Ben Mertens
Ranking, Snooker Headlines

Ben Mertens denies Shaun Murphy Wuhan Open spot

Ben Mertens will be heading to the Wuhan Open at the expense of Shaun Murphy after a shock result at the qualifiers on Monday.

The talented young Belgian would have been an undoubted underdog against arguably the best player from the calendar year of 2023 so far.

But Murphy – the winner of this season’s Championship League – couldn’t prevent the 18 year-old from completing an excellent 5-2 victory.

Mertens, who reached the last 16 of the Welsh Open in February, is widely tipped as a potential star of the future and compiled a high break of 117 in his defeat of Murphy.

It was more straightforward for Judd Trump, with the recent European Masters runner-up thumping Lukas Kleckers 5-1.

Experienced Scottish duo Graeme Dott and Stephen Maguire also managed to make it through with respective wins over Julien Leclercq and Manasawin Phetmalaikul.

In a typically drawn-out affair in which he had the conclusion of his match delayed for slow play, Rod Lawler held on to deny Jimmy Robertson in a decider.

Elsewhere, there were triumphs for Welsh quartet Dominic Dale, Jak Jones, Daniel Wells, and Jamie Clarke.

Among the others to advance on the fourth day at the Morningside Arena were Xiao Guodong, Lyu Haotian, and Mark Joyce.

On Tuesday, the Wuhan Open qualifiers conclude with the remaining eight fixtures in Leicester.

John Higgins is in action against Dylan Emery, while there’s an intriguing battle between Hossein Vafaei and Marco Fu.

Live coverage is available on discovery+ in Europe and Matchroom.Live in other territories (other than China).

The venue stages of the Wuhan Open take place in October.

Wuhan Open qualifying draw and schedule

(Times in BST)

Friday, September 1

Ryan Day 5-3 Long Zehuang
Wu Yize 5-3 Allan Taylor
Kyren Wilson 4-5 He Guoqiang
Mark Allen 5-3 John Astley

Neil Robertson 5-0 Ryan Thomerson
Noppon Saengkham 5-3 Andrew Higginson
Robbie Williams 0-5 Alfie Burden
Gary Wilson 3-5 Ashley Carty

Joe O’Connor 5-0 Dean Young
Jackson Page 5-3 Liu Hongyu
Ben Woollaston 5-2 Oliver Brown
Mark Selby 5-0 Andy Lee

Saturday, September 2

Xu Si 5-3 Anton Kazakov
Cao Yupeng 5-0 Jiang Jun
Tian Pengfei 3-5 Sanderson Lam
Zhang Anda 5-3 Ahmed Aly Elsayed

Joe Perry 0-5 Aaron Hill
Andy Hicks 3-5 Hammad Miah
Yuan Sijun 5-1 Ross Muir
Fan Zhengyi 1-5 Stuart Carrington

David Grace 2-5 Martin O’Donnell
Elliot Slessor 5-0 David Lilley
Robert Milkins 5-2 Zak Surety
Stuart Bingham 5-3 James Cahill

Sunday, September 3

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 5-2 Thor Chuan Leong
Scott Donaldson 5-1 Ma Hailong
Anthony McGill 4-5 Ishpreet Singh
Chris Wakelin 5-2 Mink Nutcharut

Tom Ford 5-2 Adam Duffy
Jamie Jones 5-4 Liam Pullen
Jack Lisowski 5-0 Jenson Kendrick
Pang Junxu 5-1 Stan Moody

Barry Hawkins 5-1 Louis Heathcote
Matthew Selt 5-3 Sean O’Sullivan
Oliver Lines 5-0 Reanne Evans
Mark Williams 5-2 Andres Petrov

Monday, September 4

Mark Joyce 5-1 Victor Sarkis
Matthew Stevens 1-5 Daniel Wells
Jamie Clarke 5-0 Mohamed Ibrahim
Lyu Haotian 5-2 Muhammad Asif

Jimmy Robertson 4-5 Rod Lawler
Judd Trump 5-1 Lukas Kleckers
Jak Jones 5-2 Mostafa Dorgham
Graeme Dott 5-3 Julien Leclercq

Stephen Maguire 5-2 Manasawin Phetmalaikul
Xiao Guodong 5-0 Alexander Ursenbacher
Shaun Murphy 2-5 Ben Mertens
Dominic Dale 5-0 Rebecca Kenna

Tuesday, September 5

Michael White 5-3 Andrew Pagett
Hossein Vafaei 4-5 Marco Fu
Jordan Brown 5-1 Himanshu Jain
Mark Davis 5-1 Liam Graham

John Higgins 5-1 Dylan Emery
Ricky Walden 3-5 Ian Burns
Sam Craigie 5-1 Peng Yisong
Liam Highfield 5-1 Jimmy White

Held over fixtures
(to be played in Wuhan)

Monday, October 9

Luca Brecel vs Xing Zihao
David Gilbert vs wildcard
Si Jiahui vs wildcard
Ali Carter vs wildcard
Anthony Hamilton vs wildcard
Zhou Yuelong vs Baipat Siripaporn
Ding Junhui vs Ashley Hugill
Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Ken Doherty

Featured photo credit: WST

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