Snooker News

Shaun Murphy Beaten by Teenage Rookie

Shaun Murphy tumbled out of Shanghai Masters qualifying on another hectic day of action in Wigan on Thursday.

Yuan-Sijun (WS)

Yuan won the Asian Under-21 Championship this year. Photo credit: World Snooker

The Englishman, who has been one of the form men of the season so far following a brace of final appearances in ranking events, appeared to be in control when he led Yuan Sijun 4-2 thanks to breaks of 105, two 85s, and a 65.

However, the 17 year-old reeled off the last three frames, which included a century of his own, to stun the former world champion in a decider in what must be regarded as the teenager’s best victory to date.

Yuan is currently featuring in his debut season on the Main Tour, and the upset of the “Magician” represents only his second success as a professional.

Ali Carter narrowly avoided a similar fate as he held off a similar comeback from Sam Craigie to hold on in a dramatic decider that was settled on the colours.

Earlier, the talented Craigie had compiled runs of 128 and a tournament-high 141 but it was not enough to help prevent his early exit.

For Marco Fu and Michael White, it was much more straightforward as the pair recorded 5-1 triumphs against Boonyarit Kaettikun and Jamie Curtis-Barrett respectively.

Former German Masters champion Martin Gould also progressed, thanks to a 5-3 defeat of Allan Taylor while 2006 world champion Graeme Dott repeated that scoreline against fellow veteran Nigel Bond.

Several matches on the second day developed contrastingly, with a selection of deciding frame nail biters thrown in amongst a heap of one-sided whitewashes.

Dominic Dale, Ben Woollaston, and Chinese duo Li Yuan and Lu Haotian all managed to inflict 5-0 drubbings on their hapless challengers.

The latter’s victory was particularly impressive because it came against last season’s surprise performer Anthony Hamilton, although it’s not clear whether the “Sherrif” is still feeling the effects of a recurring back injury that resurfaced earlier this term.

Meanwhile, Along with Yuan and Carter, Kurt Maflin, Alfie Burden, Mark Joyce, Ian Preece, John Astley, and Hossein Vafaei Ayouri each prevailed by a single frame cushion.

Ayouri fought back from 3-0 and 4-2 behind to stun Elliot Slessor while Burden required even greater heroics as the 40 year-old reversed a 4-1 deficit to deny Hamza Akbar on the final black.

Joyce and Astley both beat Chinese challengers, denying them a spot in one of their home competitions, while Maflin and Preece accounted for the Lines father and son duo.

Among the others to progress to the last 64 were Robert Milkins, Gary Wilson, Sanderson Lam, Michael Georgiou, and Jack Lisowski – who compiled a couple of centuries in hammering Jimmy White 5-1.

On Friday, the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, and Neil Robertson enter the fray at the Robin Park Arena.

Click here to view the draw. (Times: CET)

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