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Mark Selby loses to Yuan Sijun in European Masters

Mark Selby was punished for a sloppy display as he bowed out at the first hurdle of the European Masters on Tuesday in Furth.

Despite not producing his own top form, Yuan Sijun managed to take full advantage to secure a 5-2 victory in the heldover qualifying fixture.

Selby, the European Masters champion in 2020, compiled a 137 century break in the fourth frame that represented a rare demonstration of his normal capability.

The rest of the battle was largely scrappy, with the young Chinese competitor emerging with a place in the last 64 at the world number four’s expense.

Reigning champion Fan Zhengyi was another casualty of the four preliminary round matches that were held over to the German venue.

The 21 year-old conjured one of the all-time greatest upsets when he overcame Ronnie O’Sullivan earlier this year to land a maiden ranking title.

But his tenure didn’t last long with veteran Irishman Michael Judge running away with a comprehensive 5-1 triumph.

Meanwhile, Judd Trump managed to avoid an early exit as the two-time former European Masters champion orchestrated a 5-2 success against Noppon Saengkham.

World champion O’Sullivan was supposed to contest the other heldover fixture but withdrew last week, citing an arm injury.

Instead, it was his namesake Sean O’Sullivan who took advantage of his absence and recorded a 5-2 defeat of replacement Luke Simmonds.

Elsewhere, there were several matches played in the first round proper as the second ranking tournament of the season officially commenced.

The other big upset of the day saw Championship League winner Luca Brecel suffer an unexpected 5-1 reverse against Wu Yize.

It was a mixed day for the Chinese contingient overall, with Zhou Yuelong and Si Jiahui earning excellent victories over Graeme Dott and Anthony McGill respectively.

But Li Hang, Chang Bingyu, and Lei Peifan each had to pull out of the event as a result of visa issues, with the same fate disappointingly bestowed on Iran’s Hossein Vafaei.

Stuart Bingham wrapped up his 5-1 beating of Ian Burns with a nice run of 136, while 2018 champion Jimmy Robertson ousted Andy Hicks 5-2.

Among the others to advance on day one were Ali Carter, Gary Wilson, Chris Wakelin, David Grace, and Rory McLeod.

On Wednesday, the first round continues with Trump back in action and the likes of Mark Williams, Kyren Wilson, and Shaun Murphy entering the fray.

Live coverage is on Eurosport and various other broadcasters.

Click here to view the draw

Featured photo credit: WST

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