Welsh Open 2019 – Day 3 in Cardiff

The second round – last 64 – at the Welsh Open 2019 was played to completion yesterday  and saw the departure of Judd Trump, Mark Williams, Kyren Wilson and Shaun Murphy.

Here is the report on Worldsnooker:

Masters champion Judd Trump and World Champion Mark Williams both suffered surprise defeats in the second round of the ManBetX Welsh Open in Cardiff.

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Trump has been arguably the player of the season so far having won the Northern Ireland Open, the Masters and last week’s World Grand Prix, but he was beaten 4-2 by Duane Jones, ranked 68 places below him at 72nd in the world.

Jones, a 25-year-old former barman from Mountain Ash, enjoyed the best week of his snooker career at the recent German Masters when he reached the semi-finals, knocking out the likes of Jack Lisowski and Ding Junhui. And he claimed another big scalp with a composed performance against Trump.

After taking the first frame with a 40 clearance, Jones won the second and third on the colours. Trump came from 69-0 down to snatch the fourth and also took a scrappy fifth to make it 3-2, but Jones sealed victory in the next with a break of 68.

“I didn’t feel nervous, I knew my game was in good shape, I just tried telling myself that,” said Jones, who now meets Robbie Williams in the last 32. “So many times, I’ve played these players on TV and I have given up before I started. It was a good occasion today and I enjoyed it.”

Williams, who was the last Welsh winner of this title back in 1999, lost 4-2 to China’s Zhang Anda, whose top break was 71.

World number two Williams said: “I was rubbish. He was by far the better player. He cues and scores well so I’m surprised he’s not higher up the rankings.”

Four-time Welsh Open champion Ronnie O’Sullivan booked his third round place with a 4-2 win over Chinese teenager Yuan Sijun. After losing the first frame, O’Sullivan took four of the next five with top breaks of 120, 66, 90 and 99. He now meets Switzerland’s Alexander Ursenbacher.

“I don’t look into how I’m playing,” said O’Sullivan, who moved his career century tally to 993. “One day is rubbish and I’m a bit more miserable, then the next day is better and I get more of a spring in my step. I’d like to win a couple of more matches here and see how it goes because it feels as if it’s coming pretty easy to me mentally and physically. Whereas last week in Cheltenham I was so happy when I lost. I went to Sheffield for a few days, sat on my boat and did some practice.

“Yuan is a very good player which is great for the game if he can continue on the same trajectory. He has potential to be a World Champion. He’s going to be a huge star in China so it will be interesting to see how he handles that.”

Amateur James Cahill, who knocked Mark Selby out of the UK Championship,  claimed another fine win with a 4-2 defeat of Shaun Murphy. Cahill, whose top break was 115, said:  “I like the challenge of playing against the top players. I had a lot of luck, otherwise I wouldn’t have won that game, but it’s still nice to win.”

German Masters champion Kyren Wilson also suffered a surprise defeat as he went down 4-3 to tour rookie Joe O’Connor.

Best performance of the day came from Zhao Xintong, who beat Zhou Yuelong 4-0 with runs of 132, 103, 97 and 70. World number one Mark Selby made a 128 in a 4-0 win over Adam Duffy.

Ding Junhui came from 3-2 down to edge out Oliver Lines 4-3. China’s Ding, who won this event in 2012, took frame six on the black then won the decider with a run of 72.

Martin O’Donnell, currently 17th on the one-year ranking list, boosted his hopes of qualifying for next month’s Players Championship by beating Ricky Walden 4-1 with a top run of 113.

Jack Lisowski made breaks of 140 and 122 in a 4-3 win over Marco Fu while Scottish Open champion Mark Allen top scored with 100 in a 4-1 win over Mei Xiwen.

Germany’s Lukas Kleckers scored an impressive 4-3 win over Thepchaiya Un-Nooh while Jimmy Robertson came from 3-0 down to edge out Nigel Bond 4-3 with a top break of 104.

Remarkably, no quotes from Judd Trump who was obviously very disappointed. But he didn’t play well and once again this match showed that, IMO, he hasn’t yet the consistency required for the Crucible AND he looked vulnerable mentally once things started to go astray.

Here is the review of the Williams v Zhang match with Ronnie, Neal Foulds and Andy Goldstein in the ES studio.

You can read all about Ronnie’s match here

Today, the players have possibly two matches, with the last 32 and last 16 rounds played to completion. As lewis mentioned in his comment it’s an interesting field remaining with 9 of the top 16 still in it (8 of the one year list top 16) , and quite a number of young players.