Day 4 in the Home Nations is often eventful and yesterday in Crawley was no exception.
Two rounds were played to a completion: the last 32 and the last 16.
The last 32 saw the World Champion, Judd Trump, departing after being beaten by Lee Walker as well as Neil Robertson’s exiting, having suffered a whitewash at the hands of Zhao Xintong.
World number one Judd Trump suffered a shock 4-2 defeat against Lee Walker in the last 32 stage of the 19.com English Open in Crawley.
Trump has won five titles within the past year, including the World Championship, but this time he couldn’t get the better of a player ranked 80 places below him.
Breaks of 74 and 67 put Welshman Walker 2-0 ahead, then Trump recovered with 135 and 101 for 2-2. But it was Walker who finished the stronger player as a run of 59 helped give him frame five, and a 65 in the next put him in control. Trump got the three snookers he needed on the colours, but his opponent converted a superb long pot on the brown to seal the result.
Walker almost didn’t make it to the last 32 as he was 3-0 down to Robbie Williams last night, but hit back to win 4-3. He now meets Gary Wilson.
“Mark Williams had the car started last night, he was ready to give me a lift home!” said 43-year-old Walker, a Crucible quarter-finalist back in 1997. “The way I played to win last night gave me a lot of confidence today. To beat the world number one and World Champion on a TV table is very pleasing. I really enjoyed it.
“I’m trying to play a bit quicker, you can see that in some of the breaks I am knocking in. I’ll give it my all tonight.”
Neil Robertson is also heading out of Crawley after a 4-0 reverse against world number 52 Zhao Xintong, who made breaks of 68 and 71. The 22-year-old is one of five Chinese players in the line up for the last 16, which will be played on Thursday evening.
Ronnie O’Sullivan is yet to find top form this week but he booked his fourth round spot with a 4-1 defeat of Hossein Vafaei. Iran’s Vafaei took the opening frame on a respotted black but O’Sullivan won the next four with top breaks of 55, 52, 60 and 56.
China Championship winner Shaun Murphy kept up his hopes of winning back-to-back ranking titles as he beat Fan Zhengyi 4-0 with a top break of 69.
Mark Selby top scored with 77 in a 4-2 win over Michael Holt while Mark Allen made a 72 in a 4-1 defeat of Louis Heathcote.
China’s 17-year-old Si Jiahui continued his superb run with a 4-0 win over Zhou Yuelong, making breaks of 92 and 78.
Ricky Walden came from 3-1 down to beat Michael Holt 4-3, making a 63 clearance in the deciding frame.
Xiao Guodong edged out Jack Lisowski 4-3 while Tom Ford made a 124 in a 4-3 win over Kyren Wilson.
There were also wins for David Gilbert, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Barry Hawkins, Gary Wilson, Tian Pengfei and Mei Xiwen.
Last 16 line up, from 7pm Thursday
Si Jiahui v Tian Pengfei
Tom Ford v Shaun Murphy
Zhao Xintong v David Gilbert
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Ricky Walden
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Mei Xiwen
Xiao Guodong v Mark Selby
Mark Allen v Barry Hawkins
Gary Wilson v Lee Walker
From what I saw of the Robertson v Zhao match, it wasn’t a case of Zhao being outstanding: Robertson made more mistakes than he usually does. Somehow there were similarities with the Ronnie v Hossein Vafaei match in that ALL FOUR players seemed to struggle for correct position. Maybe the cloth started to be a bit worn out, I’m not sure.
The last 16 in the evening saw both Ronnie and Shaun Murphy leave the tournament. No more “poster boys” in the competition now!
Tom Ford made a brilliant 147 in the final frame of his 4-3 win over Shaun Murphy in the last 16 of the 19.com English Open in Crawley.
He becomes only the second player to make a maximum in the deciding frame of a ranking event match, after Ronnie O’Sullivan who did so at the 2007 UK Championship.
It’s the fifth 147 of Ford’s career – only O’Sullivan (15), Stephen Hendry (11), John Higgins (nine) and Ding Junhui (six) have made more.
Leicester’s 36-year-old Ford is the only player to make a maximum so far this season and in fact he has made two – the first coming in the International Championship qualifiers. Tonight’s was the 153rd in snooker history.
He’ll win the £5,000 high break prize as long as his feat is not equalled this week.
Earlier in the match, Ford had leads of 2-0 and 3-2, then Murphy recovered to 3-3. But it was world number 25 Ford who finished in style, potting 15 reds with blacks then clearing the colours. He ran out of position on the green but converted a double to a centre pocket to keep the break going.
“Early in the break I was thinking of going up for the blue because I didn’t want the 147 on my mind, the result was more important,” said Ford, who now meets Tian Pengfei in the quarter-finals. “But I kept landing on the black. Once I got to 80 I knew the match was over and I could go for the maximum. I wanted to do it for the crowd because it’s great for them to see one. I only need to make 18 more to win the £1 million bonus!”
On a day of surprise results, O’Sullivan suffered a 4-3 defeat against China’s Mei Xiwen. That brought to an end O’Sullivan’s perfect record so far this season – he won last month’s Shanghai Masters and his first three matches this week, before falling to world number 70 Mei, who is into the quarter-finals of a ranking event for the first time.
After sharing the first four frames, O’Sullivan appeared to gain the momentum with a run of 134 to lead 3-2. Mei got the better of frame six then had first chance in the decider and made 52 before missing a red to a centre pocket . O’Sullivan had a chance to counter but only made 16 before failing to pot a difficult red along a side cushion, and that proved his last shot as Mei added 71.
Mark Allen’s break building class showed in a 4-0 thrashing of Barry Hawkins as he knocked in 60, 89, 100 and 129.
Three-time World Champion Mark Selby eased to a 4-1 win over Xiao Guodong, making breaks of 72, 60 and 50.
Lee Walker, who shocked Judd Trump earlier in the day, kept his run going with a 4-3 win over Gary Wilson, highlighted by breaks of 78, 69, 93 and a crucial 51 in the decider.
David Gilbert top scored with 127 as he edged out Zhao Xintong 4-3 while Ricky Walden made a 124 in a 4-2 defeat of Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Tian Pengfei’s best break was also 124 as he dominated a Chinese derby against tour rookie Si Jiahui, winning 4-0.
Tian Pengfei v Tom Ford
David Gilbert v Ricky Walden
Mei Xi Wen v Mark Selby
Mark Allen v Lee Walker
Mark Allen looks like the favourite to win the event now and he will have some support in the ES studio: indeed he’s the only one still in the draw who has already qualified for the 2019 Champion of Champions so Jimmy White will hope for him to win come Sunday.
However the “Home Nations” have produces a good few suprise winners since the series started and everyone still in the draw has their chance!
Here is Tom Ford’s 147: