The first day at the 2019 English Open saw a good few high profile exits and close shaves… here are the results on snooker.org
Ronnie wasn’t the only one to be pushed hard as this report by Worldsnooker shows
World Champion Judd Trump eased to a 4-0 win over Peter Ebdon despite a top break of just 48.
“Hopefully I can get through the first couple of rounds and then I’ll feel like I’m really in the tournament,” said Trump, who landed his first Crucible crown in May. “There’s a lot of pressure off my shoulders now and it’s important for me to kick on. I’m young in snooker terms because a lot of players keep going until they are 45 or 50. It’s an exciting time in snooker now, there are a lot of big events. It’s important to go out and enjoy yourself.”
Defending champion Stuart Bingham had a tough battle against Kacper Filipiak, winning 4-3. Poland’s Filipiak made a break of 100 in frame four to level at 2-2 then Bingham replied with 103 to go 3-2 ahead. A tight sixth frame went Filipiak’s way but Bingham finished strongly with a run of 111.
It was still a good day for Polish snooker as Adam Stefanow scored an impressive 4-1 win over Luca Brecel.
Mark Selby compiled runs of 103 and 130 as he came from 2-1 down to beat Barry Pinches 4-2 while Alan McManus top scored with 76 as he beat Ali Carter 4-2.
China Championship winner Shaun Murphy boosted his hopes of winning back to back ranking titles as he saw off Chang Bingyu 4-2, pulling away from 2-2 with runs of 71 and 79 in the last two frames.
Sussex ace Jimmy Robertson made a 134 as he came from 2-0 down to beat Robert Milkins 4-2, while Ding Junhui’s hopes of regaining a top 16 place took a blow as he lost 4-3 to Dominic Dale
Judd was very far from his best – he didn’t have a single break over 50 in the match – and he was very lucky that Peter Ebdon played awful because he kept giving him good opportunities.
I saw nothing from the Bingham match, but I watched most of the Murphy one and he too was nowhere near the form that brought him to three finals already this season, including the 2019 China Championship title.
All this only confirms what Ronnie suggested in his postmatch: in those short format comps, the first matches are banana skins!
Both China top players, Ding Junhui and Yan Bingtao are already out, as are Ali Cater, Anthony McGill and Luca Brecel. At the time of writing it seems the Stephen Maguire is heading out as well.