China Championship 2016 – Day 1

The China Championship 2016 started today in Guangzhou, China and here is what stood on the menu for the day:

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Mark Selby continued his impressive run, beating Anthony McGill by 6-2. Having watched the match though, I have to say that Anthony was far from his best.

Mark Allen beat Ricky Walden by 6-4, from 4-3 down and this was a quality match, with 9 breaks over 50 in 10 frames, including 2 centuries from Mark Allen who looked really impressive in the last 3 frames, finishing the job with 140, 78 and 70. This 140 break is currently the tournament highest break.

There were no centuries in the evening session, but there were surprises: Ali Carter beat Judd Trump by 6-4, from 4-3 down, and Marco Fu got the better of Ding Junhui by 6-3, a result that wasn’t very popular with the Chinese crowd.

Both matches ended in a rather strange way, as you can watch here:

Technically Ding could be fined for conceding, however given where the black stood it’s unlikely that he will be: Marco would probably find it hard not to pot that black even if he wanted to keep it on the table.

Ding looked utterly upset to lose out there, and I’m not surprised. After his heavy defeat in Daqing at the hands of Mark Selby, he wanted to stay optimistic. He put a picture of him and Ronnie having dinner after the match, both all smiles, and commented that despite the defeat, his season had been good up to now. This early exit will certainly not please him … or the sponsors. Ronnie and Ding are probably the two most popular players in China, and now, neither of them is there anymore.

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Ronnie was initially due to play in this event – he had qualified for it – but withdrew. However, in the context of their work with Eurosport, him and Jimmy were asked what it’s like to play in China: