The Chinese number one has suffered a string of early exits this year.
Ding Junhui was the biggest casualty of day one as the Gibraltar Open commenced at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes on Monday.
The former world number one was downed 4-2 by young Chinese countryman Si Jiahui.
Si, 18, was given a telling-off by the referee for not adhering to the dress code – having to go backstage mid-match to retrieve his bow tie.
But the teenager didn’t let that affect him too much as he built a 3-0 advantage, and then weathered a mini comeback from his esteemed opponent Ding to advance to the second round of the Gibraltar Open.
Masters champion Yan Bingtao also crashed out in a 4-1 reverse against Jamie Clarke, who boasted a high break of 134.
Meanwhile, Shaun Murphy was involved in a different altercation with another referee during his bout with Ashley Hugill.
Trailing 2-0 but 32-0 ahead in the third frame, the two players were stuck in a tit-for-tat safety exchange that ended with the official giving them a five-shot warning ahead of a rerack.
Murphy, with a considerable lead in the frame, expressed his clear dissatisfaction at the decision, but the impasse was eventually ended and the former world champion overturned his deficit to complete a 4-2 victory.
Defending champion Judd Trump additionally moved through to the last 64 with a comfortable 4-1 triumph against Robbie Williams, while the in-form Tom Ford beat Zak Surety 4-2.
David Gilbert boosted his ambitions to remain inside the top 16 of the world rankings in time for the World Championship with a 4-1 defeat of Paul Davison, while Joe Perry and Ricky Walden recorded respective wins over Marks Davis and Joyce.
Elsewhere, former World Championship semi-finalists Gary Wilson and Andy Hicks were sent packing by Robert Milkins and Allan Taylor.
Iranian duo Hossein Vafaei and Soheil Vahedi, Swiss star Alexander Ursenbacher, and Chinese quartet Zhou Yuelong, Liang Wenbo, Xiao Guodong, and Fan Zhengyi were among the others to advance beyond the opening hurdle.
On Tuesday, the first round continues with excitement building around Stephen Hendry’s comeback match against Matthew Selt.
Mark Selby, Kyren Wilson, Mark Williams, and Jimmy White are among the others entering the fray.
But in other news, Sunday’s Players Championship finalists John Higgins and Ronnie O’Sullivan have both withdrawn from the competition.
Live coverage is on Eurosport and various other platforms around the world.
Click here to view the full draw. (Scheduled times in CET)
Featured photo credit: WST