Snooker News

Maximum Magic from Liang Wenbo in English Open

Liang Wenbo fired in a maximum 147 as he fought from behind to beat Tom Ford in the English Open on Wednesday.

Liang Wenbo English Open 147 (WS)

Reigning champion Liang is certainly creating many fond memories from this tournament. Photo credit: World Snooker

The defending champion looked in trouble when he trailed 3-1 but forced a deciding frame with the perfect break that pocketed the Chinese number two a neat £40,000 from the rolling 147 prize fund.

It’s the first maximum of the season, with the £5,000 on offer for each tournament having rolled over since the China Open at the end of the last campaign.

In trademark fashion, Liang jubilantly expressed his delight with a roar and several fist pumps, before composing himself by knocking in a run of 60 in the last frame to progress to the last 32.

The 147 represents only the second time the 30 year-old has achieved the feat in professional competition and the first on television in front of a wider audience.

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Selby both moved into the third round as well with straightforward triumphs.

The “Rocket” was permitted to wear sports shoes by World Snooker for his much-publicised foot injury and duly constructed consecutive century breaks of 136 and 134 in beating Mark Davis 4-1.

World champion Selby prevailed by the same margin against Ross Muir while another favourite in John Higgins repeated the trick with a 4-1 defeat of Matthew Selt.

In arguably the tie of the second round, Mark Williams won by a three-frame cushion against Luca Brecel – who must have been bemoaning his luck after being drawn with Ryan Day in the opening round and an even bigger Welsh star in the next.

Elsewhere, Neil Robertson won the last two frames with breaks of 92 and 134 to deny Li Hang in a decider.

The Australian is outside the top 16 in the provisional world rankings list that counts towards the race to the Masters, so needs a strong finish to 2017 in order to secure his place for Alexandra Palace in January.

English duo Shaun Murphy and Stuart Bingham each boasted a brace of tons as they held off spirited opposition from Daniel Wells and Fang Xiongman for respective 4-2 successes, with Anthony McGill progressing with a similar scoreline against Lu Haotian.

World Open runner-up Kyren Wilson had a much more handy time of it courtesy of a 4-0 triumph over Mike Dunn, while the in-form Judd Trump was a whitewash winner too after his comprehensive drubbing of Mark Joyce.

Meanwhile, there were a few notable upsets to speak about as some of the seeds crashed out at the second hurdle.

Ding Junhui was the most high profile case, with the world number two succumbing to a 4-2 loss to Michael White late in the day in Barnsley.

Barry Hawkins, Mark Allen, and Ali Carter all bowed out as well – the latter in a 4-3 reverse against Thai veteran James Wattana.

Hawkins lost out to Chen Zifan in another decider while Allen dropped the last three frames in a 4-2 exit at the hands of Stuart Carrington.

Chen’s young Chinese compatriot Yuan Sijun continued to impress, with the 17 year-old following up his initial glory against Joe Perry with a 4-3 victory over John Astley that featured a 104 break in the opening frame.

Among some of the other names to make it through to the third round were Matthew Stevens and Xiao Guodong, who overcame David Gilbert and Ricky Walden respectively.

Jack Lisowski, Ben Woollaston, Aditya Mehta, and Hossein Vafaei survived another round too.

Thursday will be arguably the busiest day of what has been a hectic start to this competition with both the third and fourth rounds taking place to set up the final eight contenders who will battle it out for the title this weekend.

Coverage continues on Eurosport and Quest TV.

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

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