Day 1 in Daqing saw all held-over matches being played as well as half of the last 64 matches. There weren’t many surprises. Probably the most surprising result was Robin Hull beating Zhou Yuelong by 6-2, especially considering how poor Robin’s form has been in recent weeks. But then, there were posts on social media reporting that Zhou has recently lost his father. This was retweeted by Matt Huart, so it is likely reliable news and it would explain both his poor result today and his withdrawal from the English Open less than two weeks ago.
Ronnie was on twitter this evening, unhappy because he was told that if he doesn’t wear regular shoes he would be disqualified from the tournament. Apparently he should have asked to be allowed to wear his trainers again before the tournament. I can only suppose that he took it for granted given that a bad sprain doesn’t heal very quickly, that it’s only last week that he was allowed to wear them and that the matches here are brest of 11, so could easily last for three hours or more. Hopefully common sense will prevail and a solution is found. Ronnie stated clearly that he does not want to pull out. That said he was on twitter at something like past 3 am in China and surely that’s not the ideal preparation for tomorrow’s match, even if he’s scheduled to play in the evening session.
Other than that he was due to do some work tonight for his sponsor, Superstar Online.
Going by (automatic translation of) posts on weibo, Ronnie was supposed to chat with fans via the sponsor’s online app, answering their questions, playing games and giving them the opportunity to win prizes.