Day 3 in Shanghai saw the conclusion of the last 32 round and it yielded some very surprising results.
Stephen Maguire beat Shaun Murphy by 5-0, and, although it was plain for all to see in the wilcard round that Stephen is on form, the score is still surprising. Of course Shaun has just become a father and maybe that explains it.
Mei Xiwen reached a last 16 round for the first time in his career by beating Mark Williams, who has an excellent record in China, by the score of 5-3. He is the lowest ranked player still in the tournament.
Ryan Day sent Neil Robertson home, beating him by 5-2. Neil later tweeted that he had problems with his tip and that the conditions were very tough. The twitter post contained an image suggesting that the conditions were very sticky, which isn’t surprising as the weather is very humid and hot in Shanghai at this time of the year … still !!!
Finally, Stuart Carrington beat Joe Perry in a deciding frame, coming back from 4-2 down.
There were also expected wins from Judd Trump, Stuart Bingham, Barry Hawkins and Mark Allen … but that they all won by 5-0 certainly wasn’t expected.
Overall the unseeded players who had to play a wildcard ,and won, did well: 7 out of 16 seeded players lost their last 32 match and 4 of them fell to one of the 8 unseeded players who had to play a wildcard. And Ronnie really had it hard against Liang Wenbo too. There are always a lot of complaints about those matches and how “unfair” they are, but, personally, I think that getting the opportunity to play a match against a young amateur gives those players a good opportunity to get used to the rather alien conditions before facing a seed who comes at the table cold and under pressure to win a match that is actually a first round for them under the tiered system. And, remember, they get the same money losing to the wilcard as they would losing to the seed.
All those results mean that the top 10 is now known ahead of the invitational event in Guangzhou early November as Matt Huart explains on his blog. This means that both Ronnie and Ding are now certain to get an invite.