The first round of the Shanghai Masters has been all but completed as the relentless schedule continues in China this week.
Only Ronnie O’Sullivan’s last 64 encounter with Gary Wilson is still to be played, with the former given an extra day to undertake the long journey following his defeat in the final of the Champion of Champions on Sunday.
That fixture takes place early on Wednesday before the last 32 in its entirety is contested during the remainder of the third day of action.
There weren’t many shocks to speak of from the initial exchanges as the majority of the seeds made it through to the next stage.
Ryan Day represented arguably the highest-profile casualty, succumbing to a 5-4 defeat to Yu Delu to continue a barren spell since his Riga Masters success at the outset the campaign.
Fellow Welshman Dominic Dale, hardly a frontrunner to go far in any tournament these days but the inaugural champion in Shanghai back in 2007, also bowed out in a similar fashion to Alan McManus.
Elsewhere, the marquee names all negotiated their first obstacle in one way or another.
World champion Mark Selby had one of the tougher times of it as he held off a spirited fight back from Chris Wakelin to just about prevail in a decider.
It was a little more straightforward for other former winners John Higgins and Ali Carter, while twice finalist Judd Trump hammered Alfie Burden 5-0.
Mark Allen, Liang Wenbo, Luca Brecel, Mark Williams, and Barry Hawkins were among some of the other players to emerge from their opening tests as well.
Probably the tie of the second round sees Higgins, the champion in 2012, take on young up-and-coming star Zhou Yuelong.
Along with Liang, who meets David Gilbert, Zhou probably represents China’s best chance of a home triumph this week.
Meanwhile, Carter faces Stephen Maguire after the Scot won the last four frames, helped by a brace of centuries, in coming from 4-1 down to beat Rory McLeod on Tuesday.
The in-form Allen entertains Fergal O’Brien in an all-Irish battle, with the duo looking for some solace after their respective national football teams both failed to reach the World Cup Finals following Play-Off defeats in the last few days.
If O’Sullivan negotiates his first test with Wilson, the 41 year-old will play Joe Perry while Jack Lisowski meets Cao Yupeng in a clash between two talented players who have begun to show some form this season.
There have been contrasting crowds for the first two days in Shanghai, with the earlier sessions poorly attended but the evening sessions boasting a handsome amount of fans in to watch the competitors in action.
The prospect of a double session featuring O’Sullivan on Wednesday will likely ensure that today, at least, will be packed with energy.
Coverages continues on Eurosport and Quest TV.
Click here to view the draw. (Times: CET)
Categories: Snooker News