeking a resurgence in form after a pretty lacklustre last campaign, with the Australian just about coming out on top against Ben Woollaston in yet another close finish that went all the way to a final frame shoot out.
One of the bigger upsets on day three in the fifth ranking tournament of the season came in the form of veteran Peter Ebdon’s 5-3 turnover of Marco Fu.
Ebdon, who also dispatched of Graeme Dott in the last round, compiled a hat-trick of half century breaks to pull away from 2-2 at the interval against the top 16 player from Hong Kong.
Among the remaining players to advance were Kyren Wilson, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, David Gilbert, Jimmy Robertson, and Li Hang.
Live coverage continues throughout this week on Eurosport.
Categories: Snooker News