Defending champion Mark Allen produced a dominant display to ease past Mark Davis 6-1 in their last 32 clash at the International Championship in Daqing.
Northern Ireland’s Allen looks to be in superb touch this week. The 33-year-old’s win today is a third successive 6-1 victory in the event.
Last year Allen put on a break building masterclass in claiming the title, with 14 centuries throughout the tournament. He displayed impressive scoring form again today, composing runs of 101, 64, 63, 54, 56 and 64 on his way to the win. The Pistol will face Ali Carter in the last 32, who came through a 6-3 winner against Kurt Maflin.
World Champion Judd Trump is just one match away from becoming world number one for the first time since March 2013 after a hard fought 6-4 win over Scott Donaldson.
The Ace in the Pack won his maiden Crucible title back in May with a stunning 18-9 demolition of John Higgins in the World Championship final.
He is now within one match win of taking Ronnie O’Sullivan’s place at the top of the world rankings, with the Rocket having not entered this week. Next up for Trump is a meeting with Joe Perry in the last 16.
2006 World Champion Graeme Dott came from 3-0 down to beat 2015 Crucible king Stuart Bingham 6-3.
Scotland’s Dott admits that a fist pump from Bingham when he claimed the third frame acted as a catalyst for the fightback.
Dott said: “When he won the third frame on the black, he punched the air and that gave me a gee-up that I didn’t think I was going to get. Until that moment I was kind of accepting my fate that it was going to be one of those games for me. At 3-0 up in a first to six I thought it was a little bit strange. There is nothing wrong with it. It helped me though.”
Triple Crown winner Shaun Murphy held off a spirited fightback from teenage Riga Masters champion Yan Bingtao to come through a 6-4 victor.
The Magician had stormed to a 5-0 advantage, restricting his opponent to just eight points in the process. However, Yan battled back to trail by just a single frame at 5-4 before Murphy got himself over the line.
Victory for Murphy acts as a significant boost to his chances of staying in the world’s top 16 and qualifying for the Shanghai Masters, with the ranking cut off at the end of this week’s event.
Mark Selby, twice a winner of the International Championship, produced an impressive display to see off fellow Leicester cueman Ben Woollaston 6-3. While China’s top player Ding Junhui thrashed compatriot Xiao Guodong 6-1.
Neil Robertson edged out Ricky Walden 6-5 in a thrilling contest and John Higgins defeated Elliot Slessor 6-3 to progress.
And this is the article about the race to the Shanghai Masters mentionned in the article above:
2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy defeated China’s Yan Bingtao 6-4 to reach the last 16 of the International Championship in Daqing.
The win strengthens Murphy’s bid to keep his place in the world’s top 16, with the cut off for Shanghai Masters qualification coming at the end of this week’s event.
The elite Shanghai tournament consists of the world’s top 16 players, the next four highest ranked Chinese players, two from the CBSA China Tour and two from China’s Amateur Masters series.
Defeat for Riga Masters winner Yan ends his hopes of qualifying as part of the world’s top 16. However, he is already assured of a place in Shanghai as one of the next four highest ranked Chinese players.
Joining Yan in those four places are Xiao Guodong, Lyu Haotian and Liang Wenbo. All four are now guaranteed a place in Shanghai after Liang edged Zhou Yuelong out of the top four by beating Daniel Wells 6-4 in his last 32 tie this evening.
Ali Carter has forced himself into the top 16 of the live rankings after a 6-3 win over Kurt Maflin. While Joe Perry remains hot on his heels after securing a 6-2 victory against Stephen Maguire.
Next up for Carter is a meeting with defending champion Mark Allen. Perry faces World Champion Judd Trump in the last 16.
However, with a £175,000 top prize on offer this week a number of players can still clinch a top 16 spot. Gary Wilson, Graeme Dott and Tom Ford all remain in contention. While Liang could still upgrade his qualification to a top 16 spot by winning the event.
I didn’t have much opportunity to watch yesterday so can’t comment really. I’m pleased to see Ricky Walden and Liang Wenbo playing well again. Ricky lost but ran Neil Robertson mightily close. Liang will face Ding today, in fact he’s the third Chinese player in a row to face Ding. Strange how the draw works sometimes…