The last 32 day started rather as most expected, with the higher seeds winning most matches.
Zhou Yuelong should have won the first frame really and probably would have if it had not been for an outrageous fluke from Judd Trump. He actually was first in in most frames but couldn’t take his chances and didn’t get the run of the balls either. I didn’t see the last frame, or any other morning action.
The afternoon (in Europe) session was quite different, bringing its fair share of unexpected results
Neil Robertson withdrew at the MSI, feeling unwell.
Noppon Saengkham, Hossein Vafaei, Anthony McGill and Chris Wakelin were all surprise winners, although, to be fair Yan Bingtao had struggled in his previous rounds wins so him losing today wasn’t totally unexpected.
Mark Williams was 4-0 up on Luo Honghao who made a fight of it after the MSI. Towards the end of the match both players looked very nervous and error prone. No shot was straightforward anymore. Mark fell over the line somehow.
Zhao Xintong looks a different player this season, much more mature and proved his quality again by beating Xia Guodong this afternoon.
Yan Bingtao, despite losing today, is safe in the top 16, unless Luca Brecel, Matthew Selt, Noppon Saengkham or Anthony McGill win the tournament AND Joe Perry reaches the semi finals. That’s a big ask, but not impossible; Luca has won this event before. Joe Perry faces Judd Trump tomorrow. A win for Joe in the last 16 would see him get past Ali Carter, and enter the top 16.
World Champion Judd Trump won his 15th consecutive ranking event match, whitewashing Zhou Yuelong 5-0 to reach the last 16 of the Evergrande China Championship.
The Ace in the Pack’s undefeated streak extends back to the China Open in April, when he lost against Robbie Williams. Since then he has won both the World Championship and the International Championship.
Trump put on a ruthless showing this evening as he brushed Zhou aside in just an hour and 15 minutes. He fired in breaks of 69, 121, 69 and 51 on his way to victory. It’s a second straight whitewash win for Trump and he has only dropped one frame so far this week.
World number one Trump said: “He is a very tough player so I’m really happy to get the win. He played a lot better than the scoreline. He was unlucky in the first three frames. On another day he could have been 3-0 up.
“I didn’t feel very confident out there. It is very hard to play well all the time. A couple of times today he opened the balls, didn’t end on anything and just left me straight in so I didn’t have to work too hard.”
Defending champion Mark Selby continued to show signs of a return to his best form after an impressive showing helped him beat Martin Gould 5-2.
The Jester from Leicester compiled breaks of 58, 60, 79 and 122 to secure the victory. He now faces Chris Wakelin in the last 16.
Neil Robertson was forced to retire due to illness at 3-1 down against Matthew Selt, resulting in a 5-1 win for the Englishman. Robertson conceded match after experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Selt will now face an in-form Shaun Murphy in the last 16 after the Magician conjured another impressive performance to beat Ryan Day 5-3. While last year’s runner-up John Higgins battled past Li Hang to emerge with a 5-3 victory.
David Gilbert remains in the hunt for a maiden ranking title after defeating 2003 UK Champion Matthew Stevens 5-2. Next up Gilbert will face Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham, who beat Mark Allen 5-4.