World champion Mark Selby avoided an early exit from the English Open by coming from 3-2 down to beat Scott Donaldson in a decider on Tuesday.
The world number one has struggled to find his top form this season after a record-equalling last campaign that brought him five ranking titles, including a third Crucible crown.
Donaldson compiled a lovely 121 and further breaks of 72 and 57 to go to within a frame of a huge upset but Selby steeled himself, as he so often does when his back is against the wall.
A superb 124 break forced the decider and Selby’s experience saw him through in the end as he remains in the hunt for the unlikely million pound bonus on offer for winning all four Home Nations tournaments.
Ronnie O’Sullivan joined his fellow Englishman in the last 64 courtesy of a 4-1 defeat of Zhang Anda.
The 41 year-old, never far from a bit of controversy, was forced to wear sports shoes due to a sprained ankle but was allegedly told by World Snooker afterwards that he must make sure his footwear is at least of the colour black for his next encounter.
The second day of action in Barnsley was again a good one for the top seeds as the majority progressed into the second round.
Ding Junhui constructed a 113 as he comfortably eased passed Christopher Keogan 4-1 while Neil Robertson went one better with a 4-0 drubbing of Billy Joe Castle.
The Australian is in a precarious position in the provisional world rankings with his place at the Masters very much in doubt, so a strong outing this week is imperative for the former world number one.
Meanwhile, Mark Williams beat David Grace 4-1 and Paul Hunter Classic champion Michael White repeated that scoreline against German rookie Lukas Kleckers.
Unlike on Monday, there were a couple of notable upsets, though.
Marco Fu succumbed to a 4-1 loss to Tian Pengfei while Martin Gould and Mark King were downed by Chinese pair Zhao Xintong and Fang Xiongman respectively.
Riga Masters champion Ryan Day exited at the first hurdle, although that would hardly represent a shock as the ever-improving Luca Brecel accounted for the Welshman with a confident 4-1 victory.
Elsewhere, Irish duo Ken Doherty and Josh Boileau both fell in respective one-sided losses to Gerard Greene and David Gilbert.
It was another decent day for the Chinese contingent with Cao Yupeng continuing his sound form of late.
The European Masters semi-finalist was joined by youngsters Lu Haotian and Yuan Sijun, the latter enjoying a 4-1 triumph against Joe Perry thanks to a brace of tons.
Mike Dunn put behind him some of the recent health concerns that he shared on Twitter last week with a 4-2 success against Alex Borg but Anthony Hamilton, who has struggled with back issues again this season, lost 4-2 to Alexander Ursenbacher.
Among some of the other cueists to advance were Ricky Walden, Ben Woollaston, Hossein Vafaei, and veteran James Wattana.
Click here to view the draw. (Times: CET)
Categories: Snooker News