China Open qualifiers
News, Ranking, Tournaments

Shaun Murphy Loses in China Open Qualifiers

The China Open qualifiers concluded on Wednesday with the last match to be completed providing the biggest upset in Cannock.

China Open qualifiers
Murphy has slipped outside the world’s top 10 in the rankings. Photo credit: Monique Limbos

Shaun Murphy’s poor campaign continued with a 6-4 defeat against Poland’s Adam Stefanow – the Magician’s seventh loss at the last 128 stage of a ranking event this term.

Murphy appeared to have turned his form around when he reached the final of the Scottish Open in December but the 36 year-old, who became a dad for the second time last summer and undertook a move to live in Ireland, hasn’t been able to build on that one-off performance.

The “Magician” had beaten Stefanow in last week’s Welsh Open but the rookie was able to enact revenge to complete only his second victory on the Main Tour as a professional player.



There were a couple of other notable surprise results as the action at the Chase Leisure Centre reached its climax.

Rod Lawler put his recent struggles behind him to thrash Martin Gould 6-0 while Oliver Lines outplayed UK Championship semi-finalist Tom Ford 6-2.

Elsewhere, Anthony Hamilton put his top 64 survival hopes in jeopardy with a 6-3 loss against fellow veteran James Wattana.

However, the majority of the other scorelines in the China Open qualifiers went the way of the higher ranked competitors.

Kyren Wilson compiled a brace of century breaks in comfortably seeing off Chen Feilong 6-1 and David Gilbert, the player Wilson overcame to secure his German Masters triumph earlier this month, defeated Sean O’Sullivan 6-2.

Three-time ranking event winner Ricky Walden matched that four-frame victory in seeing off giant-killing amateur James Cahill while Chinese duo Li Hang and Lyu Haotian advanced to the lucrative main event in April as well.

Legends Ken Doherty and Jimmy White enjoyed contrasting fortunes with the 1997 world champion wrapping up his 6-3 win over Paul Davison with consecutive tons.

While the Irishman’s place back among the world’s top 64 looks to be increasingly likely, White’s lacklustre form continued with a disappointing 6-1 reverse against Gary Wilson.

Meanwhile, Michael Holt held off a late fight back from Joe Swail to prevail in the only deciding frame showdown of the day.

Among the others to safely make it beyond the China Open qualifiers to Beijing were Ben Woollaston, Andrew Higginson, Nigel Bond, Scott Donaldson, and Ashley Carty.

Click here to view the draw.



Creator of SnookerHQ and a journalism graduate, David has been actively reporting on snooker since 2011. He has been published in national publications and has appeared on BBC World News and on talkSPORT radio as an analyst.

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World Rankings Top 16

World Rankings after the Tour Championship – won by Neil Robertson.

1. Judd Trump
2. Ronnie O’Sullivan
3. Neil Robertson
4. Mark Selby
5. John Higgins
6. Kyren Wilson
7. Shaun Murphy
8. Stephen Maguire
9. Ding Junhui
10. Yan Bingtao
11. Barry Hawkins
12. Mark Williams
13. Mark Allen
14. Jack Lisowski
15. David Gilbert
16. Anthony McGill

Fin Ruane Snooker Academy